It’s no secret I write in multiple genres. While romance (and erotic romance) lives first and foremost in my heart, I have wanted to write equestrian fiction and fantasy for a very long time. This year was the year I took that leap (under another pen name). However, as I took about five years off from writing seriously (2012-2016/7), one of the things I learned is that everything has changed. And its important for authors to network, because not only has everything changed, but also, what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Want proof? Listen to the Kindle Unlimited vs. Wide Distribution debates.
Since I live rather remotely and don’t have a writing group within 100 miles, I’ve found Facebook Groups to be the best place for me to network. I’m in several, based on not just my genre, but also even the “flavors” of romance I write from reverse harem to M/M to paranormal.
Just as no marketing advice fits everyone, no group fits everyone either. After sorting through more than my fair share, here are some tips for finding the best writing networking group for you…
1. Spend some time just lurking and reading the posts. Some people start groups because they want to hear how important and loved they are. Others start groups because they want to help people. By reading the posts, offering a “like” or two, you’ll get the feel for the “flavor” of the group.
2. Join a group that has a mix of levels. Even back in the pre-Kindle days authors were advised to join a critique group or other writing group with authors where they wanted to be career-wise. Facebook groups are the same. However, I find that by being in a group with a mix of just-starting out to “making it”, not only will you learn, but you’ll also have the opportunity to pay it forward by helping others.
3. The search box is your friend. Most of the groups I’m in have pinned posts, documents, or other resources because inevitably we all have the same or similar questions when we’re starting out. Look for these resources first. Then, if you have questions the group will be happy to help.
4. Read the rules. Seems pretty simple, right? Yet, as many submitting authors don’t read submission guidelines, many people don’t read the rules of the group. No promo means no promo. Check themes. Make sure you’re following the “rules of the road”.
These four rules will help you find the right group for you, hopefully avoid the egomaniacs, and perhaps give you a greater opportunity to network in this industry. Good luck! And if you have a group that’s your favorite, drop a link in the comments. I’m always open to finding new groups.