In Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker sees a vision of his friends in trouble. He asks his mentor Yoda what will happen to them.
Yoda replies: “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.”
I have good news for you today — I have seen your future! Yep, let me assure you that if you’re subscribed to this blog and you keep reading it, we’re going to:
- Clarify your identity as a writer. If you don’t know who you are as a writer, you cannot effectively communicate it to people so they can become your fans.
- Define where you are in the author process. If you don’t know where you are, you’ll be tempted to waste time working on things that aren’t important instead of doing what you need to do next.
- Review the basics of current branding concepts and what’s working in today’s saturated Internet market. Branding can begin long before you have anything published and is important at every stage of your publishing quest.
- Clarify who you are writing for. Knowing your audience will inform your writing, your branding, and much of your marketing efforts.
- Discover where your readers are and find ways to delight them frequently. You need to be there so they can discover you and your writing!
- Search out like-minded colleagues who share a similar audience and who are in different stages of the process than you are. There is synergy in collaborative marketing, and you will benefit from partnering with those further along and grow from mentoring those who are still aspiring to get where you are.
- Identify and connect with the influencers of your readership. These people can get your work in front of many more people than you can.
For each of the items above, we’ll examine in detail at least one essential approach that is working for creative entrepreneurs, so you can try it yourself. It’s overwhelming to try to do everything, so we’ll leverage the Pareto principle and focus exclusively on the 20% that will bring 80% of your results.
Feel better now? Now that you know the future, I hope you breathe a sigh of relief. Our future together is bright!
“Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”
Inigo Montoya is a master of summary. “Buttercup is marry Humperdinck in little less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape… after I kill Count Rugen.”
Yeah, that’s all. No biggie, right?
Let me sum up: You need to know who you are and where you’re at so you know what to be focused on. Then you need to identify your ideal audience, find them, and become a memorable and enjoyable part of their lives. Write your stories, find creative ways to share them with new readers, and make lifelong fans with the help of your fellow speculative fiction authors.
As Wesley told Inigo, “That doesn’t leave much time for dilly-dallying.”
The current plan is to release new posts every Monday and Thursday morning [edited 10/28/15 with current post schedule]. Make a mental note to read the week’s blog post (or subscribe to receive it via email) and comment on the site with how you see it applying to your efforts as a speculative fiction creator. This will begin a habit of doing and not just reading. The #SpecFicCollective will only effect change in your life if you participate!