Joining author groups and forums
This post is the sixty-six post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.
Becoming an author – self-published or traditional – doesn’t mean you have to work alone. You can connect with other authors to receive encouragement, discuss current publishing trends and advise you on which promotional opportunities helped them the most.
You can join author (or reader) groups or connect with others on forums.
Groups are simply a collection of people who share a similar trait – went to the same school, have red hair, live near each other, write sci-fi books, or any of a gazillion other ways to group people.
Facebook groups can b a fantastic way for a writer to connect, trade advice, swap war stories and find new opportunities. There are Facebook groups for every genre and some that allow you to promote your work. For a list of popular Facebook Groups, check out this website.
Goodreads groups are communities of readers who share similar interests, and they are purely meant for interacting, networking and connecting with other readers. The best way to interact with these readers is to be one. Join several of the Goodreads groups and participate. Get your name out there as someone who reads the books and as someone who writes good reviews. As readers view your posts, some will be curious enough to check out your profile and discover you are an author.
Note that on Goodreads groups, direct marketing is not only looked down upon, it is often forbidden. In other words, don’t join a group to just post about how great your book is and why people should want to buy it.
When I first started publishing, I joined the Independent Author’s Network. This is a group of self-published authors that support and promote each other online. Members are asked to tweet and retweet about other member’s book releases, blog postings and book tours. There are different levels of memberships, some of which require a one-time setup fee.
For a list of some other groups, check out this website.
Forums are very much like groups, but typically have you post on an online discussion board about the listed topic. The forum may or may not have a moderator. Depending on the forum, you can connect with not just authors but also readers.
If you publish on Amazon, you might consider checking out the KDP Community where you can find help on formatting, publishing, payments, marketing and more.
You may also want to check out this writing forum website or search for forums based on your genre.
Groups and forums can help you find find invaluable information if you find the right group/forum. But remember that while connecting with other authors – and readers – can be beneficial, I don’t recommend joining every group out there as keeping up with them can severely cut into your writing time.
#45 – Pricing your e-book
#50 – Marketing your E-book