In author blogs and chat forums, writers are always asking each other, “How do I reach more readers and the public?”
Well, this week I’d like to talk up an organization that provides fantastic outreach opportunities: Sisters in Crime.
Last weekend, for example, I appeared at the Burbank Public Library on a panel called “So You Want to be a Writer?” that was sponsored by my local Sisters in Crime chapter in
Libraries are one of my favorite venues for panels and author events, because the program is organized around topics that attract a general audience rather than author BSP (blatant self promotion). And my chapter of Sisters in Crime is wonderful at working with libraries to bring writers and readers together. Sure, as a writer you get the chance to mention your work and sell a few books, but the primary focus is on communicating with readers about writing-oriented topics that appeal to a wide variety of readers.
By the way, you don’t have to be female to join Sisters in Crime; plenty of “sisters” are men. And you don’t even have to be published—the group includes booksellers, editors, librarians, teachers, and readers. It’s an incredibly nurturing, supportive group of people who have helped along many writers with their careers. I first joined Sisters in Crime a couple of years ago, when I had an unfinished manuscript in my hands and a dream of launching my own mystery series. I feel as though I’ve learned “the ropes” of meeting and greeting the public, networking, and—yes—even knowing when to throw in a little BSP from time to time.
How about you? Are you a “sister,” and what have been your success stories or events you’ve participated in through Sisters in Crime? I’d love to hear how some of the other SiC chapters go about connecting writers and readers.