You are 50% business woman, 50% writer. The business woman comes first!
Which means that I can’t afford to stay inside my cave, writing away, submitting when I have something, selling, and then retreating back to my writing cave? Those days are over. (If they ever were that easy.)
Nowadays, a writer must become a people person. And, the best time to start is NOW. This goes double for unpublished authors. Like Eloisa said, start building your platform now. When editors look at you, they will look to see if you have a platform, and the more established that platform – that presence – the better.
You are a writer. You can’t afford to be shy. Get out of your cave. If you are not doing all or some of the following, then get started.
• Join a writers’ group. You’re ahead of the game since you are a member of RWA/NYC! Now start making friends with your fellow members at the chapter meetings, at the critique group meeting, at the chapter outings.
• Make your name known. Write for the chapter newsletter and blog; sign up for the chapter blog tours. Check to see that your name is included on the chapter membership page with the link back to your website or blog.
• Attend readings and writer events. Like the monthly Lady Jane Salon readings, like NJRW’s annual conference, like the Jefferson Library Romance Book Club meeting. (At the latter, you get to read a romance and make friends. Dual benefit!)
• Make friends on the internet. Setup Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you write under a pseudonym, open the accounts under that name. Like the Lotto’s motto: You have to be in it, to win it. Friend your fellow RWA members, other writers, editors, agents, booksellers. “Share” their info and “retweet” messages. This will send them your name and they may in turn friend/follow you.
• Start a blog. It can be daily, weekly or monthly. Blog about your writing, your characters, your genre, the world you created, and all items related to any of the above. For example, I am writing a secret baby book so I just realized that I should do a “Baby Day” on my blog. Maybe pictures of cute babies, funny kid situations, kid jokes, et al. (NOTE: If you are scared to start a blog or don’t have time to start your own, write for the Chapter Blog!)
And, like Eloisa James, mentioned you want to “engage” your readers – even your potential readers. Be yourself. Be your writing persona. Be whomever, but be a savvy business woman.♥