Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recession Be Damned! Keep Your Mojo By Networking!

Author and blogger Mayra Calvani recently interviewed me for her Book Talk Corner and it reminded me of how important networking is.

That interview is the result of several serendipitous encounters with Mayra that grew into a relationship in which we network regularly. That Mayra lives in Belgium made me even more appreciative of Internet networking in particular. Here are is a quiz that I hope will get you to thinking about your own networking.

~Do you answer your e-mail? Consider answering about everything that comes to you. Even some things that at first smack of SPAM? As an example, I once received an e-zine I hadn't subscribed to. Instead of unsubscribing (or worse complaining to the editor or reporting them to the SPAM cops), I wrote them a letter. I told them it had come as a pleasant surprise, that I loved it and that I had an idea for an article for them. Voila! An article sold and a new resource and friend.

~Do you offer to get others’ names out there: on your blog, on you Web site, in your handouts, etc? Networking doesn’t flow in only one direction. Further, it isn’t always tit for tat.

~Do you hesitate to ask for what you want? That’s what a query letter is. You let your contact know what you need, nicely. Without that question or statement, it isn’t a query letter. It’s a cover letter. Your contact may not have any idea what do with your letter! Same goes for networking. You occasionally need to let your contact know what you've done to help her out and, at other times, what your own needs are.

~When you read my newsletters and blogs, do you use the links? Go contribute a comment and leave a little tidbit about your own title, as well as your URL?

~Do you congratulate people on their successes and then follow up with notes on other topics now and then.

~Are you working at least one social network? I was surprised to find a follow message from my daughter on Twitter last night. No, she isn’t an author but the girl’s got networking in her genes. (BTW, you can find me at And, yes, I’m giving out good information there, too. Like a list--one teet at a time--of agents, reviewers, and publishers.

~Do you belong to a couple of good listservs? Go to or and find a group that specializes in wirting and promotion topics.

~Are you writing your thank you notes? Use Google Alerts to learn who is talking about you or your books and then, for heaven’s sake, send a thank you. Your mommy wants you to! (You'll find the Alerts link on your Accounts page at

So. What do you do to network? Send it along to me using the comments below. I’ll include it as a tip in my newsletter along with your book title and your Web address. Now that’s networking!

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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