In many ways, publishing your writing is a lot like becoming a highly skilled fisherman. While some people occasionally fish as a hobby, the seasoned fisherman knows he has to fish many times to gain skill and catch fish.
To be honest, it has been years since I’ve held a fishing pole in my hands, but I “fish” every day. A fisherman puts his line into the water and is positioned to catch a fish.
Since I work in the writing world with print publications and books, I “fish” regularly for connections.
Cast Regularly for New Connections
Writers and authors must be in the market talking, networking, and connecting with others every day to make a difference with their writing. Yes, you need to craft an excellent story and book. I always encourage writers to learn these skills, but you need something more than good writing to succeed. You need the right connections.
Much of publishing (and any business) is a matter of making the right connection with the right person at the right time at the right place. You can’t make that connection working alone in your office at your computer or curled up with your legal pad writing your story.
What steps are you taking today to fish or network with others? Not sure how to start moving forward? Begin with your writing goals.
Do you want to:
- sell more books?
- land a traditional publishing deal or self-publish?
- build your platform or gather a group of readers?
- get more people to know who you are and what you are doing?
In all of these cases, you have to make a conscious effort every day to reach out and touch other people.
Use Social Networks
Some of us reach out to others through Twitter. I’ve mentioned how I follow new people every day—people within my target market of publishing. It does not consume lots of time, but the consistent effort is essential to my constant network expansion with this tool.
Use the Telephone
Also, I dig into my network of friends and connections. I pick up the phone and call people leaving little messages or connecting with them for a few minutes.
Yesterday I spoke with several literary agent friends. Why? Because these agents represent numerous authors who they want to get published. Those agents need to be reminded that I’m continually looking for exceptional authors to publish through Morgan James. Our publishing program will not be right for every one of their authors. Yet, it will be perfect for some of them. I’m looking for the right author—every day.
Speak to Potential Clients, Customers, or Readers
I have authors who have submitted their manuscripts, and I’m scheduling calls with them to see if Morgan James is the right fit for these authors. I spend a great deal of time on the phone and answering my email, but it’s part of my daily work. Your daily work will be different, but work every day to expand your connections.
Consider Past Fishing Expeditions
I think about past activities that have turned into productive fishing trips. For example, I’ve made terrific connections speaking at conferences. I’d like to do more speaking next year. It will not happen if I don’t take any action.
Instead, I’m making a list of conferences where I’d like to speak and the people who run these conferences. Can I fill a need for this event with a workshop or keynote? There are numerous conferences and events where I can help others—but I have to be proactive to get on their radar. I have to connect.
Promote Your Books
I’m eager to continue to promote my Billy Graham and Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams books (as well as other books that I’ve written or been involved with). So, I consider how I can book a radio show or podcast or do a guest blog post or some other event to get in front of a new audience. But, from my experience, this rarely happens without my initiative. Most of the time these opportunities come through proactive pitching and follow-up work. Are you building this type of fishing into your daily schedule?
Throughout the day I fish. I’ll be emailing and calling people—making connections and networking. You have to have a line in the water to catch fish. What steps are you taking to cast your line?
What are you doing to fish for new connections?
About the Author
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.