Unpublished writers–here’s someone to look at: Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers.
She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets. Here is her article for UNPUBLISHED writers. The advice herein is quite sound, friend. In a nutshell, she urges her readers not to belabor the point of having been unpublished… but instead work toward building awareness.
Another note about Jane–she is renowned writing coach. She has a terrific book that you might find useful.
Here’s a snippet from the article:
When I tell writers it’s mandatory they have a website, those who are unpublished will immediately ask, “But what do I say on my website if I’m unpublished?”
I’ll answer that question in a moment, but this question assumes that there’s no benefit to having a site unless it’s to market, promote, and sell a book. But there are several good reasons to start a site even if you’re not yet established.
Get over the learning curve. While it’s easy nowadays to get a full-fledged site up and running in 24 hours, even with your own domain name (through services such as WordPress.com), you still need to learn new systems and become accustomed to new tools. Don’t wait to start this process until the day you need a site. Educate yourself in advance. Start building a simple site today so you can have a killer site when it’s most important to you. Here’s an example of a simple and effective site by an emerging writer.
Build awareness. In marketing communications, you have to distinguish between goals that are to (a) make a sale and (b) build awareness. At least half of the advertising you see is meant to build awareness rather than make a sale. Why? Because we’re more likely to buy a product we’ve been hearing about—assuming a positive impression has been formed. Having a site (and participating in social media) helps build awareness of who you are and what you do. As positive impressions collect, it’s an investment in your future success as an author or provider of services.
Open up opportunities. You never know who might visit or stumble on your site. You never know who’s listening. You never know who’s searching. When I had my own website that wasn’t connected to my employer, many more opportunities opened up because it was clear how people could contact me, what I could offer, and who I was already offering it to.