Just a short post this week to all our members, or even readers, who use Women Writing the West to search for authors who write in or around our genre or as a reader who loves to read about other women or about the west.
We’re everywhere, though sometimes states apart, but sometimes it’s nice to remember all the places to seek one another out! Writing (and reading) can be slightly lonely pursuits in some cases, so when it’s time to connect with someone else, or to find other western readers to discuss a favorite book, where can we search in a time where we are both extremely connected but also oddly alienated from one another?
First things first, there’s Facebook – our WWW Facebook pages are lively and visible to readers and writers alike. WWW members also have the hugely supportive and warm Listserv where we get to chat privately and send sensitive news or extra hugs through the internet waves. Facebook also provides several other western writing groups, where authors chat both privately and then with a larger reader base on a separate but linked public platform on Facebook. Start searching just for western writers through Facebook’s searching and you’ll find loads!
Secondly, there are great lists available for genre-specific bloggers, each with their own following. It takes a bit of digging, but say you write western historicals? You’ll find bloggers out there who share such books with their readers on a regular basis. Reach out – you may find other WWW authors who have already been featured on that blog, or you’ll pick up more readers (and readers, you might find books you’d never have spotted otherwise!).
Author Pop-Ins on both Twitter and Facebook have become noticeably more effective – both to find new readers but also chat with like-minded authors. Tagging one another during chats helps tremendously as well. If you write Young Adult, try Instagram – both posts about your book and “Live” events. The YA market is moving away from Facebook and you might catch more readers on other forms of social media. Or consider going to a con – sometimes historical works do really well at sci-fi or fantasy conventions. If your work fits, it’s a great way to get a young, vibrant, and dedicated audience.
And lastly, whenever you attend a book conference, reach out to the WWW membership to see if anyone else is also attending? You might get a chance to really connect in person with someone, and if you don’t ask ahead of time, you may never meet them at the event. Or, conversely, you might get other WWW members to attend once they hear of the event. Person-to-person meet-ups are always worth their weight in gold, so keep in touch with other WWW members on the Listserv or Facebook in the chance this might work out!
Sara Dahmen, WWW Blog Coordinator