Take the professional connections you have, that membership in a national and/or international organization that can help you in ways that go far beyond writing advice.
Let’s say that you have scheduled a bookstore signing. Your audience will likely be genre readers (and possibly the parents or grandparents of readers). But what if you reach out, through your organization, to those members who might be in the same area as your book-signing? Those writer connections might attend your book-signing, yes, but consider offering something especially for them. A short, compelling and free writers’ workshop could bring in a whole other audience, and the bookstore will get more customers. It’s a win-win!
It doesn’t cost anything to ask about offering a workshop for writers along with a book-signing appearance. (You might need to offer the event the evening before or after the book-signing; be flexible!) And don’t forget to use your professional connections to help spread the word about your events to their friends.
Now, what about that conference you’re attending? You can use your newsletter to let your personal connections know that you’ll be there, and let those readers know you’d love to meet ‘em! Perhaps you can plan a get-together the night before the conference or during a break in conference activities; you never know where a new connection you’ve made might lead.
But you can also maximize new connections at the conference. Are there authors who might be interested in a group signing? A bookstore is often more willing to handle a signing for a group of writers rather than just one. So reach out to your panel of authors and see where your marketing ideas can take you!
Just remember that the Golden Rule applies to your career connections, too: Do for others what you’d want others to do for you. Maximize your connections, and be a great connection for your writer friends as well!
Cathy C. Hall is a kidlit author and humor writer. She's a member of SCBWI and treasures the connections she's made in the kidlit world. But she also treasures all the reader connections she's made here at WOW! You can't imagine the difference you've made in her life--thank you! (She's also pretty thankful for all those connections who stop by to see her here!)