In her book, “How I Write“, Janet Evanovich shares her life as a writer of the best-loved mystery novels in America. Many writers loved how she explored the secrets behind the success of her novels. Others scoffed and thought there wasn’t really that much to learn, especially if you were a website writer. I find that even though Evanovich is a novel writer, she has a lot of ideas that website writers like me could use.
Website writing is so different than novel writing just like an apple pie is so different from pizza. Both are made of bread, yet they are garnished differently.
Promoting your novel is an entirely different situation compared to promoting your writing on the Internet. Promoting your novel may require you to fly from one coast of the country to the other. Book tours are a complicated affair. There are a lot of people responsible for the advertisement of new publications. Publishers, agents, book stores, the media and the writer itself should be present during book signing.
Web writing requires a different approach when it comes to promotion. All web writers know that in order to achieve popularity in the Internet, they have to employ techniques such as Search Engine Optimization, social networking, viral marketing, and comparison shopping. Knowledge of internet marketing is very different from marketing a novel.
When asked about the possibility of plagiarism in writing a novel, Evanovich admits that one writer’s story will always come out different from the other, because each one of us has a different way of perceiving and creating ideas. Material for her novels come from her own experiences and knowledge so even if she writes a story that is a lot similar to another writer’s, it will still reflect her own originality.
As a web writer, I find that plagiarism on the Internet is not only rampant but explicit. Webmasters take the freedom to copy articles from content websites, most of the time without permission. They also use article spinning software to create gibberish from existing content, so they could trick search engines who look after original content. There are programs that spider content on the web and take copyrighted material as if it was their own. Website writers are a victim to this type of plagiarism. On the other hand, many website writers simply “re-write” articles written by others in order to have content for their site. This takes a lot of ingenuity but is harmful to the website. Search engines penalize websites with duplicate content.
The publishing aspect is probably where novel writing cross roads with website writing. As we all know, publishing a novel takes a great deal of time, money, and agreement from both the novel writer, the publisher, the agent, and the bookstores. The question of royalty fees is also a part of the novel publishing process. Many great novels could not make it to the bookstore shelves because the publisher do not consider them worth the time and money to be printed.
Perhaps the reason why everybody loves the Internet is because everybody can be an author! With all the freedom and online capability the Internet provides to the common user, even non-website writers enjoy the sense of importance of being able to be seen and read by the whole world. Today, there are 50 million blogs and still counting. Anybody can post pictures and videos of their lives for everybody to see. Of course, true website writers emerge from this flotsam. They are the professionals who create content that are likely to earn respect from Internet readers. Unlike novel publishing, website writers can publish their content for free!
Website writers are a different breed of writers. They are born and made at an age where the Internet is the most popular means for everybody to interact. Whether you are a novel or a website writer, you should stick to your passion and always work to improve your craft.