Publication? Does it elude you?
Perhaps you've been waiting for months...more likely years.
I'm sure you've noticed our Pepper has an exciting publication story after a wait!
Even award-winning authors can have challenges breaking back into the market at a time when title acquisition seems to be at an all-time low.
So what can you do in the meantime? How do you keep on the virtual radar as you wait to hear a "yes" from the quiet agent who has been passing around your story?
Be intentional about your web presence now. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
-What about blogging?
Karen has a strong presence as a home blogger sharing brilliant ideas for your decor and how to make it cozy.
Mary has a spot on the web where she shares ministry ideas for kids. As a children's writer this site is not only a ministry but also a great springboard.
Casey is passionate about purity and books, those are the things you'll find on her blog. And these are just a few of the writers who call the alley home on the web.
I've chosen not to have a personal blog, but instead have a web presence on several blogs.
My question to you is what is the best use of your time in terms of blogging? What type of time commitment can you make to blogging? Think about WHERE you are on the WEB and WHY?
Which pursuits are fruitful to your purpose? Is there anything you should prune back or maybe something you should add?
-What is your writing purpose?
Simply put: Why do you write? And what writing ministry does God want you to pursue?
I long to write stories that will feed hurting women's souls and be used to help them realize their father's love for them. My heart's cry is for women who are hurting because of life's trials and circumstances to find peace.
Yes, maybe if I write fiction that sees the light of day that will happen. But right now I can still be used in this way. Through the web we can minister to women AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Don't forget what a gift that is by getting caught up in the future of your story.
So who is it God has put on your heart? What does your heart ache for? That's part of why God gave you a writing gift. A BIG PART.
Do you hurt for unwed and teenage mothers? What about writing for Compass Care newsletter or another similar ministry?
-What story do you have that needs to be told NOW?
There is an answer today. Perhaps its the email to another mom who is hurting. You know what its like to have a prodigal child.
Maybe its a handwritten letter this holiday season to a friend who needs to know they are forgiven, not just by you...but by God.
God doesn't ask you to share your stories when you get published, he asks you to share them with the world now. That's why He gave you THIS gift.
Be obedient and tell it!
-Make sure your social media use isn't "me centered."
What's on your facebook page? Are you always looking to self-promote your posts, your ebooks, or perhaps strategically "sharing" with those you view as influential?
There are a few things I've noticed about other's facebook posts that I appreciate:
1) They contain words from others.
Not just other authors from their "tribe" but old dead theologians and more importantly God's word which can speak truth that nobody else's ever can.
2) I like posters who don't have "brag" book pages, but have a bit more humility.
The truth is I'm not Martha and I don't really want to read about her either. If you can make a wreath out of your children's toenails or make a fruitcake that isn't best used for a doorstop, OK. Just make sure all your posts aren't designed to put forth an image of yourself for others.
3) That being said, I do love ideas.
If you want to share a recipe and better yet it fits into the colonial setting for your books that seems like a great use for your page. I love Karen's website because she shares these beautiful ideas for the home. I know I don't have the artistic talent in my pinkie that she does, but she mixes these posts with everyday life posts on being an Aussie mum. I think she has the balance just right.
4) Have a sense of humor.
Alley Cat Krista's facebook page is full of her trademark sense of humor. As I read, she never has to tell me to buy her books I want to because I LOVE her voice!
5) Ask questions.
People love to share their opinion. I sure don't know it all and I love when those on the web can tell me what I can make with all the parsnips my neighbor gave me or what's the best destination for a hot dinner date with the hubster. Make your website a bit of a community page where everyone has fun and all opinions matter.
Whether on facebook or the blogosphere, a strategic presence will help you not only navigate the writing road but enjoy it along the way.
Julia enjoys writing women's fiction whenever she can find a chair free of smushed peanut butter sandwiches and lego blocks. She is a wife and homeschooling mama of two littles. She also enjoys writing for Library Journal magazine and the blog Wonderfully Woven.