Publicity Tip #79 ~
Did you know that taking the time out to join one or more of those pesky writers groups does more than ‘help’ budding authors find their way? These groups (if you find some good ones) can challenge you no matter what level of writing you view yourself to be at. But did you know they could help you make money?
I currently belong to five, yes 5, writing communities of varying sizes and stature: 1 is a country-wide writers union that I pay a $200 membership to be apart of (thousands of participants), 1 is a large regional group that I pay a $50 membership to (approx. 150 people), 2 are local ‘town’ groups free to join (up to approx. 25/30 people), and 1 is a small critique group (5 people).
How does this benefit me as an author and help me make money?
If you participate with honest interest in these kinds of groups then you will begin to build a rapport with the other writers/industry professionals and that will bring you:
A higher quality product
Extended social media coverage
Access to the groups’ network of authors
Access to the groups’ mailing list/event board
People who care about you and want to see you succeed
Where all of this makes you money is two ways:
1) If you’re good at what you do, word of mouth will be invaluable
2) You have a dedicated base of people interested in buying your work
Nearly everyone in my smaller groups (the ones I don’t pay for) has bought a copy of my book – most of which were print sales. The membership groups do their best to bend over backwards to spread the word about my book and those people whom I have connected with on a personal level then spread the word to their networks and the ball gets rolling nicely.
Now. You will never make a living off the sales from your writing group members. It’s a nice little hop out of the gate to help get you started on the right foot. The biggest things these groups can do for you (other than help you improve your skills) is give you access to their social media connections – and that’s huge.
At this point I’m not telling you to spend $200 on a big organization if you don’t think it will benefit you in multiple other ways (in fact it’s my regional writers group who are the biggest advocates of my work – with the widest reach). What I am saying is that if it costs nothing (or very little) to join a few local group, you will open up a social network to help your own online efforts. The difference here is that these people will help you become a local celebrity – work toward bringing you visible recognition and that, in turn, will build your author reputation and potentially sell more books.