Writing can be very lonely and isolating. Often the writer is stuck behind a keyboard alone in a room with little or no human interaction. If the author is writing fiction, at the very least, they are alone in that room with their characters and imagination. Somehow there is a stereotype that fiction authors have more fun than non-fiction authors.
Non-fiction writers have it a little different, presumably with ‘drier’ topics that are more facts driven and you may need to get out every once in a while and have ‘play time’ with other adults. Let’s call this ‘play time’ networking. Why not make this networking time productive by giving it some purpose to directly affect your writing?
Here are some networking ideas for non-fiction authors:
- Go to places where your potential audience gathers. They could be industry-driven trade shows, professional conventions or other such gatherings. Spending time with your audience and getting to know them will help you to write better and speak to their concerns and needs. This will also help you stay up to day with developments in your field.
- Visit places where you can meet other authors who have some of the same issues as you. No one else truly understands what it feels like to sit behind a keyboard for three hours waiting for an idea to drop from the ceiling into your brain.
- Networking with professionals in the publishing industry is a good idea – especially if you’re new author. Make friends who can help you navigate the choppy waters of the book publishing and marketing industry. The publishing industry has long been a mystery. Online publishing has made a few things easier, but has also added to some aspects of the complexity. Get to know folks who can make things easier for you.
- Network in your community to build connections and opportunities for yourself. Having local support can do wonders to promote your work. It’s like mouth to mouth marketing and what o better recommendation is there than someone recommending your book to their friends? Committed fans can fill a room and make a launch or signing seem that much more successful.
- Go to places where you can build strategic alliances to promote your work. If you are writing about the history of a town, it would be nice to get the local chamber of commerce to promote your book. They may even buy a number of copies to give their new members.
- Find people who are interesting or inspiring. They can be civic leaders, business titans, academic power houses, or whatever group or individual who excites your creativity for current and future work.
- One of the best ways for an author to network is by speaking publicly. Find a group who would like to hear from you. Chances are, if they meet regularly, they would love to have a speaker come and address the group.
- BONUS TIP: Network online by going on a virtual book tour which includes experts in your field and who are complementary to your message and so build a fan base that is ready to buy your books and share it with their friends .
Networking is important for authors and it’s also a way to ‘give back’ to the community by helping other authors succeed, as well as guiding those in your industry to stay relevant. It’s definitely a win-win for everyone.