In this part of the series we are continuing to build the dream of writing and publishing your book.
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First we identified our readers and market. Now we pinpoint who are our allies. The good news is that writers no longer need to be isolated. Today the cliché of a writer in a garret plugging away alone is definitely an illusion. No matter where you are in the process of writing your book, begin to connect with other writers and readers.
Every writer needs Beta readers, followers, fans, and a community. Launching a book today does require a village. And it’s never too early to start creating a network.
Three keys to creating allies:
First be clear about why you are connecting with people. What do you want from them? Do you want them to be your friend, buy your book, attend your webinars, or recommend you to other people?
Second be authentic with all your interactions. Story telling is great, as long as you are honest about whether it’s a true story. While you are being yourself, entertain, educate and hopefully enlighten.
Thirdly, engage with people. Comment on their posts, and reply to their comments on your posts.
1. Beta Readers
Are the first people who read your book. And they are treasured for their feedback. They can be friends, family, members of a forum, or part of a book group you participate in. If you are a fiction author ask them for feedback on language, interest in the development of the story, the characters and the plot line.
Non-fiction beta readers can also be colleagues, staff on a community college, business owners, or other writers. Ask them for feedback on relevancy, accuracy and whether the topic holds their interest.
What social media do you work with? Creating a social media network that involves consistent engagement can be fun, however it is also work. Followers are not people who look at, or who just “like” your posts. They are people who share your posts, comment on what you share and are actively involved in your efforts to connect.
Start today. Choose a social media network that works for you, and begin to develop your followers.
Are people who take the next step in engagement with you on social media. And superfans are people who have to share everything they are excited about and drive new fans to you and your book. Cultivate a deeper relationship with these ambassadors — make it personal, give them a reason to share and engage week after week.
You can do this by consistently responding to their comments, or offer hands on experience with you. Hold weekly discussions, or offer free audio sessions to those who promote your book. Once these superfans are engaged then it will be easier to expand to other people while keeping that base as your center.
Today it takes a village to launch a book. A village or community is a group of superfans and influencers. How many fans or influencers do you need? As many as it takes to spread the word of your book or product. One superfan might be enough to make your message go “viral”, or you might need to follow the old marketing rule of something been seen 7 times.
Do webinars that involve your whole community, help them get to know each other as well.
At the end of the day you are the only one who can authentically write your book. And with the help of editors you may be able to write a great book. However, you are not alone in building awareness about your book and its message.
Today authors must also be self-promoters to create the awareness needed for readers to “discover” their books. And building a community is your goal to launch your book.