Keeping Up With Writing and Publishing During COVID

Man reading "Expert Secrets" book in coffeeshop
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Being a book writer is so much more than the mere act of writing. It can also involve marketing, creating and maintaining relationships with agents and publishers, spending time on building your author platform (including social media), and keeping up with the publishing industry.

In today’s pandemic world, this has become both easier and more difficult. The publishing industry is unpredictable, but we have to keep going — keep writing, keep submitting, keep learning, keep publishing, and keep networking. Below are some articles, perspectives, and resources to help you with your writing goals.

  1. The Shy Author’s Guide to Book Promotion.” Whether you’re shy, introverted, or self-conscious about self-promotion, you still have to promote your book. But Sandra Beckwith at Build Book Buzz has got you covered. She goes over the common obstacles writers can face and offers suggestions on how to overcome them.
  2. Building a Platform for Your Work When You’re Unpublished.” This guest writer on writing and publishing expert Jane Friedman’s website shows one of many strategies you can use to build a platform for your upcoming books. Michael Warner had a great biography in his back pocket, but he decided to publish a “loss leader” anthology book first to gain ground and awareness, to be seen as established by the time he publishes his opus.
  3. Public Speaking Tips for Writers: 7 Keys for a Great Speech.” As a writer, you’re going to have to speak about your work sometimes. From how to write a speech to how to practice and perfect it, this list from the Write Practice will help you through it.
  4. What Makes Readers Give an Unknown Author a Chance?” Barbara Linn Probst polls readers as to why they pick up a book by a new author. Overwhelmingly it’s because of first impressions of the cover and title. Barbara then goes on to explore two tactics for promotion: high by getting impressive endorsements, or wide by reaching out to readers — book clubs, book fairs, or online reading or writing groups.
  5. How to Write an Email Well Enough to Land a Book Deal.” In this post on Literary Hub, Anne Trubek talks about her latest book, So You Want to Publish a Book? She goes over what she asks people who tell her they have a great idea for a book, the possible book publishing journeys, and how to write an email to an agent or acquisitions editor that gets read and replied to.
  6. 5 On: Russell Rowland.” In an interview with Russell Rowland on Jane Friedman’s “5 On” series, the acclaimed author and NPR host shares his journey from working with the Big 5 Publishers to self-publishing and the lessons he learned along the way.
  7. This Handy Chart Automatically Generates a Pitch for Your New Novel.” Electric Literature takes a playful approach to exploring the world of writing book pitches. While silly — you take the letters of your first name to come up with a random pitch generator (for example, my book’s pitch would be “a high-voltage tragedy about a depressed ghost’s endeavor to transcend feminism”) — it also can spark ideas in writers who are stuck when it comes to summarizing their book in one sentence.
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Sharon Goldinger

Sharon Goldinger, owner of PeopleSpeak, is a book shepherd, editor, and publishing consultant specializing in nonfiction books. View profile.

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