Breaking 100 followers feels like a milestone. I admit I should do more to visit and comment on other blogs, but still I’m thrilled. And learning new stuff everyday. Today’s topic has to be networking, in honor of all you writers who tune in to this blog. Writing Tip for Today: Some writers I know have a “shy” problem. More than one has sighed and said, “If only I could just hole up and write and not deal with any of this marketing stuff.” I’m sorry, but it probably won’t happen. Yet networking doesn’t have to be a chore. Even if you’re a committed introvert you can still build your name recognition.
- Find Courage Online. If you’re shy in public, then perhaps it’s easier to toot your own horn on the Internet. You don’t have to inundate your friends and followers with Buy! Buy! Buy! Readers want to find good stuff. All you are doing is helping connect a writer (you) with a reader (them). A simple announcement such as, “My new release, Title, hits stores today,” doesn’t smack of self-serving. While it’s true that many other writers are saying the same thing about their books, the more people who hear about your book, the better your sales will be. And sales are readers, plain and simple.
- Tell It To The World. You aren’t going to trap a potential reader and harangue her/him or pressure to buy your book. You’ll be more likely to chat with the grocery checker, who’ll ask how you’ve been. You can reply, “I’m almost finished with my novel.” That’s a simple fact, not boasting. In my experience, once folks discover that you’re a writer, it’s hard to get them to quit asking excited questions. I don’t shove my work down anyone’s throat until asked. Then I keep it short and sweet.
- Do Unto Others. We’ve discussed cross-pollination before, but networking is so much more productive if you view other writers as compatriots rather than competition. I’m more than happy to cheer another writer’s accomplishment, book release or writing course, even though it’s going to directly compete with what I do. The reason is simple. If I contact Author X and propose, “I’ll spread the word about your stuff on my network if you’ll do the same for me on your network,” then I’ve increased my name recognition potential usually at least by half or more. Our networks both automatically increase. Plus we gain the reputation for being generous, not stingy.
There is a lot more about networking , to be sure, but since I like my posts to stay short, we’ll discuss more next post. Readers, please share your best networking tips. And thanks to all of you for following my little blog. Now go write something!