Yes, I know you want to focus on your creative projects. You need to focus on writing that great American novel, that time sensitive report or the poem that will continue to taunt you until you get it perfect. If you're like most writers, your subconscious is already working on two or three other projects that demand that you hurry up and get working on them.
At the same time, you must, if you want to gain recognition and earn a living, apply time and energy to promoting yourself, telling the world what you've accomplished and selling yourself and your books. That is a serious time and energy sapping activity.
Of course, you don't want to spend all your time out there schmoozing. But it's still something that has to be done. You can get an agent or a publisher to work with you but you're still going to have to do the high profile activities to get support and recognition. If you're not promoting to the public / your reader, you're still going to be promoting to the publisher…to the agent…to the media. And even after you get them to work for you, you're still going to be called on to promote yourself at book signings, on radio and TV and at public speaking events.
So, let's get real. If you're a writer, you're a business, pure and simple. You'll need a business plan, a marketing plan, a financial strategy. You'll need to be proficient with marketing yourself through your bio, your website, using queries and news releases and more. You'll need to have a structured approach to all your activities with a clear goal in mind -- getting yourself and your books in front of buyers motivating them to buy your books and your services.
We're firmly entrenched in the information era. Everyone -- doctors, candlemakers and Indian chiefs -- knows that the best way to establish trust and credibility for their business, is to publish a book. There are countless program that teach average people who failed English in school how to write a book within two weeks and how to get recognized for their accomplishments. We're being taught that books are not so much for enjoyment as they are marketing tools, designed to sell more stuff.
This is not something to be taken lightly. If you're going to do this right you need to devote your time and energy to learning all the ins and the outs of the business...or find someone who can help steer you in the right direction or who can take on the tasks so you can free yourself to the creative work.