Every professional writer will work with an editor at some point and, if you are writing for magazines or newspapers, you could be dealing with editors on an almost daily basis. A good relationship with your editor is essential if you want to improve your chances of being published regularly. We have put together a few tips on ways you can develop this relationship:
- Editors are friendly humans but they are busy and time spent with authors is time not spent editing. You should therefore:
- Never drop in uninvited;
- Keep communication brief and to the point, be it email, telephone or letter;
- Respond to your editor’s queries promptly.
- Always be prepared to take advice from editors. When your work has been edited, consider the reasons for the changes; don’t challenge them;
- Read any guidelines available for contributors before submitting your work;
- Heed the saying, “The editor is always right. Even when he’s wrong”.;
- Learn from the edits. If you are working with the same editor then you will discover any obvious preference such as style, structure and any requirements for references, quotations, illustrations etc.
- Always enclose return postage for unsolicited manuscripts and queries;
- Check your facts;
- Make sure your word count is appropriate;
- Check that your manuscripts are free from spelling and typing mistakes;
- Ensure that your work is tidy and does not have coffee rings and dog-ears.
- And finally, never send out your work until you are 100% satisfied with it. If possible, put the manuscript aside and come back to it a few days later.
The inbox of a news editor or reporter is clogged up with at least 500 emails a day – the majority of which are press releases. Don’t panic, the first line of each one will be read or scanned, but if it does not immediately scream ‘relevance’ it will be binned or forgotten. Newspaper staff do not have a lot of time or patience.
The purpose of a press release is to convince the editor or reporter of the ‘news worthiness’ of what or who you are trying to sell – it is not to entertain them. Write in the third person and avoid hyperbole. Flowery language does not impress journalists and is often viewed as a time-consuming obstacle to turning around a legitimate news story.
Short, snappy title
It does not have to be funny or clever, it just needs to make the reporter want to open it. A reporter wants to know one thing when they open an email: What is in it for us? They are driven by location, location, location. If you are sending a PR to a paper in Bath, make sure the title contains the word ‘Bath’.
Make your story relevant, simple and clear in one sentence
Ideally what you are selling or publicising has a connection with the town or region you’re pitching to. Make the connection clear immediately. Don’t beat around the bush.
Example: I want to advertise a professional, but not universally known, author visiting a book shop in Bath to sign copies of their latest publication. In a PR to the local press, I will not use the opening line to gloat how many books they’ve sold, or what awards they’ve won (this is good information, but can be saved for later). Instead, I will state where and when they will be appearing. In an ideal world, there will be a second connection to Bath which could be used. Maybe they holidayed in the region previously and were inspired by it…
‘Joe Bloggs, inspired by his time in the historic town of Bath, will be signing copies of his new book at Barbara’s Books, in High Street, on Wednesday, November 23.’
Such a convenient connection is not always available. If you are really struggling to find a unique angle for a town or region, you can resort to something a little more generic by giving away one of the details you would ordinarily use further down the press release.
‘Fans of science fiction writing in Bath will have the chance to meet author Joe Bloggs when he visits Barbara’s Books, in High Street, to sign copies of his latest publication, on Wednesday, November 23.’
Both examples may appear boring, but it tells the reporter exactly why it is relevant to their readership. Both have the full location and date included – this is useful for the reporter because they will have an idea of when is best to run it in their paper.
Learn Everything You Want To Know About Blogging
You can increase people’s awareness of your existence or promote your business by writing blogs. Blogging plays a big role in how our society now consumes information and news. Some people might not blog because they are afraid of failure, but if you are interested in taking the plunge, read this article.
Research your audience and appeal to them. If your readers like to frequent social media websites, then you should go there as well. People like to read content from people who have similar interests, so hanging out where they do can help you achieve this.
Add several visual or interactive items to your blog entries. Photos and colourful quotes will give readers interesting things to view. Using images will get readers interesting in reading your content.
Blog writing is not effective if you are just writing streams of paragraphs. Make sure you do research and write about a topic you feel is right for you and your blog. If you don’t put thought into what you’re writing, your blog probably won’t become successful. The content you post on your blog is the key to finding success.
Choose keywords to put in your blog that are unique and not widely used. If you try to compete for traffic by using more popular keywords, you will be drowned out by the big players that already have a large readership. To get your reader’s attention, you must be unique.
Many people make the mistake of using text talk to communicate on their blogs, and this can be costly. If you use text talk, no one will take you seriously.
Write a unique blog that stands out from everything that is already online. Readers will be attracted by original content. You’ll get the same result by having information that is hard to locate. Try to post about unusual pastimes or knowledge. Explain how widgets are made in a way that will really wow your readers. The point is to give readers a reason to click on your blog when they are seeking a particular kind of information.
Regularly post new content to your blog. People will return often if they expect to find brand new content. If new content appears infrequently, visitors won’t be motivated to come back to your blog. You should make an attempt to do a new blog post daily.
Now, you should know how to start blogging effectively. Remember that blogging offers limitless potential for personal expression. Always try to stay updated with the newest information and your blog will remain successful.
