Wednesday, May 5, 2010

10 Ways Writers Can Promote Their Work for Free

  1. Get online: This is often a first step. If you are not already a member, you need to join some social and informational networking spots on the Web. Look around. There are plenty of them. Facebook and Twitter come to mind. Technically this might not be free since you have to have a computer and Internet access, but if you're a writer you probably already have these. But joins these sites and get the word out there about your writing. Just don't spam all over the place because that makes people angry and definitely won't get them to read or buy your material. Don't forget to check out different forums at writing and book Web sites, and anywhere else online appropriate to what you've been writing. For example, if you write fantasy stories about flying horses, maybe horse-related Web sites would be places of interest.
  2. Local media: Call your area's newspaper, or the radio or TV is you have a new book coming out. Often times newspapers will have a book editor or features writer looking for stories about local writers. Even if they don't do a big story, perhaps they'll include your name and the title of your work in a listing or in a little blurb.
  3. Blog, blog, blog: This is related to getting online and spreading the word, but this is a little more personal. If you want to spread word about your writing, start a blog. Plenty of different spots online offer free blogs. Try, for example. And don't forget to check out other blogs and leave messages there (though not spam); this will help draw readers to your blog where they can find out about your writing. Also, check out my 10 tips for driving readers to your blog.
  4. Contact a college: Many universities have writing classes or writing groups that would love to have a writer come talk to them about writing and the author's material. Check out any colleges in your area. Maybe talk to a writing professor or the head of the English department. Also, check with the student activities board to find out if they know of any writing groups.
  5. Contact a library: Most libraries have reading groups, and many of those groups would love to have a real writer join them or give a talk. Remember the key is to spread word about your writing, so become engaged with the public.
  6. Look for cultural groups: Many regions will have various non-profit organizations with a focus on the arts, if not specifically on writing and/or literature. Maybe they've even got a museum. Call them up. Get involved. Maybe you could give a speech at a meeting, or maybe you'd feel more comfortable simply joining a reading circle. Whatever it takes, try to work in a chance at talking about your own writing, just don't go overboard with it and bore everyone. That drives potential readers away.
  7. Contact Internet radio stations: This is one not many writers think of, though they should. Many Internet radio stations will have a talk show, or several talk shows, that would be appropriate for a writer to get on and talk about their work. Maybe you could talk calls or e-mails from potential readers, or join them in a chat room.
  8. Book stores: This should be an obvious choice. Contact the book stores in your area. If you have a book coming out, it's quite likely they'd want you to have a book signing at their store. But even if you don't have a book on the way, many stores will have reading groups you could join or talk to.
  9. Contact schools: Remember your school days? You should, because it might help you get out the word on your writing. Give a shout out to a principal at a particular school, or maybe to a member of the school board, and see if they know of any teachers who would like a writer to come speak to the class. Maybe you could even contact one of your old English teachers. See what they think. Just remember, the worst they could say is "no," then you say "thanks" and move on.
  10. Write some more: This is so obvious, many writers don't even think about it. Frankly, keep on writing and getting published. This is one of the easiest, and best, ways to spread word about your writing. Most magazines or e-zines allow their story writers to add a little personal blurb at the end of their story, and that's the perfect place to talk about your blog and other places you've been published. And the more stories you have out in the world, the more readers will get to know your name.

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