I'm here for the day because Mia is down with a migraine that's refusing to leave. So...let's talk networking, shall we? Yep, I just heard a collective groan across the internet of authors. My hubby and I call networking 'playing nicey nice' because occasionally I run across people that I don't like, they rub the wrong way, but networking is important in this business. Now do not be mistaken, networking is not kissing ass of people who are higher on the author food chain than you and it's not riding on coat tails. As an author you have to network with a lot of different people and you help each other out. Examples?
Editors: I meet editors at convention, always take cards, always talk about their process. Why? Ms. J takes such wonderful care of me, but I also know (from conversation) that she can get pretty busy with school and family. Something might happen and I don't want to be out an editor. As an Indie author you don't want to be caught without an editor during crunch time.
I keep a file on different cover artists, why do such when I have one that I'm so happy with and has amazing prices? Because it might not always be that way. She might get way too busy to do my cover, something personal might happen where she has to close her business for a bit, or heaven forbid we have a falling out—cause trust me, that happens a lot in the indie world. I don't want to be stranded. I meet cover artists at conventions, pick up their cards, talk prices and in general just talk. I get to know them, they get to know me. Just recently I'm in a huge author event that has a graphic artist doing banners, they gave us a list of prices for her for future use. I messaged her and talked to her a bit. I do research on this. I will not be high and dry if something happens to my cover artist.
Okay so what about the people who don't offer a service? Other authors? Bloggers (though they do offer us a service)? Podcasters? People, this is where connections and cross promotions come into play. I did a podcast interview with someone I met from AnomalyCon, I was asked back to do a Co-host for two other shows for them. I really enjoyed the first interview and my first experience on a podcast. They get 100 listens per a cast...that's 100 more people who get to now my name. Exposure. Other authors? Some times they have advice for you, they know other events, and sometimes they are nice enough to tell you about the mistakes they made, so you won't make them. It's all about connections. Bloggers are the say, if a blogger likes your book, they spread the word, especially if you are not a stuck up egotistical sack of author (and yes, they spread that around too)
What I'm not saying: You don't have to kiss ass (yes, this needs to be said again), you don't have to be everyone's best friend, but you will make friends in the process. (I certainly have). Do not pester your contacts, always be grateful. If you are someone's networking contact, be nice, be professional, and be willing to help. Indie is a miss leading name...we don't do it alone, we do it together with support.