No, I’m not writing in text-speak. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out, and a number of self-published authors have discovered that using the site can actually HAWO, or Help A Writer Out – namely, them.

This is especially true if you are self-publishing non-fiction, because as someone who has probably done a lot of research for your book or books, you likely know quite a bit about that particular subject.

For example, if someone is doing a story on Chicago theatre and you’ve written a book on the subject, you’re probably a great resource for them. And – if this hasn’t occurred to you already – getting your name in print as an expert and hopefully mentioning or even quoting your book in an article probably isn’t going to hurt your sales any. In fact, by becoming the go-to person on a particular subject for reporters, you can really get your name out there to a wide audience.

But it’s not limited to just non-fiction writers. The great thing about HARO is that it is truly a community of writers, and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help make your novel about Santa Fe cops in the 1950s more realistic by providing you with real stories, research, and background. Perhaps you can help them with that info you dug up on West Coast politics for the thriller you just completed.

Basically, it’s a fantastic resource that can help your writing top to bottom – from getting the correct information down on the page to networking and putting your work out there so more eyeballs see it.