(Or Novice Networking)
--> Google: search writer networking
I stumbled across, nearly instantly, Jessica Faust's blog entry on social networking (a few months old at the time) with the clear statement that SHE had two profiles: one agent, one personal, and that if people wanted to friend her agent profile, that was FINE. She also was very clear (and has been ever since, as are several other agents), “can't hurt to ask”.
So in that 'seat of the pantsless' way I do things, I created my author profile, invited my writer's group to friend me so I didn't appear to be a loser, then friended Jessica. Then I proceeded to scan HER friends and send friend requests to obvious authors.
How does one FIND obvious authors you ask... At first 1) by a book cover for a profile pic, or 2) a status related to writing or promoting a book. Easy peasy.
Beth Groundwater was the first author I really started tracking. She was preparing for a book tour and so had lots of guest blogs she was reporting and she was kind and responsive, so I also started scanning HER friends. I think that is where I found Elizabeth, though I may be misattributing (it IS what I do). And I've been following Elizabeth around ever since, mostly because she is so nice and gracious about it and seems to be doing all the right things.
I started blogging four months ago. Similar approach, but MUCH more work. Instead of pressing 'like' a lot and making a comment now and again, I had to both SAY SOMETHING (preferably something a little interesting, though I've had commentless days that I wonder...)AND (and this is the part you don't think about) spend quite a lot of time reading OTHER people's blogs and commenting (so THEY KNOW I'm reading)--PLUS, commenting on someone's blog who isn't one of YOUR followers often brings them seeking out YOUR blog. Initially I frantically invited tons of FB friends to follow, but anymore, I think most new followers are people I've read, commented on, and followed.
Now there are people worth following and reading you DON'T have to comment on. Nathan Bransford is not going to notice my comment from among the 400 OTHER comments (though I do tend to comment when he polls, being a good statistician and all). There just is an area of diminishing returns where... to comment, I feel obliged to read the OTHER comments to make sure I'm not just repeating a point, and is all THAT effort worth the miniscule possibility that somebody might notice my presence?
I guess my point is... I've made relatively good progress, probably because I have been following Elizabeth and she has such nice friends... Funny thing is though, I was the first of my writer's group really out of the gate with this networking thing... Natasha... erm... Rayna... had been blogging a long time, as had Jen, but I was the first one with a BOOK I was trying to sell, and so a reason to pester strangers into letting me wiggle my way in.
But now that the tart has tested the water, a few others have decided to join me. And guess what?! I'M A ROLE MODEL! *snort* But I find each of them brings something new. Mari has even been tracking down pantsless people for me *waves at Paul* to follow and I find instead of her borrowing MY friends and followers, I am now borrowing some of hers.
I guess what I'm saying REALLY is you don't have to know what you're doing. Dive in. follow. Feel around. It is sort of a squishy melding thing anyway, but if you put in a little effort, it seems to almost happen by accident... or osmosis...
Breaking news! I know I dissed it as impossible for a working girl... and I am not actually under the illusion I could write a WHOLE book in a month... and the way I write isn't actually conducive (long-hand, typed later)... but I've decided to participate anyway. Say what? See, here's my thinking. Amped wordcount goals. Good. Meeting other writers frantically writing? Good. Finding people who LIVE IN MY TOWN writing? Good. [I'm very excited about this aspect actually—there are 650 writers from Ann Arbor signed up. I only know two other fiction writers here, one VERY cool—Colleen, you rock!, and the other I once suggested years of therapy for to the principal of a school where both our children attended... she won't want to be friends with me anyway though, if she even recognizes my name, but I know how to run from her... besides, we have VERY different genres] I can participate in the spirit of it (and Dani said I could)... What I figure I will DO is discuss the book I am WRITING for process, but share pieces of the one I am TYPING—it's all part of the same trilogy, and I never WAS one to follow the rules to the letter. I figure it's only cheating if I claim at the end I wrote something in a month or enter the contest, neither of which I plan on.
“We got no fear, do doubt, all in, balls out!”
Weeeeeeeeee! (he doesn't say that part... it is just my natural response to Chad Kroeger and adrenaline) Oh, Chad... kicking isn't the only thing I'd like to do...