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Why Writers Should Have Portfolios

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

KWE Publishing Newsletter - 01/05/23

Happy New Year!

You've probably heard of artists, photographers, and graphic designers having digital or physical portfolios—but have you ever considered having a portfolio of your own as a writer?

Before we dive into the details, let's define what a portfolio is. A portfolio is a physical or digital space where you share a variety of your work and your skills.

Having a portfolio doesn't have to be complicated! Since carrying a physical portfolio filled with articles, manuscripts, and other projects will probably result in a lot of loose papers (and a sore back), you'll likely want to go digital. You can choose to create a portfolio on a free website, and there are a variety of cool resources you can use to create some graphics for your portfolio, too.

So, why should writers have portfolios? Here are a few reasons:

Show off your best work all in one space.

Think of your portfolio like a highlight reel; it should show people what you're good at and what you've created. You don't have to only include links to your books; you can include articles that have been published online or your own personal pieces, such as short stories or poetry.

A good portfolio will give people who are interested in your books, who want to learn more about you as a writer, or who might want to hire you to write for them (depending on the type of writing you do) an idea of the type of work you produce.

Additionally, your "highlight reel" will help fans of your work who might not know what other projects you've created find other things you've made. A portfolio can help lead fans to your next piece of work; this can be particularly useful for authors who've created a series.

Give readers relevant information about connecting with you.

One of the most obvious reasons to have a portfolio is to keep your audience engaged and connected with you as a writer!

In your portfolio, you'll want to share enough details about your work to pique a reader's interest—and ideally, they'll go on to click the link you've included (which you should always do when promoting your work if possible!) to buy your book.

But your portfolio's not all about selling your book. In your portfolio, you'll also want to introduce yourself (though this should be a small part of your portfolio overall). This part of your portfolio can be a great place to invite readers to sign up for your newsletter, leave a review on Goodreads, or check out your business. As long as you're not overwhelming readers with too many links, this space can help your readers connect with you!

Showcase upcoming projects.

It can be tricky to let people know about your upcoming projects. However, your portfolio can be a great place to draw readers in and let them know about the latest and greatest works you're producing!

Of course, you don't want to share the entire book, but sharing a teaser on your portfolio (and letting fans know where and when they can find the completed work) will interest readers who already love your work.

And when a friend, family member, or acquaintance asks what you're working on, you can direct them to your portfolio rather than trying to explain the ins and outs of your complex novel at a work party or holiday dinner. Score!

Ultimately, you use a portfolio for a multitude of reasons, and you can customize your portfolio so it perfectly encapsulates who you are as a writer!

Would you ever create a portfolio for your writing, or do you already have one? Let us know your thoughts; we love hearing from you!

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