Networking with other writers is a must to be a successful writer. Attending a writer’s conference is not the only way to network. I went to a fun event at our public library Catch a Bunch of Authors. Fifty local authors were on hand to autograph their books and answer questions. I visited almost every author and chatted with them. Some I bought books from; others I took materials. My goal was to network.
I asked some authors who their publishers were and what inspired them to write their books. Fascinating stories. Openness and honesty with their answers made for a pleasant exchange. I went home and sorted their business cards according to those who gave me the most useful information and websites I wanted to explore. I had given my business card to a few of those who had additional information for me.
Anywhere you find fellow writers is where you will find a wealth of information. It doesn’t take much prodding to get them to talk about their favorite subject. If you are courteous and have a listening ear, the time spent with them can be golden.
A few do not’s when networking with authors
Don’t monopolize their time; they came to the event to get their names out there and sell their books.
Don’t argue with them about their subject matter. If you are not interested in it, pass their table by.
Don’t ask them to read your stuff or set you up with their publisher. It’s ok to mention that you write. If they ask you about what you write and only if they ask, briefly tell them. If they are interested in asking you further questions, they will.
Don’t barter for a bigger discount than what they are offering. If you can’t afford to buy the book right then, take the brochure home for later reference, or ask if their book is on line. I went home and purchased two books for my pc for a fraction of the paperback cost, and the author still got her royalties.
Some definite Do’s when networking with authors
Do smile and thank them for their time and information
Do tell them you are looking forward to reading their book if you purchased it
Do give them helpful information in return.
One gentleman had written a book for teens to inspire them to find mentors who were not entertainers or sports icons. My husband and I gave him several leads for organizations and individuals who might benefit from his book. A fantasy author’s presentation of her book seemed like a good fit for my daughter-in-law’s fourth grade class so I took materials to hook them up.
Networking has great rewards
During my two hours of perusing books and talking to authors, I got publisher leads, writer’s group info and encouragement. Check your local paper or library newsletter for author’s gathering in your area.