Writers Need a Writing Community
Not long ago, a writer only had to worry about writing and their staff did the rest. Published authors had their agent and their publisher who would help them with all facets of promotion. But today, writers need to not just write but they need to be a publicist of sorts, as well. Establishing an online community could help in many ways.
When a new writer is published, one of the things many publishers now look for when determining the contract is whether or not that writer has already built a following or not. By building a community, you do a lot for your writing career. There are many ways to go about building a community.
Your website provides readers and publishers or literary agents with info about you as a professional. You can include clips, your bio, and information about your upcoming books, etc. If you can, use your name as your URL. This helps you establish yourself as a brand and helps people interested in your work find you.
A newsletter lets you reach out to your community to talk about your writing, upcoming books, any signings or appearances, etc. There are great online newsletter tools that make this a simple and automated process. People can opt-in to your newsletter on your website and the rest of the process can be automated.
Some writers have a discussion forum or a blog on their website so that their books can be discussed, and so that they can interact with others. By doing this, you’re not just building a fan base and increasing the chance that your next book will have plenty of buying activity from the start but you’re also demonstrating that if someone publishes your new novel, you’re bringing a fan base with you and that helps publishers see the potential for profit.
Social sites can be utilized to help you interact in many ways with readers and potential fans. Set up a Facebook account, fan page with discussion groups, and a MySpace and Twitter account as well. Join websites that cater to readers in your genre or to the profession of writing in general. Not only will existing fans find you but new prospects can happen upon your pages and become interested as well. When you want to promote an event, such as an online book tour, a signing, or the release of a brand new book or e-book, you can interact with your community via sending links, announcements, press releases, and more.
A little promotion can go a long way online. Spending a few hours a week on developing content for your community could help you establish a following, sell more books, and gain more attention from those who could help you further your writing career.
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