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The DL on #Writerslift

The DL on writerslift

Happy Wednesday! 

Let’s talk about a phenomenon that has taken Twitter by storm: the #Writingcommunity #Writerlift #Wednesday posts. 

For those who’ve not had the privilege of discovering these mad events, let me break down what it is. Every Wednesday (and a lot of Saturdays, and Sundays, and apparently any time someone hits or almost hits a new arbitrary follower count) these lifts are purportedly designed for networking with fellow writers, boosting your follower count on twitter, and helping one another out. But after a few months of participating, I’ve found some concerning issues with these events. Let me break them down so you can protect yourself. 

Don’t go to Twitter Jail 

One of the dangers of #writerslift is that many authors put their content in and then go through this thread with hundreds of comments, following every single person who comments. In a day or two, they will unfollow all who don’t follow them back. That’s not networking. That’s follow for follow, which is specifically against Twitter policies. Twitter will lock your account when they see you following and unfollowing large numbers because that behavior is against twitter terms of service. 

Blue bird mug shot- Twitter Jail
This image 1st used in

So if you decide to participate in these events, don’t just randomly follow. Be selective. Follow writers in the same genre. Follow 10 to 20 and then interact with them and give them a chance to follow you back. If, after a week or two they don’t follow you back, you can let them go. It’s hard to be patient and grow your following slowly and steadily. I totally understand. But as I mentioned in my Twitter Tips, you are better off with 5,000 true fans who you are actively engaged with than to have 30,000 followers who never interact with your content (or worse, never buy your books.) Unless, of course, you’re just in it for the big number. But why would anyone do that? 

Ask Yourself What is the Benefit to You?

There are many who’ve been in the #writingcommunity for some time and have asked a very valid question about #writerslifts: who is really benefiting from this? The person(s) who get the first three or four posts out and get RT’ed over and over and end up with hundreds of comments and RTs on their post most certainly. But does anyone else benefit from it? 

What is the purpose of having a lot of followers on twitter? To show you have a platform and an audience, right? But if those numbers of people never interact or engage with you, then does it do you any good? Or did you sell your follow for a follow and now you’ve muddied your analytics to the point that you won’t even be able to use the data to advertise effectively? 

But you can mitigate that, obviously. You can be selective about who you follow and work to build relationships with those people (hopefully) right? 

Yes, but…. I think there’s something else going on with a lot of these #writerlifts. There are people exploiting authors’ desperate desire to build a following and are using that to build up accounts and then sell them. I can’t prove that, but I’m generally pretty selective about who I follow. I have key qualifications that determine who I follow on Twitter, and I am very big on making a concerted effort to engage with and interact with those I’m following as well as with my followers. 

I have participated in a lot of #writerlifts in the last three months. In the last month or so I’ve noticed some oddities. I have a strict unfollow principle. If you are someone I’m interested in following but you don’t follow back, I put you in the appropriate list and then I unfollow you. In the last two months, I have had way more unfollows than I have previously. (I’ve also seen others complain about experiencing this after doing a lift. Some people are predatory. Whatever.) The weird part is that when I go to unfollow these accounts, they have a crazy imbalance (like 300 following, 28K followers.) and they have nothing to do with any of my buckets. 

I don’t follow random people. I don’t follow insurance companies (and yet I was unfollowed by three in the last month.) I don’t follow musicians unless I actually know and like their music. Yet I have a bunch of synth pop, dubstep, and rappers unfollowing me the last two months. 

Be Selective

So am I saying you shouldn’t participate in #writerslifts? No, actually. But re-evaluate why you’re doing it and be careful who you do it with. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon. But when someone you know does a lift and it fits your needs then by all means, participate. 

 I do #writerslifts every Wednesday on my own page. It is truly about networking. I mix it up every week and keep it narrowed to appropriate audiences. This inherently means that I don’t get a ton of shares or comments, but I’m not in it to get a ton of comments or likes to boost my numbers. My hope is to help people network and if we work together and remember what the purpose of #writerslifts are then my efforts will gain ground. 


I am looking to network with my #writerlift. I will ask for specific genres. I also ask you to list your favorite author, booktuber, book blogger, whatever in that genre. This isn’t about follow-for-follow. This is about introducing others to people you know who are amazing. 

