Left to their own devices, authors tend to be solitary creatures. The only problem? It’s lonely out there for a writer.
I’ve found one of the best ways to have some longevity in this biz is to gather up your own little crew. A few authors who have a variety of gifts and talents to learn from, teach, and generally keep each other afloat when major publishing houses merge and panic sets in.
Another great advantage to having a network of other authors is the ability to build each other’s platforms. Here are just a few of the ways I do that each month:
- Feature each other’s new releases on your blogs
- Promote your writer’s friends books in your e-newletter
- Shout from the Facebook rooftops about their accomplishments
- Create events together
- Team up together on virtual book clubs (for an example of this, check out our MOPS Military Book Club at www.thebookclub.kathilipp.com )
- Carry each other’s books on your websites and on your book tables
All of these networking opportunities I take advantage of on a regular basis. But the most effective, platform building networking I do is by referring (and being refered by) other speakers.
When I am already booked for an engagement, I have a few other speakers/authors that I refer to these groups. But, I even take it a step further. After a great event, I will pass on one or two of my favorite author’s speaker packets to the meeting planner, telling them that they may want to consider booking these authors for their next big gig.
I only do this with other speakers I have heard and trust. Nothing can make your credibility go south quicker than a bad referral.
The flip side of this is that I have other authors who pass my name along when they are done with an event. There is nothing better than great “word of mouth” given to a happy client.
I have had great results with this idea, and an added bonus: I have developed a great network of friends who go through this business with me. It is great to have someone to talk with who understands this sometimes very strange industry.
- Hook up with a couple of speakers that you know and trust, and ask them if they would be willing to recommend you, because you would love to recommend them. (If you need speaker training, be sure to check out Toastmasters.org, CLASSeminars, or Proverbs 31 Ministries.)
- Create a speaker packet for your speaking ministry (if you would like an example of my speaker packet, email my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you a copy of my e-packet now through December 19th.)
- Exchange speaker’s packets with your favorite author to hand out after your event
- Put a list of other speakers on your website in case you’re not available to do an event
- Feature another speaker/author in your monthly e-newsletter (and have them give away a couple of copies of their latest book) with a link to their speaking page
Question for you:
What is the most effective way you’ve found to work with other authors and speakers when it comes to building your platform? Share your tips in the comments below.