Yes, you read that right. Networking starts with work. Okay, so I mean maybe it doesn’t literally start with work… but it definitely doesn’t start with the “net”! Today’s indie author tip talks about the indie author network and what it takes to put your work back in the network with helpful suggestions both on and off the internet. Keep in mind that this isn’t just for authors. All of my fellow business gurus can take note of these things too. This blog post is meant to illustrate how you can expand your repertoire and put your name on people’s lips!
So First Of all, What is the Indie Author Network?
The purpose of the indie author network is to get to know the people who are both reading and writing in your genre as well as in others. A network is simply an aspect of congregation. When used correctly, you can benefit from it and pay those benefits forward to people you’ve become professional friends and associates with. Networks aren’t meant to take advantage of. That is literally frowned upon by everyone. No one wants your shameless self promoting or your fickle attitude. It’s a place where serious people get to know one another. Don’t step into it if you’re not serious about it.
The indie author network is any and everyone who is interested in an independently published author. This network includes but is not limited to readers (both yours and readers of your genre), other writers, forums, book reviewers, book clubs and blogs. This list is just a small example! . Offline, there are plenty of networks too! There are libraries, functions, meetings, workshops, and conventions that are filled with your network. You just have to know where to check it out. Your possibilities are endless!
Okay, so what do I do in this “Network” thing?
Have you ever been to a party where you didn’t know anyone? It’s really strange and you’re just standing there awkwardly clenching this cup until you see someone you know. Example. (This is embarrassing.) When I recently went to the Machine Gun Kelly and Limp Bizkit concert, I went early. There was a huge circle of fans in the parking lot. It wasn’t like Tumblr to me where I could just send a fan an ask and start talking. No! It was filled with people and I didn’t know what to do. I stood on the outskirts of the groups and bobbed my head awkwardly. After a while, one of my favorite MGK songs came on. I started rapping the lyrics and the next thing I know, I was in a circle of people who were doing the same. After the song ended, I made an effort to talk to a few of them and BAM! Just like that, I was making friends.
You can do the same thing! Find out where your most comfortable place to begin networking is. Sign up for a panel at a convention to meet authors. Go to your library and read up on the next time a speaker will be arriving in your town. Heck, chill in Starbucks for a few hours and comment on someone reading a book that just so happens to be in your genre. Don’t be shy! The more direct you are with your interest in getting to know this person, the better. Just remember, a network is a connection. It takes mutual interest. It’s not just about you and your book.
I only have one book and it’s finished. How do I Network and Why?
My favorite question. Repeat after me. You are never done with your book.
After your book has been written, edited, and published… It’s not over. You need to continuously be pushing that book for the rest of your life (even if you hated it because it was your first book and you wrote it at 18.) Somewhere out there, there’s a fan of it. Someone who is going to dig it up and fall in love with it. How can they do that if you’ve already forgotten about it? Share snippets about it, interesting facts, things of that sort.
Remember that networking is key and the key to having a network is work! It’s true! Click here to tweet that!
Show off your talent, talk about your work, share behind the scenes, and most important… Take pride in your work. Business owners and writers young and old are all phenomenons. They have a unique message to send and people are genuinely interested in checking it out. Don’t feel like you’re overbearing when you’re networking with your audience. Give them pieces of you that you wouldn’t normally just hand out. As a matter of fact, my next writing blog is a really personal piece that talks about why it’s taking so long to release my next book. Is that crazy? Probably but it’s a form of work that I can share with my readers. It provides explanation, content, and something to look forward to.
Work doesn’t always have to be a full legnth novel. It can be something small. Share works in progress. Share short stories. Share old work. Share playlists! Let your indie author network know that you are still alive.
Where do you start?
Well, you’ve visited your offline networks, right? You’ve talked to a few people, shook a couple hands, attended some rocking conventions… Now where do you start online? Get a Goodreads account and start making friends. Follow a few pinterest boards that focus on networking and marketing an indie author. Google plus has some AMAZING author communities. Remember to give but also to take. Share other works from authors you enjoy. Remember that the bigger your network, the stronger your reach. Don’t forget to always check back on your network. Ask your new found friends how they’ve been or what they’ve been up to. Follow them on things like Instagram and like their photos. See what’s up! Consider your network a big circle of potential friends.
So, GET OUT THERE AND NETWORK!
How do I know about the struggles of being an author? I wrote a whole book on a girl who has one month to escape just that! Find out how she dealt with it because trust me… it wasn’t easy.
Already a part of your own indie author network? Leave a comment below and tell all the readers how you’ve managed to maintain it! Who knows, your tips may help someone else!