The Publishing Process: Marketing Part 3: Speaking
As I mentioned in my previous post on marketing, being able to speak on your work is essential. And while a book signing is certainly an opportunity to talk about the book, there is another aspect of speaking that is important to touch upon- being able to talk about writing itself. Just as you would expect an actor or musician to talk about the art of their craft in detail, you should be able to talk about writing in the same way. So today, I would like to discuss a few points I would suggest writers to go over in their speech.
What to talk about.
#1 Your process
When you write, you will have to find a process that is unique to you and you alone. As such, your audience would be interested to hear exactly what it is you do. If your style is to write listening to music, or to work at a certain time, or just to write for a few hours, explain why this works for you. What makes it effective, what makes it the best way for you to get your work flowing? Remember, other authors are looking for their own methods, and this is a great way to help them.
Getting started is hard, and sometimes people may feel their ideas simply aren’t good enough. As someone with a finished piece of work, you should give these people the path and ability to get to their finished story. When I speak, I always tell how my book started from watching an anti-drug special that first made me interested in a group of heroes. And each time. I explain how that basic concept stayed with me for many years, being changed and developed, until it became a book. And I always finish by saying how the best stories can come from anywhere, and that with enough confidence, a writer can take anything and shape it into something.
#3 What You Love About Writing
This should be obvious, but every writer should be able to talk about why they love to write. It’s simply too basic not to talk about.
#4 Your Failures
For all the work you’ve accomplished, you will have certainly stumbled along the way. This is also important to share. Writing is a difficult career, and there’s never a promise of success. The act itself is long and difficult and you may find yourself making bad decisions constantly. But that is a part of the process, and as a finished writer, you need to make aspiring writers aware of that. Talk about ideas that didn’t work, rejections you faced, harsh criticism. It will help your audience understand the how hard writing is for everyone, and how people can rise above it, as you hopefully have.
#5 Your future
Writing is hard, and it take a lot of work, planning, and luck to make a career out of it. Some people will ask how you plan to survive with it. If you aren’t planning to write full time, explain to your audience how they can use writing in building a life. You may not be able to give them a path to fame and success, but you can tell them how to be writers and have a profitable, happy life. And with an uncertain career like writing, that may be the most valuable thing to talk about.