Here’s a list of five goals I set to become a published author. Hopefully these ideas will be useful as you chart your own course toward publication.
1) Develop a writing habit:
I try to do some type of writing-related work almost every day. That could be writing a story draft, revising a manuscript, or writing a blog post. I also spend time commenting on my critique partners’ stories, reading KidLit blog posts, and working on marketing materials. A near-daily writing habit helps me stay focused on writing as a career.
2) Cultivate the craft of writing for children:
Over the years, I have taken many KidLit courses and workshops, attended conferences, and participated in writing challenges. Also, I spend a great deal of time reading picture books and chapter books. Reading and dissecting children’s books is such an important part of my learning. And taking advantage of opportunities to advance my writing skills is always a high priority.
3) Connect with other writers:
Connecting with members of the KidLit community has been a great joy. Everyone has been so helpful, giving of their time, and generous with support. I hope that I pay it forward as well! Also, I absolutely love connecting with my critique partners. Nothing beats a great critique group, either in person or online. Critique pals help make my stories better, and I enjoy immersing myself in their stories too. In addition, I volunteer with SCBWI Metro/NY, as well as with other writing groups. As we all know, writing can be a solitary business, so it’s invaluable to make connections with other creatives to share the journey.
4) Create a social media presence:
I started to create a social media presence slowly, with Facebook and a Facebook author page, and then added to my online presence with Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I also host a blog at www.MelissaStoller.com/blog where I feature other authors discussing their thoughts about stories, creativity, and connection. Additionally, I added my books to Goodreads and try to stay active there by reviewing picture books and chapter books. I really enjoy connecting with people on social media and hope to continue to build my author platform.
5) Learn about book marketing strategies:
Marketing has been a huge learning curve since I don't have any prior experience in this area! Being part of the #Epic18 debut picture book group has been extremely helpful in terms of sharing ideas and getting support along the way. I also read everything I can about book launches, creating an author brand, and marketing strategies. And I stay connected to my Clear Fork Publishing family as well to share marketing tips and strategies. Fingers crossed that I’m getting the hang of it!
I hope this list of goals helps you set some of your own as you progress along your publication journey.
SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH
by Melissa Stoller, illustrated by Sandie Sonke
Clear Fork Publishing, October 16, 2018
Available for pre-order at https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/store/p66/ScarletMagicPaintbrush and https://amzn.to/2oNys3K