Unless you’re working in collaboration with a co-author, writing can quickly become a solitary activity. Building a community of support is essential to the success of your book. It can also be a vital part of the writing process, itself. Think about it, who can better understand the joy and angst of writing than other writers? With that understanding in mind, consider joining a writer’s mastermind group. It’s a great way to get support during the writing process, marketing help when you’re ready to sell your book, and advice and recommendations on self-publishing or getting a foot in the door with a traditional publisher.
Network with a clear purpose and among the right people. Too many authors tend to network with the intention of selling books to the people in the room. Instead of networking only with your potential readers, try networking with Strategic Partners. Strategic Partners are people who regularly come into contact with your ideal reader, but are not your direct competition. For example, if you’ve written a book on recovreing from divorce, attorneys and family counselors are your ideal Strategic Partners.
Turn one book into a series and keep your community coming back for more by involving them in the process. A novelist can spin a secondary character into the lead character in a follow-up sequel. A self-help author can create a second volume of their first edition. Keep your community engaged with surveys, social media call outs, sneak peeks, cliffhangers, and teasers.
Engage with your ideal reader more than you sell to them. The general rule of thumb is to make 80% of the content you share online informational. Then use the remaining 20% to market and sell. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert and built a solid online audience, invite local members of your tribe to get together in real life for coffee or a simple, no-cost meet and greet. Your readers will love meeting the author and fellow authors will love collaborating with writers with similar goals.
Attend local author events. Use Google to search for book-related events in your local area. They're ideal places for meeting both fellow authors and enthusiastic readers. Did this blog help you brainstorm ways to build an audience that enhances your writing career? Drop your comments below!