Who You Know Can Make a Difference
We in the publishing world spend a lot of time talking about things like:
• The best thing you can do for your platform is write a great book.
• Publishing isn’t about who you know, but what you write.
For the most part, these are true statements. Nevertheless, networking with other authors can be tremendously valuable:
• Sharing the journey gives you access to information you might not have had otherwise.
• Hanging with other authors (online or in real life) gives you encouragement that you’re not alone in this crazy writing life.
• At the right time, a recommendation from a writing friend to an agent or publisher can change your life.
Like all agents and publishers, I receive far more submissions than I can say “yes” to. But occasionally, one of my clients or other publishing friends will email me independently with a recommendation for a particular writer. I trust that they’re only giving the referral because they truly believe the writer is ready for publication and that they’d be a fit for me. So when the writer’s submission comes through, I’ll give it more attention.
In fact, most of my new clients come with referrals or recommendations. Often, they have a terrific blog to which others have directed my attention. Or maybe they’re in a writers’ group with someone who knows me.
Don’t underestimate the potential value of knowing other writers. You never know when it might come in handy. Writers’ conferences, writers’ groups, critique groups, local writer organizations, and online hangouts such as Absolute Write can all be places to begin networking.
Knowing all the right people won’t do you a bit of good if you haven’t paid attention to the most important thing: writing well. But once you can do that, your relationships just might make a difference in your publishing journey.
Are you friends or critique partners with other writers? What do you think of the idea that it can help you?