Becoming a writer today is not the same as it was a century ago. You would go to a publisher or local newspaper; now most of the marketing strategies are up to you. The audience is broader and more varied than ever. And even their reading skills have changed!
There are many ways in which this profession has changed, and it’s hard to follow up, so here are some of the basic things you should keep in mind.
People Don’t Read As They Used To
This is the first thing you should understand. Writing long, detailed novels is the thing of the past. Most of us don’t even read the whole article, let alone the wall of text called a chapter.
There’s still debate around the question of whether the internet killed the classic novel. But our habits were in the process of changing long before the internet – and this is not necessarily a bad thing. What’s more, the internet could very well be the pinnacle of postmodern ideas and writing experiments.
In short, postmodernists believed that text shouldn’t be read linearly, instead, it should be read as interactive, hypertextual web, where the reader actively finds his own path through the text. This is why other narrative forms prevailing on the internet are winning over hardcover books.
However, novels still have success if they know their niche audience, like Fifty Shades of Gray, which earned its popularity through the Twilight fanfiction fanbase. Or they gained its popularity through other media, such as video games or TV shows. So don’t be afraid to reach out to other text and media.
More Like Creative Marketing
Creative writing? That is a part of the myth of the author finding his original voice. This idea has been undermined by Roland Barthes in his essay “The Death of the Author” written some decades ago.
Today, the belief in the author’s identity is still important – but now we know it to be something different – a brand. This is also something you shouldn’t berate. Rather, view the identity not as something that is inherently seeded within you, but a functional extension of your art. The big project.
Personal branding is a marketing strategy proven to give you public recognition. And there are tons of ways you can implement it. The biggest step in finding the personal voice is finding your domain and social network that will determine your genre and audience.
Writing is not just about texts, so don’t be afraid of experimenting with different digital media, hyperlinks, and other transtextual references.
Ask The Audience
We can say we don’t care who’s going to read our work, but let’s not fool ourselves. What kind of an author are you if nobody reads your books? Not having an audience leads us all to resentment.
Luckily, today it is so easy to stay in touch with your readers, know who you’re addressing, make them engage. This is also in line with the idea of an active reader – now even more literal.
This will help you find your voice, get feedback, stay motivated and, most importantly, stay relevant. Many of us fall prey to our own secluded ideas that nobody may actually care about. This doesn’t mean they are stupid but they do not follow a certain trend within the society.
Being online and in touch with your audience will help you follow the general trends and make it easier for you to disclose your ideas within a more accepting and recognizable frame.
Your content can be just as imaginative and amusing even when writing for other purposes. Consider other options for writing careers out there. Having a personal blog linked to a youtube channel, or even a twitter account can be a form you might find suitable.
There are many opportunities these days for writing professions that are in the service of marketing. Content writing, copywriting, ghostwriting, personal branding, speech writing, script doctor, and so on. There’s no need to dismiss these options, especially since they can teach you skills that’ll help with personal work.
It is just a matter of getting seen. It is all too easy these days to get published. There are plenty of free online options but even the old-fashioned way of publishing is now made easy with sites such as Searchforpublishers.com.
Keep in mind that these considerations will not guarantee success, but they will surely make it more possible – so take them seriously before you start wondering what went wrong.