One of the most important ways to maintain your motivation, grow your visibility, and sell more ebooks is by networking with other indie authors. Your indie author network is made up of other writers who understand the challenges and joys of being an indie author. They are often the first people to help you reach new readers and are always happy to help you promote your new titles. These are the people who most understand the difficult role you have in being both author and marketer. ‘
Indie Author Relationships
Connecting with fellow writers requires more giving than taking. In fact, we believe that the more you give to the writing community, the more you get. This means spending time cultivating relationships, not just sending messages asking them to buy or promote your books. It means getting to know them on a more personal level and sharing a piece of you as well. And it means doing the hard work of helping – by answering questions, sharing links to their books, and helping them gain more visibility. You can’t just walk in and expect everyone to help you if you’re not truly a part of the community and helping others, too.
As Esther Rabbit explains, “Life’s too short to be selfish, so share your slice of pie with the world and especially as a new author, expect to give more than you’ll receive at the beginning of your journey. That’s what networking is all about.”
How to Find Fellow Indie Authors
There are two main platforms on which indie authors tend to connect. That isn’t to say you won’t find them in other places, but Facebook and Twitter have the most well-established writing communities. It makes more sense to connect with indie authors in your niche or genre, since you often have overlapping audiences. If you write romance or erotica, science fiction or fantasy, horror or monster fiction, connecting with other authors in your chosen genre can help you all support each other. Readers don’t just read one author’s books; you aren’t competition.
Avoiding Drama in the Writing Community
Like any other community, the writing community has its share of drama. Overall, however, it is the most supportive group of people around. To avoid drama within the community, we recommend these tactics:
- Be kind. Kindness goes along way. Editors and proofreaders are the ones paid to find errors in books. You don’t have to like every book, but you don’t have to tear down authors either.
- Be accepting. One area where drama creeps in is typical of society outside the writing community. But if you keep your personal politics, religion, and societal values out of your interactions, you’ll be ok. When someone is cruel or unkind, be prolific in your use of the block button.
- Give credit. If an indie author helps you with something, whether it’s a writer’s block or a piece of knowledge that helps you make better publishing decisions, say thank you. Acknowledge them.
Networking with Indie Authors Can Lead to Opportunities
When you network with other indie authors in your genre and really become part of the community, it can lead to great opportunities. Indie authors often work together to publish anthologies and collaborative stories. By doing so, they’re able to uplift all of the writers who participate. These anthologies will often include links back to the participating authors’ websites where interested readers can buy other books.
Networking with Indie Authors Beyond Social Media
There are so many ways you can network with indie authors, and not all of it is required to be on social media. You can:
- Include each other’s book links in your newsletters
- Buy each other’s books (and read and review them)
- Request their books at your local library
- Connect with them on Goodreads (and rate and recommend their books)
- Cohost events (cover reveal parties, in-person and online AMAs, launch parties)
- Interview each other for your blog
- Formalize your association with a group, organization, or membership service
There are so many opportunities to work with other indie authors to benefit all of you.
Networking with indie authors for the sole purpose of benefitting yourself is a bad idea. Authenticity matters. Commitment to the craft matters. Truly committing to being a part of the writing community requires being willing to commit some time, energy, and a piece of yourself to others. You can set boundaries and have limits, but if you’re only trying to get free marketing from others, it won’t work.