This is putting the social back into social media. Which is great because it’s kind of like doing the #FF. You are recommending someone, which makes them feel special when you tag them. You are following fellow authors, bloggers, etc in your genre, which is really helpful. And if you play it right (build a list and add them to it.) you are providing yourself easily curated content to RT as needed to fill out your own content. And by RTing them (you guessed it) you build that relationship and make them feel special. They are then more likely to return the favor and RT your content. Suddenly you find yourself in a group that are lifting one another up. 

Win/Win/win because your fans win too by being introduced to other amazing content that they will hopefully love too.  

So, feel free to join me every Wednesday for my lift. If I’m featuring outside your genre but you know others who are in that genre, please tag them. If I am featuring your genre, please tag others first before letting us all know you’re part of that genre too. 

And if you’re doing a #writerslift, please feel free to invite me too. I love them when it’s done by authors I know!

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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Exclusive Networking Isn’t Snobbery- Why You Need to be Picky

Exclusive Networking

Hello Lovelies,

We, especially in the Indie community, are always told to be inclusive. Don’t get me wrong, I am big on being inclusive. But when it comes to networking, it is a good call to be a bit more exclusive. Now, I don’t mean to shun people, by any means. But when you are looking for readers, you want the right readers who will most appreciate your book. Pitching a sci-fi adventure to a group of romance readers will almost always fall to deaf ears. So when you are networking, you want to connect with people who are most likely to help you get in front of an audience open to your books, and who will most appeal to your audience.

Be a Genre Snob

Focus on influencers in your genre. Whether that be authors, book reviewers, bloggers, or publishers, make sure they are in your genre. As you build out, you can look at genres that have a good cross-over audience (for example, Fantasy and Urban Fantasy have a good cross-over. Romance and Women’s lit have a good cross-over.)

Book Queen.jpg

Focus on People at Your Level or Above

At least, to start. This is the same principle as the lobsters trying to crawl out of the pot. It sounds harsh, but let’s be real. How much help can you as a struggling author provide a newbie? Not a whole lot. You have to get more than halfway up the visibility chain before you can try to pull others along with you, otherwise you are all just a bunch of lobsters trying to pull one another to get leverage, and none of you are getting out of the pot. Sarah Vermunt in 3 Reason You Should Network Less has a great point in number 2. If you’re talking to people who can’t help you, you’re talking to the wrong people.

However, if you can follow and connect with people at your level or above, follow their advice, and build up your following, eventually you can become an influencer and help build up those at the bottom.

Practice Quid Pro Quo

This doesn’t have to be literally “I do an interview for you on my blog, and you do an interview for me on your blog” or trading reviews, or newsletter swaps. But don’t find yourself in the trap of doing things for others all the time, and not getting anything back. I did that for quite a few years. There were people who were constantly asking me to do things, but when I needed something and asked there were crickets. Not cool. It’s hard to keep that balance, especially if you really connect with someone on a personal level. Always be the person to offer help to someone before you ask for a return, but also keep a mental tab. If that person doesn’t return the favor when you ask for help, don’t be so available next time. The flip side of this, when someone helps you out (by doing a review, giving an interview, etc.) be sure you do your part. Say thank you (even if you feel they left you a bad review.) Share that post on your social media pages, link that post to your blog to give them greater credibility with google. Be there when they need help. Don’t be a user, and don’t get used.

 And that leads to our final tip:

Be Exclusive With Your Time

Michael Hyatt has a great podcast about saying no without feeling guilty. All the top entrepreneurs of the world say what sets them apart is knowing when to say no. It’s really hard, especially when you are low on the totem pole. You want to say yes to everything. Suddenly you find yourself overextended with no time to work on your own projects. So before you say yes to that guest blog post, that takeover event, that proofreading project, ask yourself two important questions:

1. What will this require of me?

2. Does this help me get to my overall goal? If the answer to the first question is greater than the impact to the second question, pass.

We’ve learned today that it isn’t bad to be exclusive with our networking time and energy, that we have to be careful to weigh the balance of helping others vs helping ourselves, and that it’s important to be able to say no without guilt.

Now, go get to networking, build those alliances that will help achieve your goals and your alliances’ goals. Questions about networking? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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Authors Need to Network

Authors Need to Network

(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.

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,

 Keep Writing!