Since you'll be selling a productĖyour words, youíll need someone to buy them.

Before you can market your work, you need to prepare a Marketing Profile of yourself. Begin by listing youíre most distinguishing work characteristic. For me, itís working fast. Follow this with a list of specialties, if you have them.

Next comes your credentials. Yes, even if youíve never been published, you have credentials. What type of work have you done? What do you know best? What special interests do you have?

What type of personality do you have? Iím aggressive but non-competitive.

After listing your credentials, you need to list the subject niche areas that you may like to concentrate in. Over time, Iíve developed sevenĖtravel, Mexico, business, antiques, history, genealogy, and technology, with specialties in Mexico and antiques. My antiques and genealogy writing were spin offs of my history writing and my Mexico work off my travel writing. I donít write in all of them at once, so when one or more subject markets are down, I have the others to fall back on.

Another item thatís important to list is how you writeĖfast or slow, long or short, conversational or academic. What skills do you have? Iím particularly good at researching a subject and then assembling the information quickly.

What are your needs? How much writing do you have to do to make a living? Only you can decide this and most likely this will change over time.

In order to work well in your subject areas, you have to be interested in them. What are your interest? Your passions? I collect antiques, so writing about them is a natural. I also love to cook, but Iím not proficient enough to write about it, although I do write about foods I encounter on my travels.

Lastly, what are the current trends? In my case, where are people traveling? What antiques or collectibles are hot? What periods in history are attracting the most attention? Whatís the state of technology? And, of course, genealogy is one of the hottest subjects at present.

Whether you're writing nonfiction or fiction, when you approach a publication, think like a salesperson. Always tailor your query to the editor's style and specifications. Don't presume that your brilliance and sincerity will compensate for the fact that you're not giving them what they want.

And I can't stress this enough: Set realistic, measurable goals for yourself. Commit-in writing-to sending out so many queries a week, or making a certain number of phone calls a day. And follow your marketing plan.


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