On my first blog as the newest member of LL&L, I thought this topic was appropriate in many ways.
LL&L was one of the first places I blogged introducing Explosive Combination which launched my career as a romance writer. I couldn’t have done it without the assistance of the most wonderful, kind-hearted women in the world…published romance writers.
Three years ago, I stepped out of the role of corporate public relations writer and to my amazement I was enveloped into the truly caring arms of romance writers. They unhesitatingly encouraged me and guided me through the quagmire of the publishing world and continue to do so. Some are critique partners, others good friends, all showed me the light in their hearts that shines through their characters.
But my Romance debut didn’t happen overnight and I didn’t get there alone. Nor will I ever succeed by myself.
The last is a reality that came to me at a conference recently. I wandered around chatting with several authors I knew, met some wonderful new ones, had a fan girl moment with a few NYT Bestsellers who took the time to actually talk to me, author to author.
Yes, I was socializing. But more importantly, I was networking.
That face-to-face time is equally as essential as everything else we authors do on the Internet. We can spend hours on Facebook hitting that “Like” button and commenting, retweeting a friend’s newest release and hitting the “Favorite” star, posting pictures of half-naked men on Pintrest, but it’s the personal connections we make face-to-face that bring us the greatest return on invested time.
Since I teach Social Media workshops regularly at conferences, I’ll tell you that an Internet presence is essential. Two of the NYT authors at that conference recognized me (it’s all the blonde hair I’m sure) from commenting on Facebook and retweeting. But the minuscule amount of time it takes to make that physical connection is invaluable.
But it’s not easy. Authors, simply by the way our brains are made, are introverts. We prefer to sit alone behind our computer screens, bleed out our hearts through keyboards and let those voices in our heads channel through our fingers to become stories that we hope someone will someday read and like enough to buy our next book.
We are NOT social beings.
As authors, we have to force ourselves to step out of that comfortable computer bubble and actually speak to another human being. At reader/author conferences, you have an instant connection…books. Yours, the one you are reading, those you’ve read. Making a real life contact can change your life and the future of your book sales.
If it weren’t for a conference three years ago when I met LL&L author Monette Michaels, I would not be a published author nor blogging here today.
So my point is this, making connections in person with other authors is equally as important as anything else we do from behind the computer.
Put yourself out there. You never know where a drink in bar may lead.
My sincere “Thank you!” goes to all romance writers who are willing to help others and to the ladies of LL&L for inviting me to join them.
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kalyncooper