We’ve discussed how networking is the life support of a writer, especially if you’re an indie author. You have to make connections with others in the business and make a name for yourself. Get the word out about your book and reciprocate the generosity to those who help you along the way. Being indie means stepping outside yourself, seeing the bigger picture, and helping your fellow author. You’re not going to receive less sells if you help someone. Haven’t you heard of karma? Pay it forward?

So, now that we’ve settled why you should network, how do you network? Two words … leg work. Yes, you have to put in the time and effort to make those connections we talked about in my last post. A good way to get moving in the right direction is by joining a social media site or writing community.

I participate in many social media sites, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Wattpad, the list goes on. I know as authors, we tend to be introverts, but this is the time to learn how to socialize. Don’t worry. Most of us don’t bite. I used to be real shy, but when it came down to getting my book out there, I knew I couldn’t be a wallflower anymore. I want people to take an interest in what I’m writing, and I want to share my story. The only way to achieve that is by being social.

I belong to an awesome social media site that I’m now a board member of. Some of you may have heard of them because they are making the way for a lot of us indies. The Indie Book Collective. I cannot recommend this group enough, and not just because I’m on the board. This group was good to me and helped me to learn most of the things I’m blogging about long before they invited me to be on the board. They know their stuff, and because of that, they are getting national recognition for it.

Programs like Blog Tour de Force and Bestseller for a Day are two things that are making life as an indie so much better. I began following the IBC in December of 2010. I took one of their free social media workshops and my life in the writing world changed immediately. Not only did my Twitter account go from 25 followers to nearly 1000 (970 at the time of this post) in about three months, I learned how to use twitter effectively. If you want to move forward as an indie author, I suggest you follow the IBC on Twitter and Facebook. Join the collective here and check out our grou.ps page. Make yourself a member profile and join genre groups. You won’t be sorry you did.

A couple writing communities I belong to our Nurture Your Book and She Writes. Though Nurture Your Book is the newest community I’ve joined, they have many good things happening there. You can make your own member page here as well as join groups on both of these sites.

This is an excellent way to start meeting other authors, readers, reviewers, etc., and a way for people to get to know about you and your work. I assure you, the vast majority of the people on these sites are there to help. Let’s face it, as indie writers, we need all the help and support we can get.

Next week I will be talking a little more about Twitter and hashtags for those of you who are unfamiliar with the way to use them. As always, please leave a comment and let me know what you think, if my posts are helping, what subjects you would like more information about. I’m here to help so don’t be afraid to ask.