Working Together For Visibility
One of the biggest problems for authors today is that of visibility. The number of books published each year, or even each day, varies depending on whose statistics you read, but in all cases, it has a frightening number of noughts on the end. The question is, how can one author make themselves visible in the crowd?
Now there are lots of people claiming to know the answer to this question – and for a small, or in some cases not-so-small, sum, they are willing to share this knowledge. But there are no guarantees. There can’t be; because no-one really knows. The industry is evolving so rapidly that what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. And sadly, it’s not just about writing a brilliant book and making sure the production quality is excellent.
So what do we do? We spend huge amounts of time working on our platforms, establishing our brands, picking the low-hanging fruit and pushing the envelope (well, so my marketing colleagues tell me). And because the sum is often greater than the parts, (and I promise that’s the last cliche I will use in this post), I’ve recently been exploring ways I can work in co-operation with other authors on specific projects.
I am a member of West of England Authors, a group of writers who have come together to raise their physical visibility, by increasing the opportunities to get face-to-face with readers. It’s early days and I will come back to WEA in a later post, but there are already signs that this approach is working, with bookings being made for appearances at a number of Literary Festivals previously difficult to get into.
This Saturday, 25th June, is National Flash Fiction Day. I will be releasing a free book of short pieces, with a wicked cover, to mark the date, and co-operating with other authors in publicising events to promote this increasingly popular form of writing. More about that next week.
And just last week another anthology of short fiction was published. Out of the Shadows is described as ‘strong writing by strong women’ and contains a story each from nine women who met online via ALLi (the Alliance For Independent Authors). The logic is that by working together and cross-promoting our work, we can reach more readers and potential readers than we might as individuals. How successful the strategy is has yet to be determined. But it’s been fun working on the project together and I’ll let you know how we get on.
If you’d like a copy of Out of the Shadows, it is available in either epub or mobi format; just drop me an email. It is also available for free on Kobo and Scribd and it will be appearing on other ebook platforms over the next few weeks.