"I'll pat your back, if you pat mine." For some reason, those words can make us cringe the tiniest bit. They sound so selfish, so self-serving. And yet a lot of times this is how good business happens. Networking is all about patting backs, shaking hands, and doing favors. There's no shame in that, is there? It's no accident that some of the more outgoing, gregarious writers are the more successful ones. Wait a second! "Outgoing" and "writer" in the same sentence? Isn't an author supposed to lead a reclusive life, sleeping next to his/her manual typewriter and twenty cats every night? That's old-fashioned thinking, people! In this day and age it's all about who you know—and not just in the corporate world. Networking is the foundation for some terrific writers' organizations, like Romance Writers of America. If you're just using your memberships with these groups to get a free magazine every so often, then you're not getting your money's worth. Don't be shy!
Without networking, I wouldn't even have this job. Lucky for me, I'd worked with both Jessica and Jacky before and we'd kept in touch over the years. That's how opportunity knocked. It's all who you know. . . . My good friend Jeff Pearlman quoted me and BookEnds author Maggie Sefton in a recent article he wrote for Newsday. Free publicity! Here's a link to the article: www.newsday.com/features/booksmags/ny-etlede4761613may29,0,7463216.story. And to "pat" him back, I'll ask you to go out and buy his book about Barry Bonds titled Love Me, Hate Me. He's one of the best writers I know . . . almost as good as our clients. ;)
And see, "outgoing" is not a word I'd use for myself. Sometimes I wonder if I even knkkow the meaning of the word! Guess I better start seriously pushing myself out the door and into the fires...er, crowds!
Good advice. Another great networking tool is blogging. A lot of writers (and readers) have blogs, and they are great resources for advice and support as well. Plus it's free. Can't beat that.
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