Sunday, July 15, 2012

How Many Hats Does a Writer Wear?

Let me say it is many more than just writer in today’s publishing culture.

Traditional publishers are no longer in the business of correcting multiple errors in manuscripts.
Acquisitions editors are looking for a minimum of errors and as close to print ready manuscripts for publication.

What does this mean for writers?

Writers will have to do much of what traditional publishers use to do. Writers will have to build a follow using social media, network marketing, blogging, creating video book trailers, and create a marketing plan at the minimum. Publishers will be requiring this and possibly even literary agents.

There are two ways for writers to accomplish this, DIY or outsourcing. Outsourcing is ideal if writers have the money. If a writer doesn’t have deep pockets, the only alternative is DIY.

Writers need a blog to garner interest in their book and build a following of interested potential purchasers. Writers will need a well-written proposal letter to get past the gatekeepers at traditional publishers, hence the growth of self-publishing and the bemoaning of the quality of self-published books..

There are many authors self-publishing that reading web sites and blogs lead to a backlash because of the quality of many books.

As a reviewer, I’ve seen this in many books for review. Writers need to find a professional editor for their work, and should never try to edit their own work. A professional editor looks at a piece of writing from a different perspective than he writer does from an objective point of view and distance from the work, while the writer is so close that they may miss simple errors.

Writers should make sure that their project is as print ready as possible before submitting it for publication. Writes also need to have marketing, PR, and promotion plans in place when submitting a manuscript to a traditional publisher.

Writers need to wear the hats of publicist, blogger, marketer, social media manager, book promoter, network marketer, web designer, retailer, bookkeeper, and shipper unless they have the capital to outsource these actions. To outsource this could run into thousands of dollars.

With work, writers can DIY. All it takes is some willingness to learn some simple techniques, writers don’t need to master these only have a good working knowledge of the techniques required.

Welcome to the fact that publishing has changed.

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer