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 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. . 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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  1. The most important benefit I feel I receive is "support .. we procastinate work.. but in group, it we receive so much support that we can atleast keep going on"

    with warm regards

  2. Aside from CW, I've never been a part of a group of authors. But you've outlined the benefits here very clearly, so I shall be on the watch for opportunities!

  3. Abhishek--so true!

    I miss belonging to a group. I have an hour's drive to the nearest one, other than the one I started myself here. Mine bit the dust when one member moved, two others took jobs, and another went back to college. Sigh.

  4. Abhishek, yes, yes, yes. My critique partners are always so encouraging to me! This business comes with a lot of rejection and it is important to have people who understand what we are going through. Great addition!

    Katie, if you can find one near you, I think you will be so glad if you make the effort to attend.

    Linda, bummer. Maybe you could take out an add on craigslist or in the local paper and see if you can drum up some interest from some others who would also like to be part of a group.

  5. Though I've yet to find a writer's group close enough to visit, I love my online writer's group (CW). Everyone is wonderful and their advice and encouragement is invaluable =-)

  6. I belong to a great writer's group on Facebook called "Fellow Writers". It's also a great place to find beta-readers, people to critique blurbs and talk about cover art, and find people who will host guest blogs for virtual book tours.

  7. hello Everyone,

    Most of you are experienced writers yourself, I am a newbie and intend to make it big one day.

    I am working on my first work these days and started blogging too.

    I am hosting a Flash Fiction Challenge on my blog. Please do visit the same and take part in it. The link is here

    And dear Ms. Bonner, sorry that I am using your comments space to tell about this contest. Just want to reach out authors and writers.

    with warm regards
    Abhishek Boinapalli