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Someone emailed me recently and asked why I was listening to so many nonfiction writing marketing calls if I was a fiction writer. A couple reasons. First, thank you so much for the email! I enjoy hearing from people and talking. Second. I have some nonfiction books on the horizon, one about my favorite type of tea, Pu’erh, and maybe an autobiography, but more on those later. So one ear is listening for the tune of nonfiction, the other is listening to see how I can use this information for my fiction writing.

Just because the call is geared towards nonfiction writing doesn’t mean you as a fiction writer can’t listen. One of the main goals of the calls is how to build an audience. Regardless of what you’re writing, you need readers (an audience). There’s the adage “Build it and they will come”. I learned in my short stint in theatre in Chicago they have to know you exist. Many writers are not the most outgoing people. The presenters understand this so many of the techniques are geared towards what you can do from home and with your computer. Later you can go out and do speaking gigs, meet your peeps.

Everyone at every stage at their writing career has been told to build a platform. So often that soon as we start to hear that phrase, we groan and our shoulders wilt. We know. Build our platform. Sometimes I feel like I’m building so much platform I have a deck that can hold 50. These women I’m listening to are in the platform building business. That is how they make their money. They share their trials and tribulations of how they got to where they are and what you can do.

Many writers don’t understand how or why they have to market themselves. I remind myself of the Marlon Brando quote, “I’m in the Marlon Brando business, and I make sure business is good.” You are your product. So is your writing, but how many times have you gone to a movie to support your favorite writer (I did for Diablo Cody and “Jennifer’s Body”) or picked up a book because of the person? You care for them, you agree with them, so let your future readers get to know you by putting yourself out there on a few select social medias and getting out there in the human community when you can.

I’ve also been asked who I am listening to and where they can be found. Google the names and they should pop up. Some have free calls every now and then. Some teach courses, but once you enroll you’re part of their alumni program and you find out about free follow-up calls. Look them up and enjoy:

–Amy Ahlers
The Wake Up Call Coach. She’s also co-founder of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School. Has calls on how to get your inner critic out of your head long enough for you to put yourself out there.

–Amy Ahlers and Dr. Lissa Rankin
Visionary Ignition Switch
A series of recordings on how they put together their book deals, marketed and made money on the way, as long as what worked and didn’t work for them.

–Samantha Bennett
The Organized Artist Company
Helping creatives get more organized

–Philippa Burgess of Creative Convergence
I took Million Dollar Screenwriting with her and it tells you everything you ever wanted to know about your screenwriting career. She also teaches seminars and holds calls on how to brand yourself. A really awesome person I’m so grateful to have met.