Friday, October 19, 2012

Networking With Readers & Writers

I think it's interesting that most of our networking these days is done online. We get on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter and think we're doing a wonderful thing with networking.

And maybe we are.

Just yesterday my mother and I were talking about letters. You know those things written on paper and mailed through the post office?

Photo by Muffet, courtesy of Flickr
We talked about letter writing being a lost art. And I believe it is. Instead of writing a letter, a thank you note, or even sending some actual pictures through the mail with an "I Love You," attached, we find it satisfactory to do an attachment.

And maybe what we're doing is just that. Satisfactory.

It made me think of ways to connect with my readers that fall off the typical cyber track. Things like:
  • Sending a paper note to reviewers who have reviewed our book.
  • Writing a paper letter to fans who have complimented us on our work.
  • Being available at book signings to speak with fans as well as those who are interested in writing and making yourself available for future help if they need it. It's far too easy to sit there just hoping for a sale; far harder to focus on the person and their needs.
  • Being just as concerned about another author--and their success--as you are about your own success. Inviting authors to join you at book signings and other events that you have put together is a great way to make new friends and to let others know that writers need to stick together.  
  • Giving away your book for free when you feel prompted to do so. I always carry a book with me. Recently, I was at a business meeting and heard a story that touched me. I knew that the person would be open to receiving my book, "Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones," but I had forgotten to take a book with me that day. She had to be satisfied with my thoughts on the book and the postcard about it that I gave her.
  • Go out to lunch. Spend some time with another writer.
  • Get involved in networking groups but not with the intent to make a sale. A change of heart will bring you the people that will need your book.
When it comes to networking with readers and writers, it might be easier to send something via email or even by Facebook, but the most rewarding things in my life come when I have met directly with an individual and shared with them.

How about you?

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