Networking Dos and Don’ts

*Note, this was suppose to appear on Thursday, however since I had a momentary lapse of ‘what is today’s date?’ and scheduled it for the 30th, it is up on Friday… Sorry!*


Networking is one of my favorite things to do. I do really enjoy meeting people and making new friends and allies. Networking is a very important part of any type of career, but particularly with writing.

Now a couple of things that networking is NOT:

  1. ‘What can you do for me?’ Networking is not about meeting someone, talking to them and then not contacting them again until you need something. It’s a two-way street, help one another. Offer to review books, read over work, or even, you know, actually take an interest in their life! *gasp*
  2. ‘Look at who I know!’ If you do manage to really connect with someone ‘famous’ don’t go bragging about them and showing them off like a new toy. They’re people too and need/want friends.
  3. Don’t be a selfish jerk. Help out the people you know. Someone has a new book coming out? Mention it to people or send out a few tweets. Offer to host an interview or write a review. If you see something that would interest them, then send it on.
  4. Ignore e-mails, messages, etc.  Just plain mean. At least try to respond in a timely manner.
Alright, now a few things you should do:
  1. Send out an e-mail saying it was nice to meet them.  Say you go to a big convention and meet all kinds of writers, take the time to send a brief ‘Nice meeting you.’ e-mail. It extends the invitation to stay in touch and is a great way to start a friendship.
  2. Stay in touch. I don’t mean turn into a super creeper and like and comment and tweet everything they say. But generally just keep in touch about what’s going on. New book deal? Congratulate them! Sick? Send good wishes! It’s pretty simple stuff.
  3. Offer to help. If they are looking for someone to read over their newest short story and you have the time then offer! It’s a great experience for you and you get to help someone out.
  4. Be a friend.  No, networking is not exactly about making new friends but I think if you go about it that way it works better. Be friendly, polite and kind. Treat them like you want to be treated. Burning bridges doesn’t help anyone and the writing world is a lot smaller than you think.
That’s the basics. What are some of your tips for networking? What’s worked for you?

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