Networking tips for writers? Yes, please!

As a book coach who serves Christian indie writers throughout their self-publishing journeys, I’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges they face is promoting and marketing their brand and their books.

Yet one of the best ways to promote oneself is the very thing many writers avoid like the plague: networking.

I think it’s important to first overcome the top four objections to networking before discussing the five essential networking tips for writers.

The Top 4 Objections to Networking as a Writer:

1) You have to be an extrovert to be good at networking.

Networking is absolutely not limited to extroverts. You may be introverted by nature, but as a Christian writer, you are called to let your light shine, not hide it under a basket.

Friend, God has chosen you as His mouthpiece about a particular topic and has entrusted you to write a particular book for a specific audience. He therefore intends for you to go out and reach that audience.

Remember Moses? He didn’t want to be in the public eye or communicate with a large group of people, either. But God was with him and provided him with a helper, his brother Aaron.

When you step out in faith and network with others, you can rest assured that God is with you and He will lead you to people willing to help you spread your book’s message.

2) Networking takes too much time.

Everyone is busy … and we seemingly get busier every day.

But God calls us to make time for others, especially those who are in need.

There are people out there who are in need of your book and the truths you share in it. I actually believe God has readers waiting for you.

But you have to take the time and effort to find them beyond your social media accounts.


3) It takes money to participate in networking groups.

Yes, a lot of networking groups charge membership fees, and to be honest, most business networking groups aren’t a good fit for authors since they expect each member to refer a certain number of potential clients to fellow members each month. It’s just not feasible for authors.

BUT that’s not to say that all networking groups charge fees or aren’t suitable for authors.

A group doesn’t have to have the word “networking” in its title to be considered a networking group. And networking doesn’t have to take place inside a group at all; it can be 1:1 interaction.

Networking is simply the act of getting to know other individuals. You can do that for free every day in a variety of ways.


4) Networking is sleazy.

While it’s true that some networkers only connect with individuals they perceive as being potential money-making clients and thus go to great lengths to wine and dine them to win them over, that’s not a fair representation of all networkers.

Just because some people reflect badly on an activity doesn’t mean that the activity itself is bad.

Look at all of us believers who continue to sin. In those sin moments, we’re reflecting badly on Christianity. But does that mean Christianity itself is bad? No, of course not!

Rather than avoiding networking because of some cultural perceptions, I encourage you to embrace networking. Be the example of how networking can be done well – in a way that honors God and others.

Now that I’ve shared how writers can overcome four common objections to networking, let’s dive into the five essential networking tips for writers so that other people can help spread the word about your brand and your books.

Join The Inkwell!

The Inkwell, hosted by Dalene Bickel, is your opportunity to develop a consistent writing routine, write in community, and fuel your faith.

Grab your pen and paper or open your favorite writing application and let’s write together LIVE via Zoom every week PLUS get free access to the monthly Craft Chat workshops!



5 Essential Networking Tips for Writers:

1) Before you introduce yourself to someone new, have an elevator pitch prepared.

This is something the members of my Inkwell writing community worked on in January. If you’d like access to the replay of this workshop and write with us every Wednesday plus gain exclusive live access to our upcoming monthly Craft Chats, then be sure to click here.

But back to elevator pitches: you want to develop a brief 1-2 minute summary of what you write, who you’re writing for, what makes your writing unique, and end with a call to action. (Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to create a blog post about how to create an author elevator pitch.)

2) Attend local in-person events; don’t just rely solely on online events and social media groups.

These can be helpful, of course, but don’t overlook the power of in-person interactions. since these result in much stronger relationships.

Look at the upcoming events in your area:

  • Facebook events page
  • Eventbrite
  • Your local news channel or newspaper community events page on their website
  • Local ministry organizationsto

On those pages, see if there are any writing groups, critique groups, bookstore events, library events, etc. listed that you can attend. If not, consider hosting a meeting/event of your own!

3) Get to know your local bookstore owners and employees.

Don’t go for the first time when you have a book in hand and want them to sell it for you. Rather, go while you’re still writing your book.

Become a regular customer and maybe help them with some of their events. Remember, friends tend to support friends.

But also remember, you can’t rely on your friendship alone. You also have to publish a quality book and make it available at wholesale discounts through a reputable distributor in order for a bookstore to purchase your book. Some other types of stores or visitor centers might purchase directly from you and sell on consignment, but you still have to have a quality book.

Check out episode 74 Can You Get Your Self-Published Book into an Indie Christian Bookstore? for more information on this topic.

4) If you plan to go on a blog or podcast tour when your book launches, read those blogs and listen to those podcasts in advance to make sure your book’s message will be a good fit for their audiences.

And while you’re reading and listening, post comments and/or send occasional notes to the podcast hosts letting them know what you most appreciated about a particular episode/post. It’s a way to introduce yourself and build rapport organically.

Believe me, when I receive a comment on my blog posts or an email from an Ink and Impact listener, I notice them! I truly appreciate their comments and their names stand out in my memory. If they were to later ask to be a guest and their proposed topic was something that met my criteria for the show, I would absolutely schedule an interview.

5) Follow-up online.

Occasionally when you meet someone, it’s a rushed conversation. If they’re not local to you but it’s someone you’d really like to get to know better, invite them to join you on a brief Zoom chat. Or maybe they’ll invite you to a Zoom chat.

Take advantage of these opportunities; don’t shy away from being on camera! Let your message – and the light of Christ – shine!


It’s Important to Follow These Networking Tips for Writers

Although networking doesn’t always come naturally or easily for writers, it offers a multitude of rewards, which include:

  • You’ll develop resiliency and build your trust in God when you step out of your comfort zone and rely on His guidance.
  • Networking with others prevents you from remaining isolated and can help you sell more books.
  • Networking enables you to grow in both community and grace. The more people you meet, the more personalities you face. Some personalities might rub you the wrong way. But by God’s grace, you learn how to be the light of Christ to not just your readers, but to the members of your community as well.

Now that you’re armed with the essential writing tips for writers and understand how beneficial networking can be, let me know in the comments which tip you plan to implement first! And feel free to share any other ways you like to network as well!

If you found this information to be helpful, be sure to subscribe to the Ink and Impact podcast so you’re notified of future episodes and associated blog posts.


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