Word Addicts Getting Out There
Word Addicts Are Building Their Brands, Gaining Exposure, Gaining Fans
by James Elliott
Kevin A. Davis is just launching his writing career. He's in the early stage that makes or breaks a new author. But he's got a plan and is sticking to it. When I spoke with him over a video call, he pointed me to his website, where he keeps a calendar stacked with events.
He'll be attending various conferences where his first urban fantasy novels, The Angelsong Series, will have the most exposure to potential readers. Between now and July, he'll be at five different Comicon conventions!
Davis knows that books don't walk out into the world and sell themselves. He knows that he needs to hit the streets early in his career in order to sell books, whether the streets are metaphorical online networks, or actual paved roads.
A.M. Luzzader's disciplined writing and marketing regime shows us where Kevin might be in a few years if he sticks to his plan. A.M. is an accomplished award-winning author in several genres. Her years of hard work have paid off. In 2020, she left her day job to become a full-time writer—something most writers dream of. She is a prolific writer, firing out books at an astonishing rate, and she is a prolific salesperson, always seeking opportunities to build her brand.
The hard and hopeful fact is this: If you're an author and you want to sell books, then you're also a salesperson. Authors who aren't also salespeople don't sell books.
I once interviewed an author who won a Newbery Medal for children's literature. During the interview I discovered (sadly) that she was struggling to make ends meet. Her publisher had stopped marketing her books after they earned back the publisher's expenses. She was on her own, and she admitted to being terrified to go out into the world of book sales. She simply wanted to write great books and let the publisher help her make money. But in today's publishing climate, authors can't only be authors. Whether you're self-published or traditionally published, you won't make money if you don't become a salesperson.
Many of us are introverts. Overcoming an aversion to sales and marketing will be vital to our writing goals. But we can do it! We have to do it and get our creative writing out to the world.