Thursday, January 31, 2013

Creating Your Literary Ecosystem: The 10 Elements of a Successful Writing Career

[As a literary agent (Larsen Pomada Literary Agency), Michael Larsen has been helping writers launch careers since 1972. More recently, as the founder and director of the San Francisco Writers Conference, he's helped countless authors build and nurture their own literary ecosystems. In this guest post, Michael provides an outline for you to create a sustainable ecosystem for your writing career.]
You can create a literary ecosystem: a balanced, organic, evolving, sustainable, inter-dependent, international, environmentally sensitive community. Your system will be unified by two holy trinities and by passion, interest, service, connection, and commerce.

 The ten elements of your literary ecosystem are:

1. Passion—your love for creating and communicating your work
2. Purpose—literary, publishing, and community goals that inspire you to achieve them
3. Professionalism
  • –knowledge about writing, publishing, and your field
  • --the holy trinity of craft: reading, writing, and sharing
  • –the holy trinity of commerce: communities, a platform, and test-marketing
  • –using the technology you need to succeed
4. Perspective—understanding that developing your craft and career is a long-term process
5. Products and services—being a contentpreneur by producing a steady stream of work in your field in different forms and lengths that you re-purpose in other media
6. People—win-win relationships with engaged, committed, growing communities of people you serve who want to help you, because they know, like, and trust you
7. Platform–your continuing visibility, online and off, on your subject or the kind of book you write with your communities and potential buyers
8. Pre-promotion–test-marketing your work in as many ways as you can
9. Promotion— serving your communities by using your passion and platform to share the value of your work
10. Profit—what you need to achieve your personal and professional goals and maintain the system
The importance of each element will vary depending on what you write. Promotion and test-marketing will be more important for a book than a blog post.
Your ecosystem has to keep learning from and contributing to your communities, the hyper-connected human family, and the planet. Your system will continue to build synergy as long as you sustain it by enriching its soil with content and communication. Make cultivating your ecosystem a lifelong quest. You will accomplish more than you can imagine.

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