Your English and Tagalog network of friends will multiply accordingly if you consciously give networking a boost. In the old days most writers keep to their desks, but today writers must take an active part in all aspects of publishing. One of these aspects is the development of a readership base.
Why develop a readership base? Initially, you think that you have your English and Tagalog readers out there, waiting to be fed with creative ideas. But today, with so many attention seeking texts online, you can’t be satisfied with accidental readers. You need to target them and make them aware of your books.
In order to tap a readership base, follow the patterns of authors who have mastered the art of networking.
First, “connect with as many people connected to the world of publishing as possible.” The investment in this area involve genuine reaching out and building friendships with local literary luminaries and publishing insiders. Take them to dinner, pick their brains and pay the tab. If time allows, make friends with local bookstore owners and employees as well. Those inside publishing are the best individuals to recommend your book to target readers since they have first knowledge of its contents. As for the people in the bookstore, make sure that they know under what category your book should be shelved inside the bookstore to give it the needed exposure.
Second, be a part of a writer’s group and show up at regular meetings. This will also expand your readership base since writers are avid readers and their reviews or comments will endorse your book. Meanwhile, be genuinely interested in their books, attend their book launch, and give them feedback if they want it. Your presence in their events will encourage them. During literary festivals, you can be instrumental in encouraging more writers just by attending and being fully present.
Third, embrace technology and enthusiastically launch yourself into cyberspace. Start a newsletter and send this to writers, friends and acquaintances, encouraging them to pass it on to their network. The newsletter should contain something that they will consider of value either to their craft or discipline. Sometimes, just sharing your own experiences as writer will provide a human interest story that can inspire. Plan the newsletter very well; wear the hat of a passionate magazine publisher. This also means following a strict calendar that will allow you to produce regularly.
Fourth, don’t miss your regular time of writing, re-writing, polishing and making sure your book is of excellent quality (well thought of, well researched, well-written). As you write, you will have new ideas. Jot these down for future reference or for use as springboard for later book projects.
Be sincere in all your connections, after all, they will eventually compose your writer’s community. After you’ve written your first book, begin another. Your old and new friends will expect this from you. As you regularly meet the expectations of your readers, you are paying it forward and expanding your English and Tagalog network.