Authors Making Connections

What if you do not have the money to travel around the world and attend writing conferences and book festivals? There are other ways to get yourself noticed and make connections with those in the publishing industry.

Here are some things you can start today.

Decide on One Connection Goal

What is the outcome you hope to achieve by connecting with a certain person in the publishing industry? By connecting to an established author, will you hope to gain access to all their ideas and use them for a reference? Or are you trying to gain representation from a literary agent? Perhaps you are attempting to make a connection with an editor at a mid-size publishing house to consider you for publication?

Choose a goal and keep that in the back of your mind. Now, proceed with unselfish motives.

Follow Blogs and Make Comments

Pick one person in the publishing industry that you want to connect with and start following their blog. It could be an author, literary agent, editor, or an owner of a mid-size publisher. Choose only one for now and make comments on their blog.

I have a rule not to say anything negative on a comment. If I do not agree with the writer of the blog, I click off and move on with my life. I understand that bloggers need both positive and negative feedback. However, the first time you post a negative comment, even if you are giving constructive feedback, it will be tough to make a future connection with that person.

To solve this problem, follow industry bloggers that you agree with most of the time. When you write a constructive, upbeat comment, you are building a relationship with that person.

When commenting, stay away from simplistic thoughts like, “Hey…great blog!” That won’t win you any points. Also, do not drag a comment on for eight lines. Instead, write one or two sentences that show you read the blog, you learned from the blog, and you understand the blog.

Example Comment: “Terrific point on how e-books can actually save the industry. The high percentage of new readers converting over from print is astonishing and encouraging at the same time.”

Forward Their Blog

By forwarding a great blog to others, you are doing a service to the blogger and yourself. You can make a quick comment of their blog on your web site and add a link. The blogger will appreciate it, your fans will appreciate it, and you will increase traffic on your web site.

Write About Their Blog

This is like taking a “comment” to another level. By writing a blog about someone else’s blog, (Did you get that?) you are paying them the highest compliment. Make sure your thoughts remain constructive and upbeat. Also, do not forget to give them credit during and after the blog, and provide their link.

Follow Them on Twitter

You will certainly gain attention by tweeting and re-tweeting. Doing this regularly, will build your relationship and keep you in the publishing industry loop. Don’t be surprised if others in the publishing industry start following you as well. And since you have been commenting and writing blogs, your connections will grow quickly each week.

Also, post their blog on Twitter along with your own blog. If you are making a connection with a literary agent, follow their company as well and retweet their posts.

Become a Fan on Facebook

“Like” author fan pages. If you are trying to connect with an agent, follow their company fan page for sure, but also find out if the agent has an individual fan page. If you are trying to connect with an editor, follow the publisher that they work for, but also see if the editor has an individual page.

Write simple, educated comments on their posts.

Make an Unselfish Connection

After at least one month of doing the above, make contact. (Tread carefully.) All your hard work can be destroyed by one bad email. Here is my suggestion, “I just wanted to drop you a quick note and say that I’ve really enjoyed your blogs and looking forward to more.”

Then end your email.

Those in the publishing industry are busy. However, I cannot imagine anyone not pleased by reading an unselfish email that compliments his or her blog.

Add Another Connection

Now that you have a good flow going, build another connection and form a relationship with that person. When the time is right and you need to use that connection for your ultimate goal, your chances of success will have increased a thousand percent.

An author, literary agent, editor, or publisher that recognizes your name, will at least give you some consideration, which is much better than sending them an email because you found their name on Google and you need their help.

Ron Knight  

For branding your name, I suggest Brand Eleven Eleven: 

Ron Knight

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  1. Good suggestions, Ron. When my first book came out in June 2000, I had no money to market it. Shucks, I didn’t even know I would have to market it myself. Besides, my husband was disabled and I was his sole caretaker, which made it impossible for me to go on booktours, speaking engagements, etc. I knew almost nothing about computers or the Internet. But, as you know, necessity is the mother of invention. So, I set about learning what to do and how to do it. Now, with 21 published books that sell pretty respectfully, my publisher (Star Publish LLC) asked me to share my secrets, so you can find them in my Promo Paks. It’s beyond marketing on a shoestring; most of the things in the book are completely free to do.

  2. Really refreshing to read something that feels achievable for most authors many who have jobs as well as writing – starting with one goal, one follow etc. Really practical advice I feel I can action. Thank you.