The Book Designer , you need to do it fast. For instance, if you are writing a book, you need to build your platform three years before you ever publish the book. (**Fantastic blog resource, BTW)
As a previous administrative director of a federal government agency, I lived to delegate. As writers we can't afford to delegate. Everyone expects you to be the ultimate resource for hawking your writing. Hey, you wrote the words, you want your message delivered . . . so learn how to deliver it.
You are in charge of finding your readership - nobody else.
Where can you find those people? Answer these questions:
- who do you work with online and in person
- who do you socialize with online and in person
- who do you communicate with online and in person
- who do you do business with online and in person
- who do you recreate with online and in person
- who do you relate to for clubs/hobbies online and in person
- who do you train/go to school with online and in person
- who do you share professional interests with online and in person
- who have you worked for/socialized with/recreated with/shared interests with in the past - online and in person?
Find a way to connect with them. Make it professional and subtle. Don't jump into a forum or chatroom and blare out you have something to sell. Relate, reacquaint, connect. Become a personality. Somewhere along this path you'll realize you make more sales via savvy social media than you will speaking in person. You'll save a lot of money as well.
A day shouldn't go by that you don't cultivate your potential readership and proclaim yourself as a writer. If it's what you want to do for a living, then live your life as if this profession is what molds you as a person. Self-promotion is not an afterthought . . . it's your future.