Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009: Diversifying My Portfolio

In these tough times, everyone is diversifying his or her portfolio. Actors are now doing political outreach – most recently Kal Penn, who got killed himself off House in order to go work for the Obama administration. Money experts (I use the term without laughing hysterically) show up on cable to dispense advice. Former plumbers-slash-political mascots are doing the talk show circuits.

Authors are no different. In this era of dwindling support for the midlist author from a broken industry, the decreasing relevance of bookstores, and stiff competition for the entertainment dollar, author in ever-increasing numbers are becoming generalists, not specialists, working at least one new and innovative sideline. Some turn their fiction into stage plays. Some have movies in the works. Some have turned to other genres, like YA and the graphic novel, in order to earn some kind of income at doing what they love. I, too, have joined the fray.

To increase my visibility, I've begun making the rounds as a guest blogger at Alphanista, Maryann Reid’s blog dedicated to the “Alpha Female perspective,” as the tagline says. Some of my pieces include some reasons why I’d never be a cougar, recession-proofing your mindset, and things to do once you’ve been laid off. Also, Felicia Pride, famously of The Backlist, asked for my thoughts in her inaugural column for The Root. Well, she asked eight other authors too, but hey... Check out the piece here.

Additionally, in my all-consuming quest to get paid for my writing, I've signed on as the DC Publishing Industry Examiner at Examiner.com, the online version of the Examiner newspapers in key cities across the country. Examiners cover their respective cities. My beat is, obviously, the Washington DC area.

I write locally-focused articles on our industry, from trends, to insider tips and secrets, to timely events, as well as profiles of local people and places of note. The articles show how the aforementioned impact folks in the DC area who are curious about what goes on behind the scenes of the publishing industry. So far, I've written about using art as philanthropy, about how Kindle 2 and e-readers might be the end of books as we know them, and about how mainstream authors are invading and changing the graphic novel genre.

Here's the link:http://www.examiner.com/x-6658-DC-Publishing-Industry-Examiner

If you're a local author doing something special, or if you're not local but you're heading our way for readings, signings, or whatever, please shoot me an e-mail. I would welcome the possibility of covering you in my column.

Ultimately, my hope is that these diverse investments in my career portfolio will bear steady fruit, over time, and lead me to my goals – success, security, and surety when I proclaim: YES, I AM A WRITER.

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