Reaching Out Is Hard To Do
Some writers excel at selling themselves, and we love them. They are confident, feel at ease with people, and like being center stage.
But what do you do if you’re an introvert?
Most writers are—introspective, loners, and some are true introverts—we would rather be in our corner writing. I know I’m not alone in this situation. What many don’t understand is that being a true introvert is more than being shy or preferring to be alone.
True introverts become drained when surrounded by people, even in small groups, sometimes even one-on-one. They become fatigued. Sometimes it manifests itself with physical symptoms like sweating, feeling faint, rapid pulse, migraines, and at times more drastic effects.
So what’s an introvert to do?
Here are three things I tried to help me connect with other book lovers:
- Surf various types of social media and join in conversations. Utilize the internet to its fullest. I suggest staying away from conversations regarding two things while on social media: politics and religion. These topics are volatile and often filtered with comments by trolls who invite trouble. If you’re not crazy about Facebook (where many authors hang out) then check out other media feeds like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Tumblr . . . there are many social media sites to choose from 60+Social Networking Sites You need to know about in 2018 Try them all until you find the one that fits you best. Don’t forget about group discussions on Goodreads, BookLikes, and LibraryThing, after all, they are sites filled with book lovers like you. Wherever you feel comfortable joining and starting conversations, that’s where you should concentrate your efforts.
- Find online groups and forums regarding topics that you enjoy. It’s best when a group’s discussions align with your interests—so look around, be fussy—until you discover a group where the discussions feel comfortable. Start up conversations. There are many Forums based on interests, like cars, gaming, technology, cooking, etc. For a good initial search, go to wikipedia.org/List_of_Internet_forums and find a forum that aligns with your interests. Or do a Google search based on your hobby, curiosities, or the thing you’re researching for your book. Check out 60 niche social networks (especially for niche marketers) another Forums The Verge offers discussions that intersect technology, science, art, and culture. Find a forum that sparks your imagination and a safe place to connect.
- Join groups that have resources available online. If you don’t like attending conferences or meetups with local writing groups, you can still hear what other writers are talking about. There are focused groups that can help you navigate the maze of publishing, editing, and marketing. Look for prominent groups that have a sound record of pointing people in the right direction to the best online services. I have followed free services by many groups and then joined the one that offered the best fit for me.
A good start is ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) A few others: BooksGoSocial based in Dublin, AiA (Association of Independent Authors), and The Kindlepreneur
UPDATE: Here’s a great resource for social media in 2022:
Surprising Social Media Statistics – The 2022 Edition – BroadbandSearch
I’m not always successful with my attempts to socialize online, but I try to put myself out there and push my comfort level each day, as much as possible. Don’t forget to listen to your body. Interact as much as possible, but stop when you reach your limit. Nothing is worth you becoming ill.
I’m fortunate to have found many generous and interesting people online, some I consider an online friend. There’s nothing more gratifying than meeting another person online who ‘get you’ and share the same insane interests or experiencing the same conflicts. This is how we can connect and socialize online while keeping our introverted borders intact.
One important thing to remember—The number one way to sell books is by word of mouth.
Word of mouth sells more books than Facebook, more than Twitter, etc. The bottom line is that we need to talk with others and let them know about our books and share the news, so connect!