Advice for Nervous Writers on Networking


Authors who give up on their aspirations are one of the most frustrating things to me. They’ve written a book because they’ve always aspired to be an author. They did their homework, had the book proofread by experts, and even created a gorgeous cover. They’ve taken it a step further by creating a website and getting their book into virtual bookstores. However, complications soon arise.

Everything they’ve been doing can now be done without ever leaving their houses. That’s a major issue. These writers have never before been required to appear in public or even to make phone calls.

These writers, when asked how book sales are going, will respond with something along the lines of “slow, but I’m not good at marketing.” They will seem resigned to defeat and sorry about it. Occasionally, I’ll propose joining a publisher or writer’s association so the author can pick up marketing tips, but they’ll respond, “I don’t attend to conferences. Just get togethers with friends and family. They prefer to stay indoors, where it is warm and safe, and avoid making new friends or selling books. “I don’t want to schmooze,” they’ll say. I know this is bad news for writers, but here it is anyway: you can’t win if you don’t network.

Do these writers want to remain introverts and flops in the bookselling industry? No way, Jose. They worry about failure and hence are hesitant to try. Because the word “schmoozing” itself is terrifying. That’s clear to me as well. When you’re an introvert and you think there’s a stigma linked to promoting yourself or your book, it’s hard to know what to do. It’s scary to put oneself out there in front of the publishing industry, the bookstores, and the masses of potential readers, but guess what? On the flip side, it has the potential to be thrilling and stimulating. And one action and one person at a time, it may be accomplished.

Here are some easy strategies for promoting your book through connecting with fellow writers, who can help you gradually expand your comfort zone.

Participate in a Toastmasters Club:If you want to improve your public speaking skills, joining Toastmasters is a great place to start. You’ll need to speak in front of the class occasionally, but only for as long as it feels comfortable, and the average speech only lasts about seven minutes. Before you start giving long presentations to the group, it’s a good idea to get to know everyone through more casual and brief activities. Then, without a doubt, you can confidently stand before a group of individuals you’ve gotten to know and talk for five minutes. If you’re afraid of public speaking but want to get the word out about your book, Toastmasters is a great place to start. I realize this still sounds terrifying, but which would you rather do: sell your novels or live in fear for the rest of your life?

Visit Writing Meetups:Even though you’ve been to Toastmasters, you might not feel prepared to attend a larger conference just yet. At these functions, it’s easy to feel like a faceless statistic. However, you may look for local writing clubs, where a small number of authors (even if it’s just you and another writer) can get together to talk shop. If you want to meet other writers, you should join one of these clubs. You can make friends and allies among them, and in time you’ll feel more at ease discussing your work with them.

Do good and expect good in return:You can sell books without running an ad in “The New York Times” or having your copy displayed prominently in the storefront window. Give back to the writing community now that you know some of your peers and can offer assistance. As you aid them, you will also aid yourself. Some authors I know have said that attending writing conferences was a waste of time because no one bought their book. Everyone else there is an author like yourself, and they all want to make a sale, not a purchase. But those writers can assist you, and you can help them. Make friends with them, and then swap books on the condition that you both read each other’s works and provide online reviews. Another fantastic method to promote each other’s books to a wider audience is to include them on your respective blogs.

Now that you’ve developed some connections with other writers, it’s time to put your work out there. Never on your own, no. Because of this, you’ve been able to make friends. Take baby steps. To avoid feeling exposed and alone when selling your books at a craft fair, consider bringing along a fellow author buddy. Instead of approaching potential customers directly, you may promote your friend’s book and have them do the same for you.

Step two, spread your wings. Hold a book signing at a nearby store and don’t be afraid to promote it to get people there. Help each other out. Recruit some writer pals and have a party. It’s easier to start conversations with folks who are generally positive if there are three or four of you in a group doing the same thing. Even better, the readers and fans of your friends may decide to purchase your book, and the readers and fans of your friends may decide to purchase your book.

Organize a reading for the public now. Don’t simply read aloud, but also tell about what it was like to write the book. Once more, invite your fellow writers. Plan on giving short presentations or readings, lasting no more than fifteen to twenty minutes apiece. Buy some snacks and punch and have a party out of it; the cost per person will be low because of the group discount, and everyone will have a good time. Don’t forget to tell everyone you know about the event and to spread the word. Make an effort to meet and welcome people as they arrive; doing so will make them more comfortable with making a purchase of your book. Befriend any other authors or would-be authors who show up to your event. They may be interested in helping you plan future events. And rejoice in the fact that you accomplished your goal, regardless of how things turn up or how many people show up. You’ve done something quite brave by making your writing available to the whole audience.

Meeting other writers and developing friendships with them is the first step in expanding your network to include readers, bookstore owners, media professionals, and other book lovers who can help you spread the word about your book and have a good time doing it.

Reviews of new books and author interviews may be found on Reader Views, which is managed by Irene Watson and can be accessed at Her company also offers book promotion and other services tailored to authors and publishers.

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