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Posted In The Past

June 14th, 2019

First, thanks to Jacqueline for last week’s post. I think that people sometimes decide to enrol on a course without giving it enough consideration. That’s OK if it’s a short course that doesn’t cost too much – it’s always good to dabble with something different. But if you’re planning to use the course to further your career or help you bring in a second income, then you should give the decision serious thought. That’s why we’re always happy to chat to prospective students or reply to their emails if they have any queries – or reservations – before joining us.

Another thing that needs to be taken seriously, if you intend to have a writing career, is your marketing plan, and these days that also means your use of social media. Below, Writers Bureau student, Helen Baggott, explains how she reached out to potential readers about her recently published book, ‘Posted in the Past’ (available from Amazon and a number of independent outlets).

“Like a lot of writers, the idea behind Posted in the Past found me by chance. A couple of old postcards bought at a car boot 20 years ago began a love of research that developed into a passion for social history – and ultimately contributed to the book.

All of the 100+ postcards that I researched were sent during the early years of the 20th century and I used genealogy methods to research the recipients. Until I began the research I had no idea who the individual people were – and how they connected with events of national and international importance.

It wasn’t long before I realised the stories I was uncovering were of interest to a wider audience and decided to turn the research into a book. Working with professionals to help me was essential and I was particularly pleased with the cover designer’s work. She listened to my ideas and we looked at other genealogy-related books and discussed why I liked or disliked them. The cover for my book includes postcards that I have written about and is now a talking point in its own right.

I have reached out to groups – U3A, WI, family history societies, heritage centres – and now have bookings for talks going through to 2020. Having a marketing plan is essential and for more than 12 months I have used dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts where followers have seen previews of the images. I’m already researching the second book in the series and have those images to share – which keeps my profile fresh and of interest to the followers.

Over the years I’ve completed courses with the Writers Bureau and did them more for the enjoyment of learning than with anything else in mind. I’ve written for local magazines and enjoyed the discipline needed to write to a schedule. All of that experience has come into its own now – helping me to make Posted in the Past the book it is today.”

You can follow Helen on Twitter and Facebook:  @PostedInThePast.

My guest next week is Amanda Davies who won fourth prize in our recent Short Story Competition with Mirella’s Umbrella.

Incidentally, don’t forget that our 2019 Poetry Competition is now in full swing. There are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 and each of the three winners also receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Plus, if you win, I’ll probably ask you if you’d like to do a guest blog post!! (Promise or warning?) The closing date is 31st July so you’ve still plenty of time to enter.

Author: Diana Nadin

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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