Part of the problem, as we discovered in the discussion that followed, was that she didn’t have an author network that could help her spread the word or offer advice. She wasn’t connected to others in her genre – writers she could learn from, writers she could support, writers who could support her.
It was an “Aha!” moment for her.
This writer realized that you can’t succeed as an author on your own.
Just ask any successful author about key success factors and more likely than not, they’ll mention some kind of community support.
Being part of a writer community takes time and effort, though, and you might feel like you don’t have enough time to write, publish, and promote as it is. Even so, you’ll want to develop community because your community connections will help you with those tasks – writing, publishing, and promoting.
5 Community Resources
Here are five places where you can connect with like-minded authors so you’ve got the right network, relationships, and support you need for your writing career.
Use the Facebook search box to search for specific terms that will work for you (“health writers” or “self-published authors”). In the results page, select the “more” tab and then select “groups” for results.
You might need to join a few groups before you find one where you feel at home. Feel free to join and try out my private Facebook “Build Book Buzz group. It offers a friendly gathering spot for authors who want to talk about book marketing.
This collection of forums covers a wide range of writing topics and book genres, but because there are so many of them, you can usually get the information or support you need when you need it.
The one thing I don’t like about this site is precisely what so many others do like – users can be anonymous. I prefer forums where you use your name so that you’re more likely to feel accountable for your comments.
LinkedIn hosts many author discussion groups. To find the right one for you, go to the search box at the top of the page. From the dropdown menu to the left of the box, select “Groups.” Then enter your search term – ghostwriters, book marketing, and so on.
Participation makes all the difference in LinkedIn groups. The more you start or contribute to discussions, the more you’ll get from your membership.
This is a friendly online community with many forums with a lot of daily activity. Get your questions about publishing answered, discuss and review books, or make new friends in “The Cool Hang-Out Chill Zone.” One friendly soul welcomed me with a site e-mail message as soon as I joined – and that’s indicative of the community atmosphere as a whole.
There is both a free and premium level.
Savvy Authors describes itself as a network that promotes “mentoring and sharing of knowledge and expertise” among the nearly 8,000 members and offers a strong writer’s support network. Its greatest value for community building is more likely to be in the Yahoo “loop” than on the forums, where there’s less chatter.
While there’s a premium level that offers perks that includes discounts on in-house courses, the free basic level offers all you need to connect with other authors.
Join two groups initially and try them out. Then add a few more. Participate regularly so you get value plus a sense of each group’s personality. You might find that over time, you look forward to signing in to one of them more than the others. That group will be the home of your new author community.
What author communities do you recommend to your writer friends?
About the Author
Author Sandra Beckwith teaches authors how to market their books. Subscribe to her free Build Book Buzz newsletter at http://buildbookbuzz.com for a steady stream of book marketing tips and advice.