In Your Corner: Why Network?

Imagine you are standing on the shore of a large pond. You throw a pebble into the middle of the water and watch the concentric circles ripple out away from the point of impact.

rock ripples water

Now imagine YOU are the rock. Those circles represent your networking opportunities when it comes to promoting your book. The analogy works because each circle of influence depends upon the success of the circle before it.

You are the rock. The first circle is your family. The second circle represents your friends. Then your acquaintances, and so on. In other words, you have to market your book successfully to people you know before trying to market to people you don’t know. Two easy ways to network with people you don’t know is to join an email discussion list and participate in a social media group–on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, or elsewhere!

Ask yourself what “circle” you are on… if you have not yet mastered marketing to people in your close circle of friends and family, how will you expect perfect strangers to be interested?

There is no time like the present to contact your circle of friends and associates, even if for the first time.  If you already contacted everyone you knew back when your book was published (no matter how long ago), it’s okay to do it again. They might like seeing how far you have come as a self published author! They might even mention you to someone in their circle of friends … and that is how networking to strangers begins.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Growing Pains: Part VI

Together, we conquer, divided we fall. This is true is many aspects of life, and it is especially true in business. With that thought in mind, I wanted to discuss how joining forces with another business is a great way to grow and promote your company (and hopefully theirs too!).

Networking is crucial in the book marketing and writing world. Through networking, you can make important connections with other authors that can lead to new insights for marketing strategies that the two authors, before meeting, may never have considered. Sharing ideas is the first way to join forces with another “business”/author. Talk about what has worked best for you on your website and social media pages and ask how another author runs a successful marketing campaign for their books.

If, through sharing ideas, you decide that you could benefit one another’s business, start strategizing with them. Two heads are always better than one, and it always takes an army just to get a book in published form in the first place. Working with someone else can open up possibilities that might seem too daunting to take on alone.

For example, if you want to host an event but don’t want to do so alone, joining up with another local author who will help with the logistics, social outreach and hosting of the event, it becomes a much more reasonable task. This benefits both of your businesses (if the event is a success), because both of your names will be attached to it and you can both promote your work during and after the event as well.

Another key way to utilize another business is to team up when creating discounts and/or giveaways. Strategically place your books on sale and promote one another’s at the same time during the holiday season and beyond! You scratch my authorial back…kind of thing.  You then both gain access to one another’s clientele that you would not have had otherwise.

Utilize the online sphere and host one another on each of your blogs and/or websites, social media pages, etc. You can do this by featuring a review of that author’s book on your blog and then asking them to do the same for you in exchange. Or simply write up a bio of them with a link to their website page as an equally effective means of promoting them (and in turn, yourself). You could also promote a vlog style interview of that author and vice versa, featuring them as an author in general or asking them specifically about their latest or greatest release.

Whatever you do, always make sure that the joining of forces is mutually beneficial and not parasitic on one end or the other. It is equally as important to make sure you hold true to your end of the plan as it is to hold the other person accountable for them. Being taking advantage of, or taking advantage of another person is unacceptable and a great way to burn bridges and leave you swimming in high tide with no life vest…at peak runoff…in a lightning storm. Or something like that.

handshake


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer: 6/26/15

WRITING CONFERENCES IV

Two weeks ago I mentioned the writer’s natural ability to fly—to write—as compared to the birds of the air having the natural ability and motivation to take-wing and soar.  I know this to be true because of the complete peace and freedom I feel when sitting in my office at the keyboard, allowing ideas to flow and become pages that (I hope) will be passable communication between me and the Reader.

However, this natural state evades me when called upon to speak in front of a group of people.  So it was that I selected a challenging workshop at the Writers Conference for my main focus, the Speakers Intensive Clinic.  You see, my friends, when you become published there WILL be a need for you to TALK about what you’ve produced.  Here are a few basic concepts that I practiced during the conference and came away with to help me continue developing this ability.

1. Who, What, When, Where and Why?  Sound familiar? These lovely little words guide us in the creation of the characters in our novels, the plot, setting and deeper elements of creative story telling.  They are also very necessary when presenting (speaking about) our finished product to agents, editors and the reading public.

a. Know Who the Audience is. Do the research about your venue and the people expected to attend.

b. What Are Their Expectations?  What are their dreams? What goals do they have?

c. When—in their life-journey—Are You Speaking to Them?  Is this audience full of unpublished writers who want to accomplish what you have?  Are they various ages—a youth group—senior writers?

d. Where will you be speaking?  I’ve heard authors talk about “walking the room” before their audience arrives.  Some pray for strength to actually complete the speech and pray for the audience that each one will take away what they need.  Most important, each of these speakers takes the time to get a “feel” for the setting—the venue.  If the seats look particularly uncomfortable, they might need to add a break-time to allow their audience time to stretch and pull in brain-power oxygen.

e. YOU Must Know WHY You Are Speaking.  Every writer has a message to give and a “speaker-personae” within themselves to present it. You could not have finished your book—whether non-fiction or fiction—without that message.  Is it meant to inspire people, entertain them, provoke them to think for themselves? If you haven’t identified it, outlined it forward and backward. Without a clear message in mind, it is unlikely your audience will understand what you’re trying to say.

2. Be Ready To Be Transparent. We hear that word, transparency, in the political arena a lot these days.  The best speakers I’ve ever listened to—whether writers, or politicians, or pastors—have been ready and willing to share a truthful personal story within their speech.  It doesn’t need to be a confession of any sort, yet when revealing a piece of one’s life to others we offer them a “real” connection that leads to friendships, Facebook followers and book-buyers.

3. Keep Yourself Aware. LOOK at what is going on around you both close to home and around the world.  Is there a story in those events that relate to you and/or your book(s)?  Write it down. These short scenarios—and your thoughts about them—also connect you to your Readers.

A final thought: Yes, there will be many times when we’re called upon to talk about our book(s) on a moment’s notice. Learning and PRACTICING these pieces to the speech-preparation-puzzle will allow us to do so with grace and flare. Eventually, it will become fun!  ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.