Monday, July 7, 2008

What Does This Writer Need?

Jane Bookman strode into her office and opened her desk drawer. An unorganized assortment of papers, sticky notes, and clippings got in her way as she rummaged for a pen. She sighed at the clutter and wondered what to do with it.

Shrugging her shoulders, she sat down at her computer to go through her files. Here are a few reviews she saved, and an endorsement from a well-known writer. She logs on and puts her name in the search box. Several pages appear. She sees a new review has been posted on Amazon for her book. Here is another at The Historical Fiction Review, and another on Denise’s Pieces. Today is the first of the month, and as promised her article on writing a great mystery novel has been posted on The Writer’s Desk website.

As she glances over the article, she sips of her coffee. Her husband made it early this morning before he left for work. The hazelnut flavor mixed with Splenda and Creamora is just perfect. The phone rings. The events coordinator at the library invites Jane to Meet The Authors Day on the fifth. Excited inwardly, but maintaining her calm professional voice, she accepts. “Bring your work with you, you know, some reviews and articles you have written,” the librarian said. “People love to see things like that, and it will help your book sales.”

What is Jane to do? Her work is scattered and unorganized.

Jane needs a writer’s portfolio. A writer’s portfolio is a collection of a writer’s career history. It shows the depth and quality of an author’s work. It shows the seriousness of his or her craft. It is the writer’s showcase. The writer’s portfolio will aid a writer in future submissions to publishers and agents. It will give an extra touch to their table at a book signing. It is a PROMOTIONAL TOOL to build the writer’s name and image by giving readers deeper insight into the life of the author. By giving our readers a glimpse into our world, that we just don’t sit down and write a book, they will see the many facets to our lives as authors; the creative as well as the business side.

A writer’s portfolio is also a keepsake, so that years from now when old and gray, we can pull out our portfolios and take a walk down memory lane with our grandchildren. I am a firm believer in leaving a legacy to my children, my grandchildren, and the great grandchildren in future generations. Just think how wonderful it will be for your descendants to have your portfolio of work, all your book reviews, your articles, press releases, newspaper clippings, and the events you attended.

More on this tomorrow.


Chiron said...

I love this, Rita!

What a fabulous idea...


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Rita, great post. A writer's portfolio is so important. Love your Stepping Stones mag by the way. Looking forward to more issues. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Rita,
Great article, and a writers folio, what a fabulous idea.


Valerie Anne Faulkner said...

Hi Rita,

I really enjoy all your articles... but this one really got me thinking. I have a book signing in two weeks(my first) and I think I'll take some of this great advice and use it at my table.

Maybe a scrap-book, gosh I have the original diary I began before I ever considered writing a book... If nothing else, it'll give me an opportunity to keep the conversation going! :)

Thanks, I am so glad you mentioned this!

Excited to get started,
Valerie Anne

Eliza Knight said...

Great idea Rita! Thanks for sharing!

J. M. Hochstetler said...

Rita, what a great idea! Now I HAVE to put a portfolio together for upcoming booksignings.

Hmmmm....I have an online press kit. Maybe an online author's portfolio would be handy too.

Tonya Root said...

Fabulous idea! I can't wait to begin putting together a folio! :-)

Sandy said...

What a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.