How to Become a Professional Writer

Thursday, March 07, 2019

What does it mean to be a professional? According to one dictionary, a professional is “a person engaged or qualified in a profession.” If you have published a book, then you are a “professional” writer.  When you conduct yourself as a professional, doors of opportunity open for you to promote your book’s subject and increase your book’s sales. Read these six tips for building your professional image and boosting your confidence for success. 

1. Present a Professional Image

A professional image is about dressing sharply. As an author, your website, business card, letterhead, and social networking sites are where your audience receives their first impression of you. Make sure these look clean and professional. Use a professional author photo. Have consistency across all your platforms in image, color, and theme so that you present a branded image. Just as how you dress affects how you think and act, presenting a professional image to the world will boost your book and publisher confidence as well.

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2. Stay in The Know

Nothing builds confidence like knowledge. The more you know, the more secure you are in stepping into that knowledge. As an author, stay up-to-date on publishing and marketing trends. Learn what others are doing successfully and then mimic these tactics with your target audience for successful exposure. You can join a local or national writers’ or publishers’ association to receive cutting-edge information and join with others in group marketing efforts. You can also turn to trusted resources in the industry, like IngramSpark, and follow along with their free publisher education like the podcast, blog, and free online self-publishing courses.

3. Talk Like an Expert

Experts speak with authority. They don’t lead conversations with “I believe,” or “I feel that.” Instead, experts speak with conviction. They invite people to see and believe what they are presenting through clear reasoning. Experts say things like, “Five reasons you need to know this information,” “studies show," "research indicates,” or “history reveals.” Speaking with conviction to an audience invites and encourages people to learn more on your subject. 

4. Exude Confidence

Professionals approach others with confidence. Confidence engenders respect and trust. Whether you're approaching a radio station to book a guest interview, speaking at a local bookstore on your book, or writing an article for a magazine or blog—when you talk like an expert and exude confidence, people will sit up and take notice.

5. Show Your Passion 

As an author, you should be passionate about your book and the message it conveys. A passionate person displays confidence in the subject they are passionate about. Let your passion shine through as you communicate with people. Enthusiasm is catchy. As your fervor for your book shines, others will also catch your excitement and want to know more about your book and how their lives might benefit from your message. 

6. Network with Others 

Successful professionals are great networkers. These individuals connect with others in their profession and find ways to collaborate together. Get to know other authors, influencers, and important players in the book industry. 


How to Build an Author Platform


This post was updated on 3/7/2019. It was originally published on 7/30/2018.

Sarah Bolme

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishers Association. Through this organization Sarah provides assistance to small publishers and independently published authors marketing books to the Christian marketplace. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. The fourth edition will be released in February 2019.