As a writer I get a lot of questions and people who search for writing advice. The biggest tip I could give to any serious author would be to build your team. This usually is followed up with, “What do you mean?”
Writing is a lone sport and is fraught with a hell that many choose to embrace as it’s the only thing they can do. If you’ve heard the interviews I’ve done with various authors, they all say the same thing. “I have to write.”
Fine. But that doesn’t mean you have to promote, market, come up with your business plan all by yourself. Sure you should put in a large amount of work. After all, it is YOUR career. But with social media emerging as the new form of marketing in the electronic book industry, things can become overwhelming. I have my publicist and personal assistant, both of whom are invaluable to developing my brand as an erotic romance author.
The first question I hear is: What does my publicist do for me? Debbie Riley Magnus of Magnus Consulting does a variety of things that allow me to do the one thing I truly WANT to do: Write.
When you have a career that’s as long as mine (ten years and counting) certain things become understood over the span of said career. First was, that my sales were steadily improving but I still was not building the brand of Sascha Illyvich, author. Sure, I’m at Radio Dentata, I teach classes on Male POV and BDSM in Romance, I’ve taught at Coffee Time Romance, Savvy Authors and for various RWA Chapters online, but that only established me as an instructor. The radio thing proves I can interview authors and network. Neither of them spell out that I’m first and foremost a WRITER. So Debbie is the one on my team who is directly responsible for taking all of my marketing efforts, analyzing them and figuring out the best course of action for helping me to get where I want to be. She’s done an excellent job.
It helps that she’s also a writer.
Her analysis of my career showed that I was sorely lacking in one department. She came up with a plan that once implemented, began to establish me with credibility as an author of not just BDSM romance or erotica, but a serious erotic romance author. She’s the one responsible for the upcoming book signings in the San Francisco/Bay Area that I’ll be doing very soon as the launch of Heavenly Bodies as it’s in a second run. It’s her expertise that helps me to look at which bookstores would be the best venues for us to hit for sales purposes. Otherwise, I’d be scratching my head, wasting my time and most importantly, not writing.
She’s also the one who assisted me in developing a business plan that didn’t take me out of the fetish/erotica scene but helped me expand my reach. How did she do it? That’s her secret but any intelligent and reputable publicist can share their secrets with you, the author. Her efforts have helped me by saving me time.
My personal assistant has done the same thing by handling my entire PR in conjunction with my publicist. The two work in tandem as the lessons Debbie provides me can be used for a variety of businesses though they’re geared towards the creative mind. Having my assistant field emails, manage my facebook and twitter accounts, while scheduling radio show interviews allows me to spend more time writing. It also helps that my PA is an avid reader. What Diane does for me is provide me with peace of mind.
These two core members of my team have worked to ensure that my career grows and goes beyond where I thought it could. In short, they both remind me that I can dream big again.