Romantic novels are big business at the moment, so if you have decided to go into writing romance you are already off to a head start over other genres. Romance is seen as a fairly women-oriented genre, but if you can write a romance which appeals to men and women alike you are far more likely to find some commercial success with your writing. For this to happen you need a central romance surrounded by action and conflict, which will keep the reader interested from start to finish and will avoid boring your audience before the book reaches its climax.
Romance novels are very commercial, meaning you don’t need to create a complex masterpiece, merely something which your readers can identify with. Romance is also an emotive subject, so you are aiming to draw emotion out of your reader, allowing them to feel what the characters feel and thus have some kind of empathy with their situation. Do your research before you start coming up with your plot to see what is current and popular, and the kinds of characters audiences are connecting with at the moment.
The best way to create a great romance is to invent two central characters that the reader really cares about. Your characters need to be 3 dimensional people, with thoughts, feelings and a background, so work out your characters first, paying close detail to every element of their lives which has led them up to the point where they meet. You don’t need to explicitly state their histories from the outset, but let these facts come out during the story so they become more real to your audience as the story goes on.
The next step is to work out the elements of the plot which will make this a romance. Think about what the characters see in each other and how they enhance each other’s lives. A real romance has obstacles, so decide what will be keeping your characters apart, or what they have to get through to reach their happy ending. Also, decide if you want a happy ending or want your romance to be a tragedy, but remember that with a certain market tragedies will alienate the reader, who has been rooting for the characters all along.
Once you have worked out your plot then the actual writing is very important in romance. Dialogue has to be believable and steer clear of clichés so that people can identify with the characters. If your characters speak like real people in their age group and social setting then they will be more believable than 20-somethings in an office speaking in flowery prose with their hearts full of love and wonder at the magnificence of the other. Don’t be afraid to make mundane dialogue and situations into something credible and fantastic, as this will appeal far more to your audience.
Okay, so you’ve done the writing and created a masterpiece as far as you and literal history are concerned. You have slaved away and written your book that consists or thousands of words, hours, and a little bit of blood, sweat, and tears. You have made the challenging decision as to whether you should self-publish or head down the traditional publishing route, and now you are here, which means that you are looking for affordable ideas for marketing your book in today’s market.
Affordable marketing techniques today are just as effective as expensive investments when approached and mixed in the right way. So, what exactly are you going to do to spread the word about your book? The best starting point today is the internet; the options for marketing are extremely affordable, if not free, and can help you reach millions of potential readers quickly.
Generating interest is the ultimate goal when it comes to marketing. To do this online, the first step is to get that audience, which is simple enough, right? It actually is a lot easier today than it once was with the incredibly effective tools we refer to as social networks. Getting an audience even before your book is released is beneficial and ensures the intrigue is there already. Effective targeting means you need to know who you are targeting, if you’re not sure, that’s okay, ask your friends or those who have read your book what they think.
Create a Facebook page specifically for you as an author. Invite all your friends to like the page and ask friends and family to post a link to your page in order to reach their friends too. The more people who like your page, the more visible it will be. Once you have your page; consistency is the key. As you are promoting your book before you have even published it, this part is easy; countdown to the book release. Post updates as often as you can, but keep it relevant. Try to engage and interact with your followers.
The obvious next step is to create a Twitter account. Again, get your beloved friends and family to help. Twitter is an incredibly effective way to get the word out there and reach more people, probably more so than any other social network. Follow other writers, publishers, editors, reviews; anyone who has an interest in the industry too. Send some of these people a very nice message asking them to read your book and tweet their reviews; don’t expect many responses, but even one can have an amazing impact depending on the person. When you send your message, try to appeal to them on a personal level.
You can go on to create a LinkedIn account and to create accounts on any other social networks. Goodreads is specifically for literature so create your account, get your book listed and call upon those wonderful friends of yours again.
Social networking can make an incredible difference to the exposure of your book. Interact with your followers as much as you can, start conversations, and be consistent. Take advantage of these free tools available to you. Interacting with your followers can mean getting them involved; there is truly nothing more effective that interaction. For example, select a few options that you would be happy with and ask your audience to choose your book cover.
Create a website for you as an author; this is the place where those who ‘hear’ about you will come to take a look. This is your opportunity to create the perception that you want your potential readers to associate with you. If you have a blog, talk about your book. If you don’t, create one that is integrated with your website. Promote your book and countdown as you are with the social networks. Whether you have your own blog or not, you can start a blog tour; try to find a few relevant blogs and see what your options are for guest posting. Contact the blog founder and ask if you need to; if you don’t ask you don’t get, right? A blog opens doors to instant feedback, the opportunity to expand your audience as an author, creates intrigue, and offers the chance to receive constructive criticism, which can be harsh, but will be beneficial to you in the future.
A final thought: add a link to your website on your email signature. This will be seen by anyone you email. If your friends and family are still answering your calls at this point; ask them to do the same! You’ve written a book; which is an achievement in itself. Make sure everyone out there knows of this masterpiece that you have produced and make sure your book gets the audience it deserves. Make things happen.