All three of the conferences I wrote about in the previous two posts agreed on one idea: story is all. The success of writing depends on the ability of writers to create stories that make readers raving fans. If you start out with only one reader on Facebook who tells her or her friends that they must read your work, and other readers have the same response, the word of mouse will go viral. Your success will be unstoppable and will happen faster than it has for any generation of writers.
That’s why self-published books like The Shack and The Christmas Box became bestsellers and why Amanda Hocking’s e-books made her a millionaire. They deliver. Story trumps craft. It’s not about good or bad, literary or commercial; it’s about writing that delivers what it promises so well that readers become big-mouths on social media.
But not all readers respond to stories the same way, so you have to test-market your work and use feedback to build a community of readers who love your work. Relationships are media. If your work delivers, your readers’ praise, amplified online and off, will make you as successful as you want to be. So build your fan base while you write; your career depends on content and connection.
Creating your future boils downs to three challenges:
- content: putting the right words in the right order
- character: building the personal strengths you need to succeed
- connection: creating win-win relationships
I’ve written about most aspects of them already but will discuss them again in unified new approach to becoming a successful writer in a bottom-up world. Devote yourself to these three Cs, and you’ll never have to wonder where your next app is coming from.
I write the blog to help us both understand what we need to know about writing, publishing, promotion, and agents. I hope you find it worth reading and sharing. Rants, comments, questions, corrections, and ideas for posts greatly appreciated.
The 9th San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / February 16-20, 2012 / www.sfwriters.org / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://sfwriters.org/blog / @SFWC / www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoWritersConference / 415-673-0939 / 1029 Jones Street / San Francisco, 94109 / San Francisco Writers University / Where Writers Meet and You Learn / Laurie McLean, Dean / free classes / www.sfwritersu.com / email@example.com / @SFWritersU