Monday, March 7, 2011

Marketing ~ The Benefits of Writer's Groups

There are many marketing advantages for writers who join a writers' group.


What is marketing? One of the definitions on Dictionary.com for Marketing is: to carry or send to market for disposal.


One of the challenges we face as authors is that generally people don't come looking for our stories. We have to get our stories out there where the readers will see them. We have to take our stories to each individual reader's market where they will notice the story's existence. 


Research has proven that one of the best ways to "market" your book is via word of mouth - getting others to talk about your great story and spread the word to all their friends.


This is the first benefit to belonging to a writer's group. Every writer knows the pain of trying to market their own books and so, as they get to know you and become familiar with your works, they are generally very willing to help you market your books. A sort of "barn raising" mentality.


The second major benefit to belonging to a writer's group is the education you will receive from other members of the group (and the speakers, if you join one that has meetings.) I belong to both a local group and a couple online groups and have learned so much from both. A better education equals better writing which of course helps with word-of-mouth marketing.


The third benefit is the opportunity to have your work critiqued. Even online groups now offer critique groups. Painful as critique can be, if you allow it to grow you, and don't take it personally, your writing will vastly improve, again making marketing easier.


Fourthly, most groups offer you a venue for marketing your work right in the writing group itself. I know our local group has a table where all members are allowed to bring their books for sale each month with a small percentage going back to our group. I love to sell my books there because it not only helps me, but helps my writer's group, as well. There are, once you become a fairly well educated writer, generally also opportunities to speak and help other writers learn and grow, this in turn exposes them to your writing. 


Here is a long list of writer's groups. If you can possibly find one in your area, I highly recommend you join one. If you live in a very rural area and don't have one near you, these days there are plenty of online groups to choose from as well. http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/writers-associations.html . If there is nothing in the list that interests you, or is near you, a Google search with your city's name and "writer's group" might turn up just what you're looking for.

I'm sure there are some benefits that I've missed in this brief post. Do you belong to a writer's group? What are some of the benefits you've received from your group?
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