In the last post, I said the number one step in Successful Networking is to Listen.
Networking isn't just trying to sell yourself or your book. A major part of networking is paying attention to others. But to pay attention to others, you have to meet them.
Step Two in Successful Networking:
Get up from your computer and put yourself out there. You have to meet and talk with other people.
In the case of book signings, sure, you want readers to buy your book. What you don't want them to do is take your book just to escape from you, then drop it on a table somewhere else in the store. You want them to feel like they have a rapport with you through this personal meeting. They not only buy this book, but look for future books.
When you go to conferences and workshops, you never know who you're going to meet. That nondescript woman sitting next to you at lunch could be the fabulous editor you've been searching for to go over your manuscript before you send it in to an agent. But you'll never know that if you spend the whole meal talking about yourself and don't even bother to exchange business cards or find out about her.
That guy you bump into in the hall at work or sit next to on the plane could be more than just clumsy. He might be an expert in forensics or quilting or beekeeping or that topic in your book that you really need expert advice on. How will you know that if you don’t take the initiative to meet and talk with him?
If you’re ePublishing, put yourself out on the Internet. Join groups where you can meet people and promote (see my post on July 9th).
So, another big part of Successful Networking for the author is talking with other people. That’s different from talking to people. Meet them. Get to know something about them.
6 months ago