Monday, September 7, 2015

How Leadership Helps You as a Writer - Seven Tips

Leaders become influencers. Leaders pave the way for themselves and others.


If you are a writer, it is likely you don’t want the limelight. You work best in the quiet of your own space. You don’t need people around and you don’t want to be bothered. You are happy working on your book – whatever it may be.
But eventually you have to think about what you will do when the book is finished, published or ready to be read by the public. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just mail the manuscript to someone who would take over and print it, promote it, sell it, and send you a big fat check each month? You could just write and write and never leave the house.

I see many writers who believe that is the life of an author. Sadly, that's one of the myths the public has believed for years. In today’s world the author must be seen and heard. The author is the one who markets his/her book.

Painless methods an author can use to reach an audience. Take on a role of leadership. Don’t volunteer for more than you feel comfortable doing, but try the following suggestions.


  1. If there is a writing organization in your town or area, join and attend the events. If you don't feel you will gain any new knowledge, you will likely be surprised. You can offer encouragement and good advice. People will remember how you make them feel.
  2. Find ways you can serve the organization – lead a critique group, become the helper to the leader, and if there is no job, make one, then do it.
  3. Offer to do the publicity for your writing group. Write articles about the members and publish them in the local newspapers with your name listed as guest writer. Be the one to put your local literary group on the map. Use photos with each article.
  4. Join your state literary group. Connect with the leadership and staff. Call or email and tell them that you appreciate their work for members. 
  5. Become a mentor for beginning writers. Don’t fear being unprepared. If you have been writing long enough to complete a book manuscript, you know more than a fledgling wanna-be poet or writer.  
  6. Hold an open mic event in a local coffee shop or book store once a month. Write an article for the local newspapers about who attends and who reads, and be sure to write about the event on social media. 
  7. Promote other writers and poets on social media. Be generous with your appreciation and congratulations to writers you know. Send notes or emails when you hear of someone's successes. Write to authors and tell them how much you enjoy their books or stories you have read. In your signature on your email, be sure to list your position with your organization.


Karen Paul Holmes joined NCWN West after taking a poetry class taught by Nancy Simpson, original leader of NCWN West.

 Karen Paul Holmes now leads Writers Night Out, another writing group in Atlanta, and serves writers in North Georgia as NCWN representative. She is also a member of the Georgia Poetry Society. She schedules readings throughout the mountains and in Atlanta. Her first poetry book, Untying the Knot, was recently published, and the book is getting much-deserved attention. 

Karen connected with poets on Social Media who then offered to interview her and promote her book through their blogs and websites. Through NCWN Karen networked with other influential writers, too. Karen promotes other poets and supports literary organizations online. She is a perfect example of what I am writing about today. 

Writers today must build a reputation with the public in order to build a readership for their work. 

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