One of the first things I ask people about when I give workshops on book marketing is their networks. Oftentimes, authors reply with, "I don't have one." But that's not true, because everyone has some sort of network. Here are some ways to find yours:
1. Where did you go to school?
Tap into high school and college alumni networks on Facebook and LinkedIn. There are also tons of regional college alumni clubs out there, as well as national college alumni magazines, and all of them would be interested to hear that you're an author. For those organizations that have newsletters, provide the editor with a brief description of your book, a high-resolution cover image, a short author bio, and your headshot. Also, be sure to note what your connection is with that particular institution. You'd be surprised where that might lead. If you were in a fraternity or sorority, the Greek system also has strong alumni networks.
2. How do you spend your free time?
Everyone has at least one hobby! Do you play a sport? An instrument? Do you sing? Knit? Paint? Quilt? Are you in any social or business networking groups? Whatever it is that you do when you're not working, there are organizations filled with like-minded individuals. Many of them will have newsletters that would appreciate hearing from you, especially if your book has something to do with their field of interest. A simple internet search can get you started. Meetup.com is another way to find people who share your interests.
3. What is your heritage?
Are you an immigrant? Were you born in the United States but have parents who weren't? Are you Greek-American? Irish-American? Indian-American? Whatever your bloodline or personal history, there are groups out there full of people with similar backgrounds, so get online and start reaching out!
4. Where do you work/have you worked?
LinkedIn is a great way to track down former colleagues. If you've worked with a group of people, the simple fact that you've written a book is newsworthy, so be sure to tell them.
Marketing a book takes effort, and your networks are a good place to start. You already have something in common with those audiences, so it'll be easier to make a connection that could add to your readership.
Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.