I am pleased to welcome author Bonnie Milani to StephTheBokworm today as she talks about networking for authors. Bonnie is the author of Home World, a post-apocalyptic novel set in a future Waikiki. Please welcome Bonnie!
The Importance of Networking for Authors by Bonnie Milani
Networking. Oh, now there’s a word that needs to be near and dear to every author’s heart. I doubt it’s possible to overstate just how critical networking is to a writer. I know from long experience because in my non-writing life I’m an independent insurance broker – and that’s a profession where you only succeed by building an effective network. I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years, so l’ve learned a thing or two about networking.
Let’s face it: no matter how dear our stories are to our own hearts, when it comes to the rest of the world, a book is just a product. It has to be marketed, just as green beans and cars and the latest spring fashions have to be marketed. The difference, of course, is that the average author is a few million dollars shy of, say, Proctor & Gamble’s advertising budget. We’re not even going to think about Coca-Cola’s…
So how can networking help market our books? Every writer site is full of social media marketing advice: set up twitter accounts, a facebook page, blog, website…yet I can’t recall seeing a whole lot of advice on effective networking. We all know the old marketing adage: ‘build a better mousetrap and people will buy it.’ True enough – but only if people know it’s there! Marketing is all about getting the word out. And getting the word out is what networking is all about. How? Believe it or not, it’s something you’ve been doing all your life – you just never realized it. Every time you pass the word on a good sale or coupon or little league try-out, you’re networking. Every time you volunteer to help out with a school project or church social or pitch in with painting a neighbor’s fence, you’re networking. It’s all about demonstrating you’re good folks, about earning & deserving trust and respect by doing the things that genuinely interest and excite you. THESE are the people you want to make sure know about your book. THESE are the people who will automatically help spread the word through their own contacts and networks.
So how do you make it work for you? Ask yourself who you know. Do they know about your book? Do they have a way of sharing your book? If not, what can you do to make it easy for them to do so? What can you do to make them WANT to share? It takes some thinking, but the pay-off is worth the effort.
Thank you, Bonnie for being here today! I am so pleased to be able to offer one lucky winner the chance to win Bonnie’s new novel! To enter, please be 13 years or older, and have a US mailing address. Winner will be chosen via random.org on November 27th. Good luck!