Writing a book is a long and often lonely process. Months, even years, will be spent working on your Great American Novel. But if you want to see your masterpiece sitting on a bookstore shelf someday, eventually you’ll have to emerge from your writing cocoon. At Writer’s Relief, we know that, while writing may be a solitary pursuit, publishing is extremely sociable. To give your writing career a boost, you’ll need to become a social butterfly! Check out these eight people who can help you spread your wings and succeed.
8 People Who Can Give Your Writing Career A Boost
Critique Group Partner
Every writer needs a tribe. In the inner circle are your critique group partners or beta readers. These are the folks you dare to share your work with because you know embracing constructive criticism is one of the most important first steps to becoming a professional author.
How do you find great critique partners? It’s not easy. It helps to look for people who are writing in the same genre and who understand the tropes and expectations involved. Professionalism is paramount. Ideally, you’ll cultivate a support group that will do more than just critique; they’ll celebrate writing career accomplishments, commiserate with setbacks, and form true and abiding friendships.
Member Of A Writing Organization’s Local Chapter
One of the best places to find your writer’s tribe is within a writing organization in your genre, such as one of these:
- Mystery Writers of America
- Romance Writers of America
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
- Horror Writing Association
- Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
- The Authors Guild
- American Society of Journalists and Authors
- National Writers Union
- National Association of Writers
- The International Women’s Writing Guild
- Novelists Inc.
- Sisters in Crime
Within these organizations, you can socialize online or in person with those who share your interests. You might even connect with an experienced author or two. Such groups may offer chapter meetings, workshops, meet-and-greets, and conferences to help you learn more about the writing craft and the business of publishing.
Your literary agent is your career cheerleader and an indispensable partner if you want to be traditionally published. He or she pitches your work to editors in the hopes of selling your masterpiece to the highest bidder. Your literary agent will handle your subsidiary rights over the years to come—and thus can make or break your writing career. Make sure your literary agent is experienced, professional, has published other books in your genre, and, most of all, is enthusiastic about your work.
Once your book has been picked up by a publisher (hooray!), your most important contact is your editor. Your editor is responsible not just for content editing, but also for selling your story to the executives who will decide how much budget to allot, the designers who’ll craft your cover, and the sales staff whose job it is to get your book stocked on shelves. Make your (overworked) editor’s job easier by promptly supplying what he or she needs, such as your bio, book synopsis, and cover ideas.
If you’ve been picked up by a Big 5 publisher, you’ll probably be assigned a publicist for the book launch. It’s your publicist’s responsibility to spread the word of your upcoming release to influencers such as bloggers, newspaper critics, and all the big review publications. Make yourself stand out by offering to help with promotion.
Local Bookstore Manager
As a writer, you probably spend a considerable amount of money at your local bookstore. But do you know the name of the owner or manager? Indie bookstores have great discretion to decide what books to set out on the front tables, where most impulse-buy sales occur. Cultivating a friendly connection will boost the odds that your local bookstore owner will make special efforts on your behalf.
Your partner may not know an Oxford comma from Oxford shoes, but he or she forms a vital part of your support system. The nature of the publishing business assures that every writer will face some tough rejections sometimes. Without that special shoulder to cry on, you may be tempted to throw your manuscript into the fire. And having someone special to celebrate your publishing successes with is priceless.
Sometimes, nothing short of professional guidance will do, and that’s where Writer’s Relief comes in. If the hours and hours you’ll have to spend researching to find the right places to submit your work—and to weed out the places that are NOT the right fit—seem daunting, consider connecting with a service designed to do just that. Hiring professionals can be a game changer, lessen your stress level, and free up more time to do what you really want to do—write.
Remember: You don’t have to do it all alone. Getting your work into the hands of readers requires lots of support and professional assistance. But with the right people on your side, you can watch your writing career take flight.
Question: How did you find your beta readers or critique group?