It’s Busness, Partner

A person the other day complimented me on getting back to her so quickly about her query. She also wanted to know how I decide to ask for a writing sample or reject at the query level.
My process is very simple. When someone queries me, I Google them to see if they’ve done anything to promote their author name. If I find very little or nothing about them, I reject their query.
Why does promoting one’s author name make a difference? Writing is a business. If a person is in business, they promote their business. The reading public is an author’s customer base. Competition to get one’s self in front of readers is fierce, so if an author doesn’t promote him or her author name, a potential future reading audience will never know your book exists.
Another question: Who is your reader? Do you have him or her categorized? You must know who might read your books and make him or her aware of you. Think like a reader. When looking for a book, do you search for titles or authors? What does James Patterson write? If you’re a suspense reader, you know instantly who he is and possibly even his latest title. Most readers read authors they know. Building a reader base is much like building friendships. You do it one reader at a time.
But I don’t even have a book yet. How can I build an audience without a book? But you’re writing one, aren’t you. You probably have a title and a main character, right. Can you whip up a mockup of a cover on Word. Do you have a blog? Why not? If you do, you should be blogging about your WIP (work in progress). You don’t have to have a book to blog about writing one.
Think about it this way. When you query me, in a sense you’re asking to I invest my time and money in your business. But when I search on your business, I find very little or nothing. Would you invest in a business where the owner has done nothing to promote his or her business? I think not.
It is important that you begin building your author name (business) way before you publish your first novel or book. Why? Because building a business takes much longer than writing a book.

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