Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb
Once you learn something new, you are never the same. Yet there is always more to learn, especially when it comes to publishing and marketing books. Even those who have been in the industry for years must always learn more because trends are always changing.
The learning curve when you are starting something new—such as publishing or marketing a book—is extremely steep, but the learning curve never goes away because there is always more to learn.
What are you doing to keep learning and staying relevant in publishing and promoting your books? If you are reading this blog—kudos to you. You probably read other blogs on publishing and marketing as well. Reading blogs is one way to learn so that you can improve your craft. Four additional ways to keep learning include:
1. Join organizations that provide services to authors and publishers and read their newsletters and publications.
There are many organizations that provide information to help authors and publishers improve their craft. Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) provides services for small publishers and independently published authors creating materials for the Christian marketplace. There are many associations that serve writers. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is a large organization that helps Christian fiction writers improve their craft. The Word Guild is a writer’s group for Canadian writers.
2. Read books on publishing and marketing.
There are hundreds of books on publishing and marketing books, and hundreds more on the craft of writing. Books on these subjects are being published each month. The Director of the Midwest Book Review, Jim Cox, highlights new book on writing, publishing, and marketing books in his monthly newsletter. If you are a Christian author or small publisher, and you have not yet read my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, I suggest you do so.
3. Attend conferences.
Conferences are designed for learning. Wherever you are in your publishing journey, you can benefit from conferences. Industry trade shows like the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) has seminars that show attendees can sit in on and learn new things. I learn new things every year when I attend. Writer’s conferences are also great places for learning more about the craft of writing as well as learning more about publishing, and promoting and marketing books. You can find a list of Christian writers conferences held in the United States at Christian Manuscripts Submissions website.
I will be presenting a seminar the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference put on by Writer His Answer next month. This conference features over 55 authors, editors, and agents presenting their expertise. There is something for every Christian author at this conference. Check out their online brochure on their website and make plans to attend if you live near Philadelphia.
4. Join discussion groups and interact with other authors and publishers.
There are numerous discussion groups and forums online for authors and publishers. Both Facebook and LinkedIn feature many such groups. Another resource is Christian Writers. This online forum provides a venue for Christian writers to interact with other Christian writers to gain feedback, information, and insight into the writing and publishing process.
I encourage you to regularly engage in activities that help you learn how to become a better writer, publisher, or book promoter. You will not only become better at your craft, you will also become a better person for it. After all, the Chinese proverb reminds us that whatever new thing we learn stays with us and overflows to all areas of our life.
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