Thinking like an editor

(Trying to get my mind off my son wrecking my car last night, and think about my writing career instead) 
I'm not even positive that I want to work with an agent.  The idea of producing my own book and marketing it doesn't scare me. It excites me.  All those tasks that many writers dread are my cup of tea.  Complex formatting in Word?  I've taught that stuff for years.  HTML5?  I've played around with it, and learning it's on my to do list.  Creating a webpage?  Blogging? Twitter? Facebook?  Creating a YouTube trailer?  Bring 'em on!  

But...for this exercise, I am going to examine why an editor would be interested in me.  I would like to see my book(s) in print, on paper, the way I like to read them, and, of course, I think the one I'm working on right now would make an awesome movie....

Chapter Three of  Christina Katz'   book, 
Get Known Before The Book Deal is 'Swap Shoes.'  It asks you to look at yourself like an editor or an agent.  Are you causing enough of a stir to make them want to take a chance on you? Partially, that's where previous expertise comes in.  Can you use what you already know to get better known in any community? 

Well, hummm.  I did recently get asked to present at a conference of Tech Teachers here in Oklahoma. I spoke about using Internet resources in the classroom.  I actually think that when I've finished writing my book, I'll have so much fun promoting it that editors and agents will see that I'm a keeper, but what can I do before I finish my book?  I should probably go ahead and create my author website.  I haven't done that yet.  Maybe I should blog more about wooden boats, one of the subjects in my book.  Maybe I'll blog about each of the boats in the book. They are characters, in a very real sense. That's a start, at least. 

Christina says, " It order for agents to recognize your talent, you have to make some waves."  I'm not making many waves right now.  I'm kind of letting down my guard in the technical writing/training world to concentrate on my writing.  Maybe I'm doing the wrong thing. Maybe I should create some online classes for the techniques I'm learning.  And post them on my website.  Now that's worth giving some thought to.  Hmmm.

Christina also says that agents think of us writers as 'talent.'  They want to work with someone who will produce a string of books.

So, according to this book, here's what I need to do:

  • Get followers for this blog. (Please follow me.)
  • I follow quite a few blogs, but I usually don't comment in them.  I think I need to, and use that excuse to point to my own blog.  I'll try to do more of that, for a start.  But really, Please follow me!

  • Get something, anything published somewhere. Then get something else published.
  • I think I need to look around at local publications.  Maybe I should try to write something about Oklahoma history and culture (backstory of my book) for the local publication, "My Land."  I Love that paper and would be honored to be published there.  It's a start.

  • Get to know the media.  Figure out how to get them to know you
  • .
  • This one's going to be tough.  I need to work on local media first.  Actually, I've been on the front page of local papers before. I've been interviewed (because I used Angie's list?!?) If I accidentally landed in the news all those times, how can I do it deliberately?  Need to think on this one some more, and come up with a plan.

  • Get interviewed for something (something good)
  • I believe this one goes with the one above.

  • Become a quoted expert in some field. 
  • Maybe this one harks back to my idea of putting tutorials online.
OK.  That's the list.  Every one of these steps will take time and effort, and none will get done before the party I'm giving on the 14th.  That's a biggy.  But I will ponder the list and try to flesh it out more, then be ready to blast off after the 14th.


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