A Writing Tip by Jen Mathy
Booster Clubs Don’t Just Sit in The Stands
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
A successful writer today has a whole new set of responsibilities. Yes, your primary role is that of artist and writer. First, create. Then, with the understanding that agents seldom find new clients in their slush piles and that publishers primarily support A-list authors and authors who receive large advances, it’s important for an emerging writer to take on the role of marketer as well.
There are many elements and ways to promote yourself and your work, just as there are many ways to approach the writing process. And, unless you can afford to produce and place a viral-worthy Super Bowl commercial, there’s never only one element of successful promotion.
One easy and effective way to promote your work is to form a Booster Club or, rather, a Booster Network. We all know other emerging writers we like and admire. Perhaps we met them in workshops or writing groups, or by working together on a journal. Maybe we met them in college, via social media, at a conference, or in line getting coffee. By adding these writers to your Booster Network, all of your careers will benefit.
First, especially on social media platforms, it’s important to self-promote only 10-20 percent of the time. Your followers become easily bored or dismissive if every post is, essentially: “Look at me!” By using your social media, your blog, your newsletters to also mention recent publications by someone in your network, you become more engaging to your followers and you establish yourself as part of the writing community. Second, when your friend does the same, you are exposed to a new audience, a new set of eyes. You may connect with more writers – who you add to your Booster Network – exposing your work to an even wider audience.
Reading this Cleaver writing tip is your signal to reach out to those other writers and say: “You know, I’ve always liked your work, and you’ve said some kind things about mine. Why don’t we make a pact to promote and share each other’s work?” Send them a link to this page, if it’s easier!
There’s an “ick” factor to self-promotion, I get it. But doing scary or uncomfortable things always seems easier with a friend, doesn’t it?
Jen Mathy is a marketing communications consultant in social media, PR, and advertising. She was VP of advertising and brand management for Morgan Stanley, brand manager for Discover Card, and in university relations for Northwestern University. She has an MFA in Writing from Bennington College and manages social media for the program. She has written stories for The Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV, among others, and wrote the poetry and prose for “An Expat Journey in Singapore,” a book of photography about the island nation.
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