Caring starts when you’re no longer looking at what others can do for you, but rather at what you can do for others.
There’s one thing that surpasses platform and marketing and all the publicity a writer can buy. There’s one thing that speaks louder, reaches deeper, and can make more of a difference then a bunch of statistics and a witty tagline.
In the publishing world, platform matters.
Nowadays, authors have to also be marketers. They have to know how to publicize their stories and thoughts to the masses, and they have to be willing to work above and beyond merely writing the stories and recording the ideas. They need to develop their audience.
Marketing your Writing
Marketing professionals guide new writers toward social media to build their platform and increase their sphere. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and on and on. How many likes? How many follows? How many reblogs? All those numbers work together to give publishers an idea of just how many people out there might want to buy your book. It’s business. And for some authors this business side of things is much harder than putting words together to form a novel.
There’s nothing wrong with advertising and marketing. It’s part of the business. A necessary part. But there’s one thing that every writer should keep in mind as he/she works to get the word out about his/her novel or book.
Caring with your Writing
Caring about the people who read what you write can make more of an impact than hitting the 100 review mark on Amazon or mastering the next social media platform. You see, there’s a danger to only referring to people as readers and numbers. It takes them farther away from being a living, breathing, struggling person and puts them in par with being a means to an end. But when you care—when you take the time to listen to those people who are reading what you write, then a kind of engaging happens that can’t be bought or bottled.
Caring may seem small—maybe even assumed, but it’s something many writers forget along their marketing way. The drive to publication is so competitive that the audience can cease to be that mom struggling to make ends meet who just splurged to buy a book or that teenager longing to find some meaning in his life. It can cease to be those individuals and instead become the faceless reader who will make your numbers look better and give you something to flaunt to the next editor reading your stuff.
Fostering Relationship with your Writing
How do you not fall prey to the uncaring world of posting just to post and commenting because you’re supposed to? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s different for different people. What an extrovert might do wouldn’t feel right to the introvert. Or maybe it’s all about the heart and your motives. Maybe it comes down to why you’re writing what you’re writing. Have you thought through those things?
When we care for people, they move beyond being those wonderful readers who make us special to being fellow pilgrims on the same journey who are special. We need to love them. We may not know all their names or the influence our words may have, but we can always care and pray and seek to produce stories that will be of some use to them on their walk through life.
Caring may not raise your numbers and build your platform like a well-planned marketing campaign, but it can elevate the heart and construct something that neither rust nor moth can ever destroy.
5 Ways to Care Better
- Pray for your readers.
- Value your work and not your numbers.
- Give more on social media than you ask for.
- Seek to produce material that will do more than entertain.
How about you? What would you add to the list?