(This post last updated September 2, 2020)
Hello Lovely Writers,
Networking is probably one of the hardest things for authors, and also one of the most important activities we can do besides just sit down and write. Good networking will help with every step of the writing venture. But we chose writing, a solitary profession, because it’s just not so people-y, right? I completely understand. I prefer to stand on the outer edge of the crowds. I don’t like shaking hands, or meeting people, or traditional networking. It is stressful and uncomfortable. But authors must network for a host of reasons- from keeping up on industry trends to having people who get how maddening this business is.
Most authors feel the exact same way, to one extent or the other. It is a huge part of why so many indie authors struggle. We chose to live with the stories in our heads because the real world is… not so easy. Some authors are opposed to networking because they feel like other authors are their competition. They feel like other authors are judging their work. (PS, we are. And you do too when you read other writers’ work. Don’t let it stress you out.)
The reality is that authors also tend to be the most vociferous readers. They are who you want to market to as well as the people who are likely to become your biggest supporters. See, most of us think we don’t like people, but that’s because we have mostly been exposed to people who aren’t like us.
People who feel awkward when silence extends more than a few seconds. People who do not want to spend an entire evening talking about the awesome story in your head, or even the latest hot book you read. People who talk about people, not ideas.
But when you network with authors, you find people just like you! We geek out about awesome stories, we want to talk for hours about the character in our head driving us crazy, and we want to listen to you do the same. We love brainstorming marketing ideas, helping with plot holes, and critiquing one another’s work.
I have a ton of great author communities that I am a part of that have helped me keep going on this very solitary journey. They have helped me through every step of my writing adventure. Beta Readers and Critique Partners Facebook group is a great community for anyone who needs editing support but can’t afford an editor yet or just need feedback on your work. Books Go Social is another supportive community focusing on how to promote our books through social media. LitCon is the continuation of B2B CyCon, an amazing event put on by indie authors.
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Lunch with Joe at Joe’s Cafe? How meta! Alas, liglfe has been running me ragged so I didn’t get a chance to share this wonderful memory sooner. Look forward to seeing Joe again next year, if not sooner! @goindienow @joescafeorem #authorsOfInstagram #authorlife #friends👭 #greatfoodgreatpeople #goindie #goindienow
That’s where I met Joe Compton of GoIndieNow, Kori D. Miller of Back Porch Writer, Angela B. Chrysler of Brain to Books, and connected with tons of amazing authors who help each other out with awesome support, marketing, brainstorming, and sometimes just having the chance to vent! Support For Indie Authors on Goodreads is an incredible community that helps with all aspects of writing as well. My very own group, Authors Anonymous is also there as a great networking and support group.
All of these groups are there to provide support in our very solitary venture. Go join some groups today. The authors in this community are so great about not only supporting one another in buying each other’s books, posting reviews, offering opportunities to cross-promote, and giving feedback on any struggles you are having, they are also awesome in letting you geek out, vent, and remember why you wanted to be a writer in the first place.
What are your favorite networking opportunities for authors? Share in the comments below.
Until next time,