Want to be a successful writer? How are your customer service skills?

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Stuart Miles

© Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

Carrie De Simas

Editor in Chief @ GoneWithTheWord

Anyone who has written a novel knows it’s no easy task to face down the blank page and translate the images in your head into the written word. But once finished, it’s an incredible sense of satisfaction.

Until, of course, you realize that if you want people to read your book, they first have to know about it and trust you enough to cough up the money. How do you get your reputation and book out there? You implement a customer-centric styled networking strategy. 

Sure, there are lots of books and resources out there on how to sell your book. Get rich quick schemes on the best covers and fonts, paid advertising services, blog tours, and so on. Those might bring in some sales but not to the degree that makes it worth all the time and money put into producing the book in the first place.

Most writers I have spoken with over the years measure success by their ability to leave their day job behind—or at least have the option to quit if they ever decide they’ve had enough.

So how do you get to that point?

Customer-centric networking. Once you’ve built that network through your social media platforms, the art of maintaining it and cultivating it is the real challenge. After all, you can purchase followers on Twitter. You can pay people to elevate your Facebook page. You can even pay designers, writers, and marketing gurus to draft content and make sure your name and information shows up in a variety of online and in-person forums.

Once you have that following in place, you need customer service skills to maintain them. If people are unhappy about something, you need to listen and respond in a manner that you wouldn’t feel badly about should it hit the front page of the newspaper the next morning. 

Customer service skills—and even just basic common courtesy—are what it takes to set yourself apart. This is, in large part, because they are so underutilized and devalued in our society right now.

Go the extra step to be appreciative of other people’s efforts. For example, if someone posts on your social media, favourite it or ‘like’ it. Even better, respond.

If someone doesn’t like something that you have done or said, try to smooth it over. Doesn’t mean you have to pander to every whim. What it does mean is that you need to acknowledge all attention you and your books receive and reply in an authentic and respectful manner.

True success rests on those people who believe enough in you and your art to purchase your books. Part of this is how they feel about you. Produce a quality product and elicit a positive emotional response through your actions, and success will come. 

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