Monday, November 26, 2018

The Commandments Of Author Networking

Writers are always looking to network and make the right connections – with publishers, literary agents, the media, bookstores, libraries, and readers.  So how do they go about connecting with others and developing helpful relationships?

It all starts with having intention – a clear goal of the types of people you want to converse with.  Once you know who you want to connect with – and what you hope to get out of a connection – you can ask for what it is that you want.

So if you realize you need to develop relationships with certain types of people, start to identify where these people live and exist.  Can you find them at a conference or event? Do they gather online?  Do you know people who can introduce you to those you want to meet?

Authors can’t afford to be shy, conservative, or muted.  Even luck won’t deliver you to those you want to meet unless you at least try to put yourself out there.

Networking and relationship–building for authors is vital to getting what they want.  It’s similar to dating – you have to put your best foot forward and expose yourself to others.  Be willing to get rejected, ignored, or mistreated.  Life has risks, many of which are worth taking when you’re seeking to pursue a goal.

So let’s say you meet someone and you want to see how the relationship can form.  What do you do or say?  I would suggest you ask questions and be a good listener. People like to talk.  They’ll like that you enjoy listening to them.  You may also learn something in the process.

Then offer them information about yourself, but don’t be scattered and just talking about anything and everything.  Stay focused.  Give examples or tell a short story of something interesting and relevant.  Your goal is to sound important enough for them to sense you can do something for them.  Hopefully you can mutually help one another.

Offer help.  Sound sincere.  Show you’re informed, even enlightened, maybe funny, and always curious.

People will help those they think can help them.  They will also help out of guilt, greed, fear, or hope.  They will share information over doing something.  They will want to come off as being supportive, even if they’re not.  They will certainly talk further if you show an affinity for the things they value.

Seek to find things you have in common.  It could be your faith, industry, favorite sport, or where you used to live.

Lastly, exchange contact information so that you can email each other or connect on social media.  Take notes on what you know of the person, when you met and under what circumstances.  In six months, check in again.  Maybe it will spark a new dialogue that leads to an action step.

Always network.
Then follow up.
Always ask for something.
But first give something.
Ask to meet their connections.
Share yours freely as well.

Some of my best friends or business dealings have come from referrals or third-party introductions. You can do this.

One of the best people to network with is other authors.  Yes, your competition!  

They understand your world and many are open to helping each other out.  You speak the same language!

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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