.A writer complained that she couldn’t see the use in forming writing networks. “All they (other authors) seem to do is ask me to buy their book,” she lamented. Ah, but there’s more.
Writing Tip for Today: Writers need platforms. No matter how much the word makes you cringe, it’s a given. Part of that platform includes your writing network–other writers, agents and editors you know through social networks, organizations or friendships. Whether you “friend” writers on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, the more writers you know, the bigger and better the network. Here’s why:
- More Writing Opportunities. The larger your writing network, the more likely you’ll be among the first to hear when a publisher does a call for submissions, needs ghost writers or has other opportunities.
- To Buy or Not to Buy. Guilt is probably the main reason anyone feels pressured to buy another writer’s book. Agreeing to pass the word or retweet about someone’s book launch doesn’t hurt you–in fact it may help. If you’re generous, chances are that the author you helped will want to reciprocate for you. Besides, if the book is fantastic, you’d naturally tell others about it, right?
- Multiplication. If you know ten writers with networks or platforms of their own, there may be some overlap, but by helping out those writers by advertising their books, you multiply your own exposure by swapping publicity. It costs you nothing to announce on your blog, page or Twitter account, but you all reap the benefits of a much larger audience by cross-pollinating each other’s networks.
- Pursuing a Brand. Seek out other writers whose identities as authors are similar. Examples include, historical, sci-fi or romance genres, or by theme. One of the most successful examples of this theme branding is author Rachel Simon. Her first book, Riding the Bus with My Sister, was about her sister’s developmental disability. Naturally, she built up support (platform) by speaking to disability advocates. But now she’s published a novel, The Story of Beautiful Girl, and yes, it has a disabled character. Thus, Simon makes a seamless transition from memoir to fiction, all while staying with her “brand.” Not to mention that it’s receiving rave reviews. Well done, Rachel!