Thursday, February 11, 2010

Following My Own Advice

By Nichole Giles

The other day I got a call from my hairdresser. She says, “My brother has written a book, but he doesn’t know what to do with it. Can I give him your number?”

Believe it or not, I’ve had a handful of calls like this, and each time, I wonder what I’m supposed to tell people. It’s not like I’m a publisher. But, okay, I have been doing this writing thing for quite a while so I have some ideas about where to tell aspiring writers to start, or at least to go next with their projects.

I said, “Sure. Go ahead. Have him give me a call.”

He did. As I mapped out the basic answers to his questions, I was struck with the realization that there are a lot of writers out there who want to write, but don’t have a clue what to do after they start. Now, I’m not talking about technical things—punctuation, grammar, style, voice—although, those are definitely important. I’m talking about core basics. Classes, conferences, publishing information, market trends and needs… The list is endless.

When I first started writing, I didn’t have a clue where to start either. But circumstances led me to a local conference, and everything snowballed from there. I’ve never looked back.

I didn’t really know where to start with this poor guy who was asking for my help. Really, I’m pretty much a novice myself. Or I feel like one at least. Probably the most valuable piece of information I was able to pass on is that he really needs to invest in attending some local conferences. Because that’s where I got my real start.

I even gave him information about a few in our area. See, the thing is, even though writing itself is a very solitary process, publishing, marketing and publicity are another story altogether. We have to get out there, be seen, network, step out of our shy little comfort zones and show ourselves to the public. Yikes!

But it’s true. And if we want to make it in this industry, I’m afraid there’s really no way around it.

Today I’m attending a free conference at BYU. I’m even signing books at the bookstore from 11:45-1:30. I’m out there, pounding the pavement, learning and networking. Following my own advice. If nothing else, it’s always fun to meet new people. Come join me!

Feb 11-13
Life, the Universe, and Everything sci fi / fantasy conference
BYU Campus
Provo, UT

Feb 27th
ANWA Conference
Best Western Dobson Inn
Mesa, AZ
Signing soon after 5:00

April 23-24, 2010
LDStorymakers Conference
Provo Marriott
101 W 100 N
Provo, UT


L.T. Elliot said...

You're awesome Nichole! See you later today!

Carolyn V. said...

I'll be there tomorrow! And yes, this is the same advice I give writers who ask me. Oh and get a blog...get yourself out there! =)

Nichole Giles said...

Yep, for sure! See you at the conference, ladies.


Danyelle Ferguson said...

Great advice, Nichole. And I echo what you already said, writing is solitary, but all of the rest (publishing, publicity, etc) is all about networking. To be a published writer, you really need to get out there, attend conferences, and meet people.