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Elizabeth Carr stops by to Network

by on April 27, 2013
Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thank you Luscious Literaries for inviting me by today to talk something that’s a passion for me; Writing and the publishing business.

What I’d like to talk a little bit on today is networking. It’s something we at Rebel Ink Press encourage our writers to do, but who are often times baffled as the hows and whos of such.

In this age of technology, when you mention networking to someone, often the first thing they think of is social networks. But networking can and should run much deeper. The invent of reading devices and progression of self-publishing coupled with small and boutique presses making a mark in the industry have opened the flood gate for writers unlike any other time in our history. That being said, however, the getting one’s name in front of the eyes of the public is just as difficult as it ever was, particularly if the writer is relatively new and on a restricted budget. This is the case with the majority. It is probably even harder because of the daily influx of new names.

So how does one make a mark in such a world?

Social networking filled the gap to a degree upon its emersion, but what does a writer do past friending their limit or begging for likes to their author page until their virtual vocal chords are bruised?

This is where the networking we encourage writers to partake in takes up the slack and draws the writer into developing and maintaining prosperous and long-lasting relationships with people, blogs, review sites, and advertising opportunities. Networking means reaching out to others like yourself and sharing the load, so to speak, by utilizing tools together.

Blog hops, co-op paying for advertising space, swapping blog spots and interviews, sharing links on facebook, liking posts, re-tweeting—these are all excellent ways to network with others. Often times, the people you’ll network with aren’t other writers at all, but could be reviewers, bloggers, artists in other forms such as photographers and cover creators. The possibilities are endless really.

When first starting out, new writers, and even a few seasoned writers, don’t know where to begin. We’re fortunate enough at Rebel to have a couple of people on staff to get that ball rolling by providing lists of resources they scrounge for daily. While I can’t share all that data here as it would take me until next week, I’ll give a brief overview and a few pointers.

Form a bond with a few people with whom you share common goals and ideas. This can happen through contact on social media, in chat groups, etc. Be brave and begin a conversation. “Hey, how would feel about swapping a blog spot, or creating a blog hop? Would you be interested in sharing the cost of an ad at a website I found that looks promising? Where do you guest blog? Think I might be able to get a spot?”

Ask questions. If you don’t know how something works, ie how to request a review, how to write a request for advertising, etc, ask someone. Most seasoned writers won’t mind being asked a question or two. They were in your shoes at one point and had to ask as well.

Be committed. If you commit to something, follow through. This displays good manners and etiquette. If you let your network down, they won’t want to work with you anymore.

Be polite. Always, always say thank you and ask for what you want rather than demand or tell.

And lastly, pay it forward. Once you’re up and running and can count yourself among the seasoned, give a new writer you notice a leg up. Invite him/her into your network, to your blog, be encouraging, Remember what it was like being in their shoes.

Networking is so very important and if done properly, everyone can reap great benefits. Don’t be shy. This industry demands bravery.

Once again, thanks for inviting me to participate today. If you’d like to find out more about Rebel Ink Press, be sure to visit us at www.rebelinkpress.com

 

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One Comment
  1. This is practical advice. I’ve been writing online for the past 5 years (non-fiction and fiction began 2 years ago) and on one hand, I’ve heard this same advice. But on the other hand, it needs repeating. And you made a good point to band together and form bonds. In my non-fiction life, I have clients whom I advise to choose 4 to 5 websites or blogs and be a regular presence. Same goes for the fiction world from what you’re saying. I need to stop and create my own plan to do so. I’m getting a bit better and finally made a calendar for my guest posts and those I invite to my site.
    Thanks and sounds like you really care about helping authors gain exposure. And you’re write, with the influx of writers of all kinds getting noticed isn’t any easier. But those bonds and friendships indeed help.

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