With the digital shift to social media and the near necessity of creating an online persona, publishing agencies have “encouraged” authors to start selling themselves; having them do more of the heavy lifting. It is no longer enough to be a writer; you also have to be an advertiser. And you’re selling more than your writing; you’re selling yourself. I learned this in my Children’s Picture Book Writing class at Brigham Young University, but I’m seeing the practical application of it in “real life” with my mother-in-law and good friend, Ramona Zabriskie.
See… Mona is a writer. I mean, she’s really a writer. At heart. Something like what I aspire to become one day, but fear may be inborn and thus unattainable. You have only to stumble across the shelves upon shelves of binders FULL of old journal entries at her house as I did to realize the prolificacy of her writing. She’s kept two different (award-winning) blogs in the time I have known her, evidence of her incredible ability to adapt to emerging technologies, though at her age, most of her peers resist such changes (Mona’s Gospel Musings or Mona’s Musings with a Hint of Romance). She is also a playwright (With Mine Own Hand) and a public speaker (she is currently presenting “Understanding, Supporting, and Appreciating the Men in our Lives,” all over the Northwest U.S. and Canada), not to mention directing and acting in numerous plays over her lifetime.
Right now, Mona is writing a book. I think it is an important book. I have read some of it. I find it incredibly inspiring, just like I find Mona incredibly inspiring. The book is entitled WIFE-4-LIFE: The Power to Succeed in Marriage and a top New York literary agent thinks it “could be an important book” except for one thing: Ramona Zabriskie does not have the academic credentials to write a self-help book nor fame to lend support to her words, and publishing agencies won’t take the book on the merit of her ideas and writing alone.
BUT, they will take it if YOU say it’s good and if YOU say you like her ideas.
I, along with many others, am trying to help her set up a marketing plan that puts her “out there” so more people have a chance to read what she has written, judge for themselves, and become a follower. That is all it takes: a few thousand followers and that agent will be able to convince an agency to publish. Did you know public opinion had so much power? Do you know how much your voice counts when combined with many others?
Mona, a few other ladies, and I are going to collaborate on some ideas for this project next Monday. They need a little tutorial on how to join a Google Hangout, so I’m writing that below:
To hangout on Google, we all need to have google accounts and be on Google+ (A Google+ profile is a nice place to have a short bio and a public “online resume” of sorts for people (potential employers) to learn more about you quickly anyways. You can check out my profile here.) You will have to go to Google+ before our meeting and “download Google Hangout” – it only takes a few seconds. (I think it’ll be to the right of the screen in Google+, but I’m not sure as I’ve already downloaded it).
Everyone make sure to be online by the time we decided on and I will “start a hangout” and I believe it will automatically send an invite to your gchat (so make sure to be logged into your email and into chat too) – at least this is what has happened the few times I’ve used the Hangout feature. The invite will be a link. Just click that and it’ll take you to where we’re “hanging out”. If you have any questions, call or email me ahead of time and I’ll try to walk you through it.