4 Ways to Share Your Writing Without Being “That Guy”
When you share your work with other writers, it can be the most stressful and rewarding part of being in a writers community. But, it is not always as easy as just posting the Google Doc.
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I read one time that we should start gathering a following for our writing before we publish. Doing so will increase the chances that people will buy your book when it’s out, review it, and spread the news with recommendations. Makes sense.
I joined writing communities to connect with other writers. I love talking about writing. But, I found that many people don’t talk about writing. Instead, they comment and +1/like, they advertise writing and publishing services, and, they send links to read their writing. Yeah, not about that life. It drives me crazy when people just link to their work and ask that we read it. Just like movie trailers, you have to get us interested in what you’re writing and/or give us a purpose to read it. At least, that’s how it works for me. Otherwise, if I read everyone’s work, I’ll have no time to get to mine.
There’s a way to share your work and not be that story spammer in your writing communities. Here’s how:
Share for Feedback
Many writers join writing communities to share their work and receive feedback. Typically, writers are perfectionists and are terrified of editors who will tear our work apart. So, in a really good sense, we congregate with other writers and reach out for help.
Not only does this help you become a better writer, it also helps you network with other writers of various levels, and share your audience with an honest and interested audience. When we help develop something, we want to see the final product; when the writers critique your work, we want to read the published version with which we helped.
Related Article — 11 Top Writing Communities You Should Join and Why from NY Book Editors
Share as an Example
In the same way, when someone in the writing community requests help, your work can help. Maybe your strength is dialogue and the person needs dialogue help; share your work with him/her so (s)he can see it in action.
Not only does this help you better your writing craft as a “teacher”, it helps with networking and gaining an audience–just like asking for feedback does. When we learn something and find it helpful, we tend to turn to it for help again. If you share your work as an example and publish later, those who you helped are more likely to check it out because they found your writing helpful before.
Related Article — 14 Free Platforms to Share Your Short Stories Online from TurnDog
Share Snippets to Hook Us In
Ever noticed how movie trailers imply and tease you with the best parts of the movie in only 1-2 minutes? You want to do the same with your stories. Scour through your story chapters and pull out the best paragraphs that build the most tension. In different posts, share 1 paragraph at a time, also linking your story for the readers to check out the whole thing if they get into it.
Not only does this get your audience wanting to read more, it also reels in an honestly interested audience and allows you to practice marketing. If you can market just the development and be successful in drawing in readers, when you start to sell your book, your sales will probably increase than what they would have originally been, because people already know they’re into it.
Share a Purpose Tagline to Entice Us
Most of us read to live vicariously through fictional characters and worlds. Considering this, when you offer a purpose for reading the story, we may be interested in taking up the offer. If the book aligns with our goals, interests, and motivations, we’ll be all over it. When you post the story, introduce it as, for example, a book to keep you shaking at night in your safety blanket burrito while contemplating whether your home could ever really be that safe. For those into horror, they’ll be all over the fear potential of your story.
Of course, this will draw in your readers with all its potential. It will also get your marketing your work that you test as successful and know is useful for when you start to sell your work. Just like offering the snippets, the tagline piques our interests and challenges us to find out if your work lives up to its offer–increasing reads and sales.
So, there are so many ways you can build your audience and share your work without driving us crazy with spamming.
Respect that our writing communities are all about coming together in the name of writing.
We want to share small works, discuss writing craft, and improve writing skills. It’s not a place for advertisement unless it fulfills one of the three purposes. DO NOT spam the pages. It destroys your credibility, demonstrating your desperation. Post confidently and purposefully. No, “My latest work. Give it a read.” That’s when we won’t. Yah, yah?
Share your work with me and others in the writing communities on Google+!
So, how, where, why, and when do you share your work? How do you feel about “spamming” in your writing communities? Do you have any suggestions for writing communities that we just need to check out?
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