When you bring your writer career online, it can feel a lot like standing in the middle of Times Square on New Year’s Eve. You look around and see people everywhere, but none of them give you a second glance. How do you connect with those all around you?
In reality, the size of the online writing community can be a real asset to your development as an author, but you have to know how to most effectively tap into it. No matter which way you like to communicate online, here are some options for getting started:
LitChats occur every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Twitter from 4-5pm ET. They are a fast-paced, fun way to connect with other writers and discuss current topics and issues around the publishing scene. There may sometimes be a slight bias toward traditional publishing in LitChat, but it is becoming more and mroe friendly to self-publishers, so join the discussion! Not in the Eastern time zone or busy at 4? Search the #litchat hashtag at any time to chime in on that day’s topic.
What’s a hashtag, you might ask? Hashtags, another Twitter feature, are shortcuts to searches on Twitter that help you connect with others discussing a similar topic. They begin with a pound sign (#, also known as a hash) followed by the tag/keyword itself (hash + tag, get it?). The list of common hashtags for authors grows every day, but here are a few of the ones you’ll see most often:
- #amwriting – #Amwriting is used by authors discussing what they’re currently working on as well as those who post resources for those writers. It’s a very busy hashtag, with about 30 or so posts every 5 minues, so it’s always easy to jump in and connect with fellow authors.
- #myWANA – Formed by Kristen Lamb, this tag stands for My (as in my book) and We Are Not Alone. It’s a less busy, but high-quality way to connect and commiserate with other writers. If you need a pick-me-up, you’ll likely find a kindred spirit in #myWANA.
- #selfpublishing, #selfpub – these tags all have to do with all of you indie authors out there (whom we love). Use these to connect with people and resources for indie authors. #SelfPublishing is usually the most active, but they are often used interchangeably — often dependent upon the length of their tweet!
GoodReads is a community of both book authors and lovers. It has become well-known in the indie publishing community as a great way to build an audience for their books. It’s free and easy to sign up, and a membership allows you to review books, add friends, join groups and more. Use it as a way to get your book out there, as well as help out other authors and books you love! Be sure to add Duolit as a friend so we can check out your book and what else you’re reading!
Communities bring together a wide range of authors with common interests, usually integrating blogs, a forum and other ways to connect. The most popular community in the self-publishing sphere is the Self-Publishing Review, which publishes high-quality blogs, fosters communal goodwill and tackles some of the biggest problems out there for self-publishers. It’s absolutely free to join and you can jump into the discussion right away!
What are your favorite ways to get involved in the online writing community? Let us know in the comments!