A Writer’s Words

Most authors have little concept of product development and limited marketing skills. They are writers and were taught to create literary art, not sell.  Writers conferences do a great job of helping aspiring authors to write better prose and poetry, but fall short on marketing books in this new age of book publication and distribution.

Craftsmen of the written word, like all producers of consumable products, should sample their writing as the pot boils. A writers group is a good place to do that. I try to spend an hour each week with another author discussing the other’s works in progress.

At book signings, I meet readers from all walks of life. I ask them if they would like to be advance readers; not named for their reading skills, but experts in certain facets of my story. Children of the Revolution, ca 1796-1815, had several scenes aboard a ship. Fortunately, I knew someone who was an authority on nautical terms during that time period.

Authors can’t be an authority on every subject. Whatever the subject, there are always experts available provided you reach out to them. Describing a river flowing the wrong way can ruin the scene for a book buyer that knows otherwise. I would never have known Roanoke was called Big Lick during the era of my story. Use all resources available to ensure the details are correct. Share your work as you write the manuscript and once it is complete, ask your experts if they would read the first draft.


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