This is the third part of three in my series of Do’s and Don’ts for New Authors. I’ve covered Work-Life Balance (Part 1) and Marketing (Part 2), and as promised, will talk about Networking this week!
So, as a new author in the publishing business it is important to connect well with many groups of people, but primarily these three:
Why are these three groups so important?
It may seem obvious, but without readers, we as authors couldn’t do what we do! If readers didn’t buy books, borrow books, or talk about books, we all would be out of a job!
So, if a reader writes to you, write back! If a reader connects with you on Goodreads, talk to them! If someone wants to connect on Twitter, go ahead – and be sure and say thank you!
It’s also fun (and so valuable) to ask readers:
What they liked about your book
What they might change about your book
Which character they liked best
If they would change the ending (and so on …)
This can seem daunting, but don’t be afraid to reach out to other authors. If you have something in common (same hometown, you write in the same genre, you attended the same college) be sure and mention it!
Ways to connect include:
Website – authors often list a contact email
Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc.
Leave comments on blog posts you find interesting, ask questions about the publishing business, or ask about the next book he or she is working on. Many authors, especially indie authors, are very friendly and willing to share their stories about their writing experience.
NOTE: Some authors belong to Facebook groups, are active in Goodreads groups, or attend Twitter Chats. Ask about that. If the group is open to new members, join! You’ll make a lot of new friends.
Bloggers, especially popular ones, are very busy people. Most blog because they love books, they provide good reviews, and have worked hard to build a strong following of readers.
If you decide to approach a blogger and ask for a guest post, review, interview, that’s great! Just know that you must:
Check the blogger’s book policy – If she or he is not accepting new books, respect that!
If the blogger is accepting new books to review, make sure your genre fits her or his taste.
Read the blogger’s bio. Do you have anything in common? Get to know them as a person.
Write a polite, respectful email with your book title, genre, blurb, and what you are seeking.
Wait for the blogger to respond.
If your book is accepted, say thank you, and send it right away!
Do: Be respectful, friendly, and honoring.
Do: Be genuine.
Do: Ask questions.
Do: Be patient – you are building relationships and friendships and colleagues – not numbers.
Do: Say thank you.
Do: Pay it forward.
What else might you suggest? I’d love to hear about what worked for you!