Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Writer's Portfolio: Part II


There are a few things you will need to purchase for your portfolio. First a large three-ringed binder and a pack of clear plastic page protectors. You can get a good deal on the protectors at office supply store
s like Staples, Walmart, and Office Depot. You can use separators for each category if you wish, or simply print out a page for each.

Here are some suggested categories for your portfolio.

  • Website
  • Books
  • Book Reviews
  • Newspaper Clips
  • Interviews
  • Events
  • Articles
  • Business Card and Fliers
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Photos
  • Query letters and replies
  • Book Proposals
  • Character Profiles


Go to your website and print out the pages. Next print out a page that says “WEBSITE”. Slip your pages into the plastic protectors.

Find every book review written about your work and every interview, and print them out. Do a search through the Internet. You may be amazed at how many reviews you were not aware of, for example the ones on Amazon.

Print out all the things you have in the above list. Gather them together and put each piece into a plastic page protector. Organize the categories whatever sequence you wish.

Take your portfolio along to events and lay it o
pen on your book table. You will be surprised at how many people will want to look through it, especially if you put photos in it. For each person that buys your book at a book signing, you could ask to take a picture with him or her to add to the portfolio. And when at conferences, try to get some photos taken of you with some widely published or best selling authors.

One thing is for sure, you will not regret putting this together.

A final word. Graphics are very important. People gravitate to them. Consider doing a few pages of images that reflect the world of your story. Here are some samples I use to depict my first novel, The Rebel's Pledge.

Newgate Prison


Anonymous said...

These are great ideas. I'll keep this bookmarked so I'll have it when my book is published.

Valerie Anne Faulkner said...

This is great!

I'm going to begin working on mine today!(I'll let you know how it goes over at my book-signing.)

Thank you, Rita.

J. M. Hochstetler said...

Great ideas! Oh, fun! I love to do stuff like this. Of course, then I start playing instead of getting my work done. lol! But this IS work, right?

Bingo said...

Great suggestion. Thanks for sharing.
"Big TEN" for you!

Sandy said...

These are fantastic ideas. I wrote them down, so when I have something in print and go to a booksigning I'll have the notes to go back to.


Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

What a great idea! I'm starting on mine tomorrow! Thanks for the terrific tips.

Wendy said...

Nicely concise. I love step by step instructions and I love playing with stationary. Could spend as much time on this as I would writing the next novel and enjoy it more.

Thank you Rita, I was looking for another excuse not to open my new file. Now, what colours should I choose for the dividers. Photos -- ah they could be a problem -- might need to spend several rainy Sunday afternoons on these.

I'm loving this. :)

Historical Writer/Editor said...

This is good information. Thanks for the good advice. -Laura H.

Chiron said...

Wonderful ideas!! So clear and concise. What I love too ( as you mentioned in Part One) is the reminder that this is not just a career booster--it's for posterity.

What better pick-me-up could we have than a portfolio to remind us of all we've accomplished... So Far. *wink*

Thanks for yet another informative article!


Inspire said...

I'd love to hear back from some of you on how your portfolio came together and what kind of reactions you got from people attending your event.

Oh, and thanks for the positive feedback.

Julia said...

Wow, I did not know it takes so much work to be a writer! I'll have to learn that before I get started.