Sunday, November 29, 2015

How to build an online community by Leanne Dyck

photo by Leanne Dyck

We, writers, think we are working alone but, in reality, we heavily rely on others for support. We hope our readers will find our work and tell others about it. We hope publishers will accept our submissions. We connect with other authors for information and inspiration.  

How do we build this supportive community?

During Word Vancouver, I attended
Getting Started and Staying Motivated as a Published Children's Book Author with panelists D.R. Graham, Janet M. Whyte, Mark David Smith and Aleesah Darlison
Establishing and Growing Your Digitial Footprint with Trevor Battye and Suzanne Norman

Here's what I heard...

Before being published...
-join professional organizations
-build your social network. Be active on 2 to 4 social media platforms. There are many to choose from. Pick what works for you.
-immerse yourself in your chosen genre and in the publishing world

After being published...
-with regards to social media, follow who your publisher is following
-create an author bio on Amazon and Goodreads

Some writers balk at being on social media. They view it as wasting time. They insist that their time is better spent working on their writing. But discoverability is the biggest problem in publishing, today. And your (potential) readers spend1 in every 5 minutes online. Readers want to connect directly with authors. Online is the new word of mouth. The best way to start is to build 
an author web site that has your own domain (for example, Build a website even if the only thing on there is your blog. But don't build a blog and forget about it. Anything you do online should be consistent.

Rules for blogging
-link, tag, acknowledge (acknowledge comments, etc.)
-minimal wordage posts
-site quotes
-keep information accessible
-use images
-engage with your followers

Hierarchy of fan involvement
-connect with you through social media
-read your blog
-subscribe to your e-newsletter
-attend your events
-buy your books

More info:  Kevin Kelly and 1000 true fans

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times it's getting harder and harder to attract a publisher. 
You've got a great book that you know readers want. What do you do?
Crowdfunding, is one way.
Wikipedia defines crowdfunding as 'the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.'
Through crowdfunding you can...
-demonstrate that you have an audience for your book
-pre-sell your book
-self-publish your book

Examples:  Seth Godin raised over 280,000 dollars before writing the book.


How to Create A Kick Ass Crowdfunding Campaign and Make Your Dreams Come True

You can build a supportive online community. But it requires time and a consistent effort. 

I know it works because, due to a consistent effort, I have been able to build a community of over 5,000 followers (on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn). If this "Luddite" can do it, you can too.

Photo by Leanne Dyck

Sharing my author journey...

Something cool has been added to this blog.

Remain on the home page and look to your left. The first thing you see is a photo, then 'Translations' and then the addition... 'November's Posts...' lists the days and topics of a month full of posts. Now you can see the month's offerings at a glance. Tomorrow I'll change 'November's Posts...' to 'December's Posts...'

What else will I be working on this week?

Well, thanks to a very helpful article I found I now have a list of literary agents (10). I'll be contacting them and will be continuing to send submissions to publishing houses. 

To date, I have
9 picture book manuscripts
in the slush piles of 
6 publishing houses

as well as, for adults, I have
3 novellas 
1 short story collection
1 novel
in publishing houses' slush piles

As of Sunday, November 29th, I've sent out a total of 87 submissions this year. I wonder if I can bring this total to 100 by the end of the year. I wonder... Do you think I can?

Update: I did make this goal. In fact, on December 18, 2016 I mailed my 214 submission. : )

Photo by Leanne Dyck