Welcome to this week's post for Writer's Words of Wisdom. I'm sure many of you have run across several posts on the web about authors behaving badly. Whether they were complaining about a review/reviewer they didn't like, or blatantly trashing another authors work just to make their own look better, these sort of stories bring everyone down. As a relatively "new" author, I've been really taken aback by some of the actions of other writers. I've had a few days where I was seriously considering not publishing anything else for fear the "mean" girls and boys would then turn their attention on me. I wrote a bit about how to get "even" with those mean authors a couple weeks ago. Here is the LINK if you'd like to check that one out. Go ahead. We'll wait for you. ;)
Paloma Beck. She invited a group of us to join her in sharing what we've all learned along the way to become published authors. This week, Paloma and I share more of our journey to get where we are today. We write about anything from finding time to write, juggling multiple jobs, promoting, editing, blogging, and sharing through social media. There is so much to learn for someone looking to get their work published. It's not enough to submit your book to a publisher and wait for "the magic" to happen. You have to get your name out there in front of potential new readers, editors, publishers and other writers.
Connect with other authors through social media
Don't have a Twitter or Facebook account yet? Get them! You can start following some authors who write in your genre. Retweet their posts. Visit the blogs they recommend. Comment on those blogs. Friend them on Facebook and interact them. Not only will you develop wonderful friendships with authors around the world, you will build up your fan base. Remember writers are readers too.
Don't be one of those people who send direct or private messages to new followers to like and tag your pages and books. Let your new connections decide to do that for themselves, just like you did when you connected with them in the first place. Don't post your links on their blogs or Facebook pages without an invitation to do so. Trust me. When you have a bond with another author, they will be very happy to help promote you and your work but not so much if you force it upon them. The fastest way to get yourself unfriended and blocked is to be pushy.
Participate in Blog Hops
|One hop I participated in
Even before you have anything published, blog hops can be an invaluable tool for you to help other authors. By visiting the participating blogs, you can find new authors and genres that you might not have run across before. You can then follow them on Twitter and Facebook, building even more connections.
You just may find several new books to add to your Kindle or Nook and by entering the contests on each blog, you could win copies of these books or even other fantastic prizes. You can in turn post about these hops on your own blogs and in social media bringing in even more traffic.
As more people notice your posts, they will start interacting more with you by sharing your posts and tweets with their followers. Can you see where I'm going with this? The more you share, the more other authors will be willing to do the same for you when it's your turn.
Rate and Review
All writer's start out as readers and fans of other authors and their works. Instead of just reading one book after the other, why not take the time to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or any other site where you purchased the book? How about putting a review up on you own blog and then promote it on Twitter and Facebook? Writing reviews can be a great way to tell the author what you liked...and didn't like...about their book. You can help boost their confidence in their work and help them to become better writers by telling them what you thought didn't quite work for you.
I've found some wonderful new friendships because someone took the time to review my books and connect with me over them. I've recently had the honor and privilege to be a beta reader for one of my favorite authors. She wanted my honest opinion and boy did I give it to her on a scene that seemed to fall flat compared to the rest of the book. She thanked me for noticing that point. There was something wrong with it and she couldn't quite put her finger on it, but with my help, she was able to figure out another way to work the scene and it ended up FABULOUS!
Guest Spots on Blogs
Not ready to open your blog up for guests yet? Not a problem. By stopping in to visit your author friends when they do guest spots or blog tours, you help to bring traffic in to the spot and more exposure for your friends. Just about all blogs have buttons where you can share the post with your own social media sites. DO IT! Each time you visit a guest spot, make sure you tell your other connections about it.
Once you are ready to have guests on your blog, tell your author friends you are open. If you see they have a new release coming up, invite them to talk about it with you and your followers. Don't have a lot of followers yet? That's fine. Keep having guests and posting your own spots and you will have more and more views and then the followers will come to you.
Where will the followers come from? The authors you followed and supported all along. They will remember your support and gladly return it to you. Will there be some that never return the favor? Yep. But have faith! More will reciprocate than not and outshine the authors that behave badly.
Summing it all up
Make sure you are in the group of authors supporting authors and not those who behave badly. Use social media to connect and build up the friendships so you can visit blogs, comment and share. Use your own blog to promote the work of others, participate in blog hops, have guest authors, and review the books you read. Get out there and chat with fellow writers and readers through Twitter and Facebook and don't just "friend" to get them to like and tag your pages or your books.
Above all, have fun!
Make sure you visit Paloma's blog Romance Beckons for her WWoW post.