Build a Network WITHOUT Networking

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Networking

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Carrie De Simas

Editor in Chief @ GoneWithTheWord

It’s not a surprise that many fiction writers are introverts. We choose to sit behind computers for long stretches of time, lost in our thoughts, having conversations (and sometimes arguments!) with characters who are only real to us. Well, at least until we publish anyway.

If you aren’t a social media guru or just plain don’t like trying to schmooze on the myriad of social sites and events, how do you increase your following, get your name out there and—ultimately—increase book sales?

People will follow you if you appeal to them on an intellectual, creative or emotional level. If you can appeal to them on all three—then you have the makings of social media success.

But how do you accomplish this? Here are some tips:

  1. Generate an emotional impact. Share some personal information. You don’t need to surf and schmooze to do this. Just share some of the quirky or inspiriting or frustrating things that life has thrown at you. Your toddler say something wacky? Share it. Some goof in the supermarket do something ridiculous? Tweet it. A colleague shares an insight that made that light bulb go off for you? Post it. Snap a funny picture of your cat or dog? Send it out.
  2. Generate a sense of community conversation. Rather than just posting the cover art for your pending book and asking “whatcha think?” like most people do, ask a specific question to which people can really respond. For example, if you have a creepy gothic suspense, post the cover art and ask how it makes the other person feel. Then when you get some responses, put up a blurb about the story and ask if the image provides the same emotional sensations as the blurb. It generates chatter and feedback and gets your name out there.
  3. Generate a sense of connectedness and appreciation. Use the ‘like’ button on the social media sites that have them to approve or show appreciation of people’s comments to you. No one likes to feel that their comments and suggestions have been ignored. Even just clicking on the ‘like’ button will show your awareness of and thanks for their time and energy. This is particularly important when people leave reviews of your books.

The ultimate goal is to involve people in your world, make them feel connected to you and your product and get your name out there. The trick is to share some information with the public without going into the land of TMI (too much information).

The best part sharing with your existing community is that if it is done well, it becomes a kind of self-promotion and networking in itself. By asking for opinions, you engage them in a non-sales manner than helps them feel connected and involved with both you and your products. Ultimately, you make them part of Team You. 

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