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How to build a platform and strategy for your writing that engages readers

Advances in digital technology have brought unparalleled opportunities for modern authors. Writers can now publish, promote and market their work in unforeseen ways.

Last month, as part of Inside Out Festival, City short courses hosted an evening dedicated to all things authorpreneur.

Advances in digital technology have brought unparalleled opportunities for modern authors. Writers can now publish, promote and market their work in unforeseen ways. But how do you navigate this new terrain? And how do writers create that elusive ‘platform’ which builds interest and readers?

Chaired by Novel Studio tutor and writer Emily Midorikawa, the event set out to look at the reality of the modern publishing world and what is required of an author aside from the writing.

With the help of three industry experts: publishing consultant Heather O’Connell, City tutor and writer Katy Darby, and best-selling novelist Mark Edwards, the audience were introduced to topics such as using social media as an author; building an author ‘brand’; finding target readers; negotiating publishing options, from indy to traditional; and engaging with readers both online and in the real world.

Perhaps Mark Edwards’ colourful pie chart, entitled ‘what do authors do all day’, has the final word on what it takes to be an authorpreneur. According to Mark, ‘writing’ takes up 35% of his day, while ‘checking amazon’ uses 10%, ‘admin’ 30%, and ‘social networking’ 15%. Good to hear, then, that there was still room in the day for the writer’s all important ‘staring into space’ time, at 10%.

With thanks to all our speakers and guests for a great evening.

And if that’s whet your appetite for all things authorpreneur, booking has started for our brand new course starting in January, and taught by Heather O’Connell.

For more events like these don’t forget to follow our updates on @writingmatters1 or email us at shortcourses@city.ac.uk to be added to our mailing list.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.