Networking and StellarCon Book Launch Party Pics

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The problem with most people’s approach to networking is that they think they have to come away with a book contract or at least an agent’s or editor’s or writer’s personal contact information. If you’re trying to make your ‘elevator speech’ or ’30-second pitch’ of whatever else you want to call it within the first few minutes of meeting someone, you’re trying to hard — and it will come across that way.

 

The truth is finally revealed...

The reality is that you want to relax, find something you and the other person have in common, and make a friend. Have fun. Patience is the key; all that other stuff will come when the time is right. Is networking important? You bet your @$$ it is. But it’s also only one piece of a much larger equation. Keep it in perspective.

 

I got to be editor of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show through networking. It’s true. It also took two years, and the question I asked most often was “Is there anything I can do to help?”

I got to edit the Magical Words how-to book the same way, except it took three years instead of two. As much as we all joke about it,  when I was sitting with the group in 2010 at ConCarolinas, they were brainstorming about ways to reach a wider audience, and all I did was throw out an idea that I thought would help them accomplish that. I wasn’t secretly rubbing my hands together and hoping they’d ask me to join the group; I was sitting with a bunch of friends and trying to help them accomplish their goal. If we count that as the final step in a process that resulted in the birth a book, the initial step was when I met David for the first time at ChattaCon in 2007. And believe me, there were a lot of other steps in between, none of which had anything to do with publishing a how-to book.

The one thing all of my networking “success stories” have in common that clearly fall into the category of intentionally doing something is that I purposely put myself in a position to be around other writers. Conventions, conferences, signings, whatever. I’ve driven a looooooooong way to get in the same room with certain writers. Most of those trips have not resulted in jobs or assignments, and of the ones that did, rarely did they come from the sources I expected them to. However, most of them did result in good relationships with good people, and that’s what networking is supposed to be about. I would call that a success every time.

Stuart, Faith, David, Edmund & Misty @

StellarCon 2011

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14 comments to Networking and StellarCon Book Launch Party Pics

  • I think we are gorgeous! And the party was a total hoot! And I had a wonderful time! And Misty brought COOKIES!!!!
    And we picked a winner of the goodie basket (which will be announced on Wednesday) and, and, and… I think I’m done.
    :)

  • NO! Wait! What Edmund said. About networking. All true. And the best networking is done at parties.
    Okay, now I’m done.

  • A couple of these pictures give you an idea of just how packed that room was. It really touched us all. So from all of us at MW to all of you, a big THANK YOU for your support. And if you couldn’t be there, we’ll be doing something at ConCarolinas for sure (although without Misty’s cookies it just won’t be the same).

  • That looks like so much fun. I really cannot wait until June. Only 3 more months … *so excited*

    I’m bringing chocolates. And some sort of baked good (hopefully cupcakes). The airline said I could.

    p.s. Before I forget again, Edmund, I really enjoyed those free stories you posted a few weeks ago, and so did a few of my friends. Thanks!

  • Faith – Parties are your one-stop shop for food, friends, and freaks. Well, two out of three ain’t bad…

    Stuart — We’ll just have to find out if A.J. can bake, eh?

    Laura — Glad you enjoyed the stories. Looking forward to meeting you at ConCarolinas.

  • I just noticed I’m the shortest one in Magical Words! But not the youngest. *grin*

  • I guess now would be the time to admit I was standing on a phone book for that last group shot… 😉

  • It was pretty crowded in there, and it got pretty warm! I would have worried about Misty’s cookies melting, had there been any left…

  • So you admit YOU ate them all, eh?

  • You guys and gals all look great! I so wish I could have made it. Schedules and monies being as they are however… :[

    Hopefully I can catch yall real soon.

  • P.S. – A question if I may…

    How soon should aspiring writers attend Cons and other networking functions? I would hate to go to a Con, meet an agent/editor, have them say “hey send me something”, and not have anything ready to send.

  • Mark, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start going to cons and such (as long as it’s not an undue financial burden); as I said in the post, these things take time to develop and blossom. In fact, going to networking events before you have a completed manuscripts could arguably take the pressure off and help you relax. Nothing to sell? Then you’re not trying too hard to sell something. And an agent/editor isn’t just going to say “Hey, send me something” without first asking what you do and what you’re working on etc. etc., and in the course of that conversation you’re going to be honest and say “I’m working on a novel, but it’s not 100% ready to go yet.” And if they really like you and give you their card anyway (what a great problem to have), it’s not like the information has an expiration date. But boy will you be motivated to get back to work!

  • >>>But boy will you be motivated to get back to work!<<<

    That is too true! :)

    Thanks for the reply, Edmund.