Authors have little excuses as to why they can’t network effectively to market and promote their books. A generation ago, networking was done in person, and to a degree, by phone, Nut now, it’s heavy on social media, zoom, and email, in part due to the pandemic and in part because of technology.
As an author, you have a choice -- network and meet people who can help you -- or do it alone and make it harder on yourself.
If you choose to network, you have several main
- Social Media
You don’t have to choose which method to employ. Use them all if necessary.
The idea behind networking is that you meet people who will buy books, help you sell books, or introduce you to those who may be able to help you sell books. You need to meet readers, members of the media, bookstore managers, librarians, and all kinds of people who could buy or sell your book.
Networking involves a few key ingredients:
- You need to actively do it often and consistently.
- Set goals of who or what types of people you want to
- Find out where such people congregate or exist.
- Boldly reach out to people and seek to offer something,
if not yourself, that could be of service to them.
- Be a good researcher, listener, and friend to them.
- Stay in touch with your network periodically, and offer your help instead of always asking for something.
Yes, I get it, there are many hang-ups people have about networking, such as:
- What do I say?
- How do I approach people?
- How do I become memorable or seen as interesting?
- What if I am shy and not self-confident?
- How do I break into a group?
- Can I do small talk well?
- What if I feel intimidated?
- How do I remember their name or things about them?
Not everything has a pre-set answer that all will embrace. Give yourself a chance, here you have nothing to lose. Try to make some connections and see how it goes. Learn what works -- or doesn’t for you. In time, you’ll develop a style or pattern of networking that configures to your personality.
What Could Help You Network?
- Have your tools ready: business card, website, elevator
- Be ready to smile, laugh, and give firm handshakes.
- Research the kinds of people you want to meet and
understand their needs and desires.
- Relax and stay focused.
- Just be yourself.
- Come at things with an attitude of serving others first.
- Make a schedule of activities for the week:
many social media posts on which platforms will you make?
many emails will you send?
many phone calls to follow up with people?
events will you attend?
much time will you research things?
Some other good tips for networking include:
- Be on the hunt --= no reason to wait to be approached.
- Make eye-contact and listen carefully.
- Acknowledge what others say; praise them.
- Don’t overeat or drink too much at an in-person event.
- Stay off your cellphone while networking.
- Sound enthusiastic, passionate, and curious.
- Be polite and courteous, but don’t sit back submissively
- Dress for success.
- Avoid controversial topics -- sex, politics, religion -- to escape disagreement.
Savvy socializing happens when you make a favorable impression of another while simultaneously ascertaining how they may be able to help you. The best exchanges tend to happen when we:
- Show authoritative knowledge
- Sound like we’re experts with connections
- Share views they agree with
- Sound friendly and approachable
- Laugh, smile, tell jokes, or make witty comments
- Tell good stories.
The best networking happens when two people feel they meet someone who is compatible- where they can offer each other something and seem like they could be our friends. We’re drawn to others who like us -- and whom we feel are interesting, powerful, resourceful, and even good-looking. Though you are not necessarily networking to find a spouse, we naturally are drawn to those we find attractive.
The best source of ideas, encouragement, and resources for networking come from Susan RoAne, a best-selling author and authority on how to make lasting connections. I promoted her book How To Work A Room, over 30 years ago. She has since updated the book. It stands as the bible for networking.
Go out there and network your way to book
Please Contact Me For
Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell
their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully
helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should
be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by
BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in
Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue
dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and
IBPA’s The Independent. This blog, with over 4,000 posts over
the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by
BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and
recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing
blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For
the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s
largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has
worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along
with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth,
Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey
Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne,
Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a
panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA,
Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers
Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors
and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published
in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News,
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