Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 15, 2018

Six Mistakes Writers and Illustrators Make

This illustration was sent in and created by Natalya Okinawa. She is a self-taught illustrator based in Spain. She says, “Alternative reality has always been buzzing in my mind. Until I learned how to get it out. I’m sure we have all envied children’s relationships with the world around because they prove that everything is possible. And that’s what my work is about.” She more of her work at: https://www.instagram.com/natalya_okinawa/

SIX MISTAKES I’VE OBSERVED:

1. Illustrators: Wanting to be recognized as an illustrator, but not showing off your illustrations. If you want to be recognized and get business, you need to get your work up on the Internet. If you have an agent and they have you work up on their site, you still need a website to show off your work. If you put your work up in other places and you list your agent and their phone number, you should list you email or website that has a way for people contact you. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Someone could have an interest in you doing something for them and can’t get a hold of your agent. This could start the person looking for someone else. Don’t let that happen. Just because you have an agent, doesn’t mean you can walk away from promoting yourself.

2. Bloggers: I can’t believe how many people have blogs and don’t say who they are. My question is why do you have a blog? Isn’t the reason that you have it, is to build an audience? You should want to build your name recognition and not letting anyone know anything about you is not smart.

3. Everyone: Since I put opportunities on Writing and Illustrating and put up Submission Guidelines, I have gotten a hint of what publishers are getting. I would say 25% of the submissions I receive have missed following at least one of the guidelines. Practice on me, but understand if you haven’t followed the editor, agent, or publishers guidelines, then you probably will not get published.

4. Social Media: It sounds so easy and some people do it with ease, but it is filled with potholes. Take a minute to think about what you want and why you are doing it. I see so many writers and illustrators adding things to facebook and Twitters, maybe 20 times a day. Really is that necessary? If that is not keeping you away from creating beautiful words and art, then I congratulate you, but give it some thought. This could be a way to put off facing a project that you can’t figure out. Maybe going to a walk would let you clear your mind. Use your time wisely. On the other end of the spectrum, some of you are afraid to go near social media and that is not good in this digital age. Force yourself to get your feet wet. Everyone who writers and illustrates needs a social media present.

5. Authors: Please remember how important the first few pages and first chapter are to having your book published. I just read a published book with a lot of hype, that introduced 11 character in the first paragraph. Did not set up the setting or what was going on. The book is still sitting here and I can’t decide whether it is worth my time to read more. There are so many things that you need to consider while writing a book, and since for some reason a writer can not see where their work falls sort. That is why you need to have other writers read your work. You don’t want to publish a book that people put down after a few pages. So don’t submit your manuscript to and editor or agent too soon.

6. Email: Using an email that no one can remember Example: Littletoad417@gmail.com. I remember something that might help this person or they sent me an email asking a question and when I have time to answer, I can remember the name, but not the email. I try searching for the name and come up with nothing. Now you may only get emails from a few people, so you can remember your friends addresses, but I get hundreds of emails, just like editors and agents and it is not easy remembering everyone email. Get an email using your name. If you think you will ever sell a book, get a domain name using your name. You don’t even have to have your website up to set up and email. Example: Sandy@sandywellington.com. You can use that and have it forward to the email your little toad that you are using. An additional advantage is, you are getting your name out there this way. Also, set up an automatic signature at the end of your emails with the email listed to re-enforce name recognition. Do you have a book? Make sure that is in the signature at the bottom of every email, too.

Hope this gives you food for thought.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I hope people pay attention to these good hints, Kathy. I also have a real pet peeve with weird email addresses for the same reason. Thanks for the post. I hope all is well.

    Like

  2. If anyone knows about this stuff, it’s you, Kathy:D A lot of people can benefit from your wise advice!

    Like

  3. Thanks for sharing these great tips Kathy.

    Like


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