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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Marketing - Networking

Currently reading - Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Sorry for the late post.  I started drafting this yesterday, but had to make a little trip to the dentist.  I love my dentist!  She gives me nitrous oxide and anesthetic gel and shots.  I don't feel a thing while she's working.

Afterward is another story.  I'm incredibly sensitive to vibration, so once everything wears off, the mother monster of all headaches leaves me pretty much incapcitated.  Needless to say, no writing of any kind happened after I got home.

But that's yesterday.  So, on the the good stuff!

***

The number one way people land jobs and make business deals is through networking.  It's the one method of marketing that's proven to work.  And yes, it applies to writing/publishing as well.

Here's an excellent example:

Remember Pam Noles from one of my posts on Saturday?  She has a friend, Cat Mihos.  Cat happens to work for Neil Gaiman.  (And if you don't know who Neil is, you should.  No matter what genre you write.)  Neil mentions Pam's blog on his blog.  I read Neil's blog because he's charming and witty, so I check out Pam's blog, because if Neil mentions it, it must also be charming and witty.

A year later, Pam mentions on her blog she's trying to raise funds for her one-woman show at the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival.  I donate, but I also tweet and blog about Pam's efforts.  I sent e-mails on the loops of the two RWA chapters I belong to.  Two of my RWA buddies, Diane Holmes and Melissa Ohnoutka, also donated.  Pam made her fund-raising goal, and she'll be at Hollywood Fringe Festival this year.

Now, take a good, hard look at all the links I put in the last two paragraphs.  Out of the five people I mentioned, one person I've met online, two I've met in person, two I do not know at all.

But I wouldn't have met Pam online if I wasn't a fan of Neil's and she didn't wasn't a friend of Cat's.  I wouldn't have met Diane and Melissa if we all hadn't joined the Northwest Houston chapter of RWA.

And that's the key most people miss.  Networking means getting to know people.  Making a connection with other humans.  Putting your real self out there.

People know if you're only talking to them because you want something from them.  Oh sure, you may con a few, but humans as a whole are not that stupid.

I can hear y'all thinking, "But Suzan, what about social networking?"

Honestly, folks, the method you use for networking DOES NOT MATTER!  I've heard the same crap y'all have heard.  "Only Twitter works."  "Only Facebook works."  "You have to do everything online to network or you will fail miserably."

To those people, I say "Bullshit!"

I was a computer consultant and an attorney long before I focused on a writing career.  The networking game was the same in both of those areas as it is in writing/publishing.  The only thing that's changed is that you've got a longer reach with the internet.

If you want some real world advice:

1)  Focus on the one or two methods you're most comfortable with.  You can't do everything.  You'll end up in a straight jacket if you try.

2)  The Goal is getting to know people, which means being your real self.

3)  The Threefold Law/Karma/The Golden Rule is in full effect.  Help others and they're more likely to return the favor.

As for the links above, I have no trouble plugging people I admire/like:

Pam Noles - If you'll be in the Los Angeles are June 16-26, 2011, check out Pam's show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival!

Cat Mihous - This lovely lady runs Neverwear.net, the official Neil Gaiman clothing shop.  Her latest item is the Super Cabal t-shirt with proceeds going to the Valley of the Kings animal rescue.  (For those who don't know, Cabal is a white German Shepard that Neil and his family took in several years ago.)

Neil Gaiman - Considered by many to be the greatest living fantasy author with awards too numerous to mention.  If you haven't read any of his works, I recommend starting with the complete Sandman graphic novels, Americans Gods, or The Graveyard Book.

Diane Holmes - This fabulous lady runs Pitch University, a way for new writers to hone their pitches to agents and editors with a focus on confidence and comfort.

Melissa Ohnoutka - A fellow author taking the independent publishing route.  Her latest, Faithful Deceptions, is now available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.com.

(Edit to add:  Great minds think alike.  Nathan Bransford has a post today about focusing on the social aspect of social networking.)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Tess. As long as writers realize there isn't a magic bullet to the networking thing, they'll do just fine.

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