Are you a card-carrying member of a writers’ group? Well, actually, most don’t issue “cards,” per se, at least not the ones I know. Or, maybe, I just didn’t get one . . . hmmm.
But you SHOULD be a member. Of a group, somewhere. And there are many to choose from:
Some meet weekly; more often, once a month. Some only have events once a year, maybe twice. Others have different things going on each month. These, of course, are usually live groups versus Internet hangouts, which also have value.
And it’s important to belong to at least one—which of course depends on your needs—because writing is such a solitary pursuit. Although, if you were to look at my FB newsfeed (or maybe your own), you might think otherwise. Huh.
Writers’ groups have different purposes: to critique, to encourage, to provide a sounding board, to be social, to showcase members’ work. Which one(s) you choose is up to you. But, um, be choosy. It’s not quantity but quality that counts.
You want an active group(s). One(s) that give value. And, preferably, one(s) whose members have some talent. You know what I’m talking about . . . there are those groups who are filled with SPAM—and not only online groups . . .
Speaking of writers, another topic I want to briefly touch upon is this:
Stop marketing to other writers!
What? Yes, you heard me. Those “like for a like events” that promise more “likes” on FB? How many of those folks actually read your stuff? Don’t ask me, I have no idea. Sure, there’s value in networking, but be particular about who YOU follow. Twitter, too, can be a real SPAMfest.
In other words, the numbers don’t matter unless they translate into relationships or sales. Either/or.
You need to spend your time marketing to READERS. Pick your “ideal” reader and aim your promos to that one person—others, just like that ONE person, will soon find you.
Think about this:
You go to a conference, and an author shows you his book; he says he’ll buy yours if you buy his. Sweet—you got a sale! No, you didn’t. It’s a ploy, albeit an unknowing one. In effect, you traded books. Do him a favor: if you WANT TO READ that book, buy it. And review it, of course.
Which brings me back to the beginning—writers’ group(s) are essential for networking and feedback and socializing, but don’t make it a book exchange.