Maximizing Writer Connections!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
I know it doesn’t seem fair, that after all you’ve been through, getting that book published, you still have a mountain of marketing left to do. There’s all the social media marketing, and gosh, I sure hope you’ve jumped on that newsletter to reach all those new readers you’ve made. Not to mention putting your actual author’s body out there, doing book signings, working the conferences, making school visits. It’s downright overwhelming! But there are ways to maximize all the hard work you’ve put in: use your connections!

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!)


Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--That's what I hear. Once you finish the grueling work of writing and revising your book, the REAL work begins: marketing.

I think as writers, we're more introspective (many of us) so approaching an editor or publisher doesn't come easily to some writers. Also, we get beat down by the string of rejections we get on a regular basis, so perhaps some of us ASSume we'll get rejected if we speak to an editor.

Thanks for this post, Cathy. We all need nudges and encouragement...

Pat Wahler said...

Making connections is one of the most important things a writer can do. It's kind of a writer's karma-thing. Meeting people at a conference, workshop, or writer's group is something that has helped me out more than once. Then I try to "pay it forward" by helping out someone else. It's a win-win.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Writing groups and conferences have been a way for me to meet some amazing people, and I've made lifelong friends. I admit to not having used organizations to take advantage of all the opportunities they offer. That's something I need to work on in the future.

Thanks for the reminder, Cathy.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

So, uh...ahem...was my photo taped to your laptop when you wrote this? lol You know I'm guilty of this in a big way. A really big way. And I need to make a promise to myself to be better about it all. But, as usual, everything you said is true and well worth reading. So, thanks. Again. :)

Cathy C. Hall said...

You're all very welcome, but just so you know, when I write about marketing things we should be doing, it's for me, too. I need that swift kick periodically! :-)

Linda O'Connell said...

I believe generosity and the golden Rule is the key to writing success. Multi author signings are a great way to connect and bring in a crowd. As always your pokes produce!

Mary Horner said...

Great advice, Cathy, I think we all need to be reminded sometimes that the work doesn't end with a published book. But it is difficult for many writers who don't feel comfortable about reaching out. I've not taken advantage of some of the situations I've been in, but I'm trying!

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