I always get fantastic business tips on running a writing business at the annual New England Sisters In Crime conference. This past weekend at the annual mystery writer's conference held in Dedham, Massachusetts, didn't disappoint.
Here are my top 5 business tips for writers I picked up at the conference:
Tip 1: How to connect with younger readers on social media.
(From the “ Master Class 4—Tooting Your Horn: Publicity, Events, Social Media, and More“) presented by Nancy Marshal, The PR maven. Are your readers are all over 65? Want to connect with millennial readers? Check out these social media platforms:
- Pinterest – use customized boards. Check out Jane Friedman's “P-interest for authors” article to get started:
- Instagram – a great tool for developing a personal connections with your readers. See Why Instagram Works for Writers by Sierra Godfrey Fong
- Snapchat – useful for connecting with your fans. For more info see: Snapchat for Authors and Publishers: Best Practice.
Tip 2: When you do an author event or attend a conference, take along your email sign up sheet.
(From the “Brand You: The Importance of Honing Your Brand as a Writer” workshop) presented by Chris Tieri, Certified Brand Strategist. Red Zone Marketing.) When I heard this tip I immediately wrote up a signup page in my notebook at the conference. Each time someone expressed an interest in my book I asked them if they would like to sign up for my newsletter. They were happy to do so! This works!
Tip 3: Deadlines are useful – they give you permission to stop revising and editing!
Quote from Guest of Honor, William Kent Krueger, (Panel Discussion: “Our Big Guns and How They Got There.”) Great discussion on productivity. Missing a deadline can end your career. Do whatever you need to in order to make your deadlines. This is how you gain a reputation for reliability.
Tip 4: Setting writing goals helps you move your writing forward every day.
Panel discussion: “If We Knew Then What We Know Now“) Hank Phillippi Ryan described her chart for tracking her word count which she updates every day. Hitting your word count provides a feeling of success.
Tip 5: Podcasting is a lucrative revenue stream.
(Expert Session 2–Building a Platform with Podcasting) Many attendees left prior to the last panel discussion on Sunday. Too bad! They missed one of the best presentations of the weekend. The four writers from Crime Writers On podcast gave ideas on what a writer might talk about in a podcast series:
- Weekly panel show with other writers or experts
- Read a short story
- Read a chapter from your book
- Review a book
- Don’t' be afraid to talk about your work and your life. Your fans like to get to know you.
If you write mysteries, true crime, thrillers or cozies, consider joining Sisters in Crime. You will get great business and writing information from the national organization but there are also regional and online chapters too! (Check out their
Publishing Summit Report on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Mystery Community.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]