Some of us are natural born networkers. You know the type – they never lunch alone, they seem to specialize in connecting people in ways that benefit both parties, they have no problem promoting themselves or their projects or ideas in ways that aren’t off-putting.

In my experience, most authors aren’t natural born networkers (if you’re an exception, my apologies). We tend to be more of the wallflower types, happy to write and create and let others do the talking and promoting. But in this day and age, most authors can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and more and more is being demanded of us to actively promote our own work. In fact, when it comes to launching a book, networking—or learning how to best leverage your networks—is perhaps the single most important factor driving your success. As I like to say, “It takes a village to launch a book.”

The good news is that even the least networky among us can still employ strategies to help build and rally a tribe to promote our book. Most people I work with are surprised by how many people they already have in their lives who are willing to help them out in promoting their books. And with a little time and dedication, they find that the process of building new relationships is much easier and more rewarding than they ever would have expected.

Of course, networking can be difficult, so I’ve put together a step-by-step battle plan that I use to help people leverage and grow their networks, or what I like to call “relationship ecosystems.”

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