Twelve Tidy Tips for Writers
To Help Market Your Work

  1.  Name your characters uniquely.  If one is named Sara do not name the other Sandra; if one is Posey do not name the other Moses.  People reading you for the first time are rushed and need easily to differentiate your characters.
  2. Listen to what the publisher, producer, agent or manager says about what they want to see, and know what kind of work they like.
  3. Proofread every single piece of writing you send out.  Mistakes, typos and misspellings make you look careless and unprofessional.
  4. Make sure your email address relates to your name.  Strange combinations of letters and numbers that bear no resemblance to your name lower your chance of getting a response, a selection or any correspondence.
  5. Be willing to learn how things work in the business.   Do not argue with the professional who has experience in your career path.
  6. Always be positive in your correspondence.  Do not criticize, blame, whine, or complain to anybody you want to do business with.
  7. Ask for another name.  When you get a pass, it is okay to ask for the name of someone who may respond positively.
  8. Don’t over-press your contacts.   Write selectively; give enough time for a reply; know that things can be slow in the business; and don’t take it personally.
  9. Get out there.  Go to events in your writing field, meet people, have a business card to hand out, and follow up with a brief email.   It really is who you know!
  10. Always, always, ALWAYS number your pages.  People like to print out writing, and printed-out writing often falls to the floor or gets out of order.  If your writing cannot be followed, it is less likely to be read.
  11. Keep a log of your submissions. Know to whom you’ve sent what; check off when you get a reply, and don’t get discouraged too easily.  2000 rejections is a good number to aim  for before you give up.
  12. If you do get 2000 rejections and very little traction, allow the possibility that maybe you’d best look elsewhere for a creative outlet—not everyone is a writer.

For advice on your writing career, how to market and promote your work, or answers to your career questions:

Diana@Dianaamsterdam.com. Friend Diana on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Great blog! But here’s my Pollyanna’s Rewrite of 12

    12. If you do get 2000 rejections, you might want to redirect your creativity, but you can also choose to keep trying. Sometimes writers don’t really get traction until they’ve been at it for a decade. But whether you want to persist and believe in yourself, in spite of the steady flow of rejections, is entirely up to you. You’re guaranteed to not be a writer if you stop writing. But you may also succeed, if you’re patient, persistent, and driven.

  2. not sure what you mean by “ask for another name.” you mean to ask if there was another reader of your work in that office that might give you a different response?

    • Diana Amsterdam says:

      Hello Yvette! Thanks for asking this. To clarify…You can ask for another name when you’re dealing with an independent producer, a commercial producer, a lit manager or artistic director, an agent or manager or their assistants. You cannot ask for another name when you’ve submitted to a contest or a submission “gate” that is guarded by unknown readers. And, it’s best to ask for another name ONLY when you’ve gotten a personalized pass such as, “This isn’t right for us at the moment, but please stay in touch…” or “We enjoyed reading your work and are happy to know of it, but unfortunately cannot produce {{project}} at this time. I’m sure you’ve gotten those, Yvette, knowing how well you’re doing!!!

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