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Hello again and welcome back to another writing article where, this week, I will focus on some tips for networking between authors. These are not tips that will help you sell books to your audience, not on their own, but they are useful for building a network of authors in the same position as you, authors who can empathise with you better than anyone else and offer you tips that they have found that work. Let’s begin.
The first thing I would always recommend for authors is reviewing the work of other authors because this can be a great way to build a connection. Most authors love the idea of having their work reviewed, and are often very happy to send out a free copy for you to review, which means this costs nothing but time. In return for this, you will have insight into another author’s work, which might give you ideas on how to improve your work, you will have read an interesting new novel in one of your favourite genres, and you now have a connection between yourself and that author. Once the review is complete keep in touch, offer them your review services in the future, maybe ask if they can review something of yours, the important thing is to keep that connection fresh. Authors are the most likely people, except perhaps publishers, to learn something new and useful about the publishing industry, so being friends with a group of them can be very helpful indeed.
The next place I would consider networking is on Facebook/Twitter/everything else, where it is quite easy to have conversations. If you have connected with an author on any of these platforms then send them a quick message, try and strike up a conversation. The best part is that, like email, these conversations can be added to whenever is convenient, so if you’re busy you can just respond later. The best times are when you are both active and responding because then you get an excellent flow of ideas between both sides. One of the best people to run ideas by when you’re writing a novel is another writer because they are probably doing exactly the same thing and have that knack for writing that lets them see ideas where there should be none. Also, let’s face it, it’s nice to be friends with people who know exactly how difficult your job can be sometimes, and can sympathise when you are struggling.
Now, for a less informal situation, I would recommend being part of a few forums, on sites such as Goodreads, NaNoWriMo, and others. This is less for networking with authors and more about networking with your potential fan-base. Go onto most reading sites and if there isn’t already a thread dedicated to, what you would like to see in a genre (and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t), then start that thread and watch readers flock to it to tell you what they would like to see included. Don’t just read the conversation either, but make sure you get stuck in, give your own opinions back and before you know it you have a whole host of ideas for improving your novel, and easy ways to please your audience which will hopefully lead to more readers.
That’s it for this week, everyone, I’m grateful if you took the time to read. I will be back next week with another article for you to read, and if you want a chance to get involved in beta reading I am always looking for more readers. Until then, send that message.