Friday, November 6, 2009

Selling Two Things—Your Manuscript and Yourself

All writers want to see their work published. A manuscript is not going to put itself in a snail mail envelope and dance merrily out the door, down the driveway and jump into the mailbox. A manuscript is not going to magically copy itself into an e-mail and hit Send.
You, the writer, have to make that effort. You need to study markets and select the ones that your work might fit with. And then, you have to do the hard part. You must actually send your work to an editor. You risk rejection but you also might be successful. You’ll never know unless you send your work to an editor.

But along with that manuscript, you need to sell yourself to editors and to the reading public. It’s not easy to constantly promote yourself, especially if you don’t have a balloon-like ego. Our mothers taught us not to brag, didn't they? Quiet, introverted writers find it difficult to sing their own praises, but it’s almost a necessity if you want to make it in the writing world.

When you have something published, don’t hesitate to send it to all your friends and family. They, in turn, will probably share it with others they know, especially if it’s a good story or article. I had a hard time doing so in the early days of my writing life, but I’ve learned that it is a benefit to me and liked by many of those recipients. I try to add an out for them but saying they should hit the delete button if they have no interest. Guilt-free for any who don’t want to read my work.

Join some online writing groups and submit your work to ezines. They often reach thousands of people. Do it often enough, and readers begin to recognize your name.

If you have an opportunity to speak to a small group at your church or a civic organization, accept it. Nerve-wracking at first, but it gets easier each time and more people in your community will label you a writer whenever they see you.

C. Hope Clark has written a book called The Shy Writer. It’s a help to those who like the seclusion of writing but quake at the thought of talking to others about it. Take a look at the explanation and excerpts from Ms Clark’s book at

Writing is sometimes the easy part. Selling your work and selling yourself takes time, effort, and a bit of an inflated ego. Go for it!

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