This month our own Christina Katz joined us to discuss her newly published book The Writer’s Workout. Christina is not only an author of three books, she is also a writing instructor helping writers become better at everything we do including improving writing craft, selling your work, platform development, continuing education and specializing.
She says “writing professionally is hard work, and it never gets easy,” but throughout her discussion she guided enthusiastic writers on how to overcome common obstacles.
The presentation started with everyone writing a list of the tangible accomplishments from the past and then everyone asking themselves, “why do you write?”
All writers want to be read. So every writer must not only write well but also work on selling himself. One way to do this is to create a one pager which is a compilation of information writers need to articulate about themselves so that they can focus on their selling points.
One point that Christina continually emphasized was that to improve your skills by writing short. Not only does writing short improve your writing abilities, it also allows you to become familiar with the publishing process, so you’ll be able to get publishing credits – online or physical – to put on your one pager. Publishing short is also great practice for preparing to write longer pieces like ebooks and books.
Several people in the audience were interested in self-publishing. Christina gave us some tips to sell more ebooks and use ebook sales to become more known:
Hire someone to do the cover illustration of you ebook
Have the ebook formatting done professionally, books that look professional sell better than books that don’t.
Sell yourself: websites, blogs, and social networking all have a positive effect.
During the presentation, Christina handed out a worksheet with a list of components that are essential for authors; these components are important for all authors, whether self-publishing or traditionally publishing. A few examples were:
- A tagline (Christina’s is “writing the life fantastic”).
- An email signature.
- A biography
- Mission Statement
- An identity: what you’re known for.
- A platform dynamic: Christina asked, “Every writer has their own dynamic, what is yours?” If you need help with this, just think of what you want your writing to do. Christina’s is an instructor, Susan Fletcher’s platform – she was in the audience – is to transport readers to other worlds through fantasy and historical fiction.
- Headshots and action shots.
Finally, the most important thing for writer’s besides being able to write – according to Christina – is to be confident. The best way to become confident is to write, write, and keep writing.
Be sure, if you haven’t already, to buy Christina Katz’s new book The Writer’s Workout, it has even more great advice.