Well you're on a break from writing and editing now. First up, why the break? The short is you will return to editing again but you need a fresh mind. By now you have read your work so much you'll be tempted to skip parts as you read because you have memorized them. You need a good, productive break to keep your mind engaged elsewhere so when you return for your true, final edit, you will be the most effective.

Sadly, this isn't either type of break

Now is the time to start marketing yourself. Back in Writing 102
you started building a fanbase with free writing sites that also helped you get insight on the strengths and weaknesses of your style. If you regularly submitted work you should have an existing fanbase, now it's time to grow that network.

Many people will drone on about the author platform. I can't say why I hate the accepted term other than it feels forced and non descriptive. Ironic, that. What it really means are your marketing tools and the preferred media. Now that it's time to start promoting yourself and work. Here are the tools you need:

  1. A Website
  2. A Blog
  3. Two or more social media profiles under your pseudonym (Twitter, Facebook, Ello, LinkedIn, Google+) that you DO NOT use for social reasons, just business

With those tools you can begin to grow your fanbase. First, register for your social profiles. Use the name that will appear on the front of your books. Try to get a good, professional photo. If money is tight, dress up like you would for a job interview, if you're female put on twice as much makeup as normal, and have a friend with a good DSLR camera take your picture in good lighting. Get the picture up, and then go to your profile on your free writing site and create links to the profiles. If you have an existing Twitter or Facebook tell your current friends and followers about the new account.

Guys, really try to groom yourself and go for classic, timeless styles

Now, pick a personality. What do I mean? You have to have a central core goal in every post. Start with your social profiles because this has to be short and sweet. Are you the excited author who just loves to share news about publishing trends? Are you the informed critical reader that loves to review books? Are you the marketing guru with tips and tricks? Are you the library porn (Google it, it's NOT what you're thinking) aficionado? Pick the angle that suits you best that you know you can commit to, and get to work posting.

You should have the website already as covered in a previous lesson. Now is the time to make sure it is simply laid out, easy to read, well organized, and helps get your personality across. 

Now that you have the website and blog, go post it to your social networks. Sign up for sites where readers and writers meet like Goodreads.com, and post links to you website and social profiles, and be sure to mention books you like, works similar to yours, and feel free to mention the book you're working on.

Now, you have to make a final decision: will you self publish or go through the traditional process? You should know by now. If you're going through the traditional process, you're done with pre-marketing at this step. If you're self-publishing, read on.

This is exactly why previous lessons gave you so much time to choose, but the time is NOW

For self-publishers, you will not have any outside help marketing. So you need to work twice as hard. One good cheat is to find authors with similar works to you. Some, like Sherrilyn Kenyon, for example, have websites where people can post in forums and "interact" with characters from her best-selling series. Join such sites, network, make friends, put your links in your signature and find the threads where you can discuss your upcoming book.

Next Google the authors of your genre and see where they have promoted themselves. Don't be afraid to dig deep, most of their promotion will be thanks to their publishers but a lot more is done by authors themselves. Through this you will discover many sites and blogs and reviewers that you can only use once your book is finished and out, but go ahead and bookmark them.

Then be sure that you check in to those sites regularly. Find some author or book being promoted and follow it up, see how it is selling. As you go along in the next steps, check in and find what works and what doesn't. There is no magic answer, no quick tricks.

Marketing yourself means creating a brand (your chosen personality), and getting it out there. Ask your extroverted friends who gets tons of replies or retweets to mention your social accounts. Spread the word!

This is why you must use your extrovert friends, use them like the Andrew W.K.s they are!

This concludes Writing 103. In our next step you'll get to take a step back and be a reader. So Writing 103, which focused on editing, has concluded, and the wonderful world of the publishing nitty gritty is about to begin. enjoy this break, you are leaving the art portion and heading into business.