We all know how important networking is in selling our work and promoting ourselves. Social media has a big influence on people and the scouts out there who are always on the lookout for new talent. Even the publishing world relies on the internet nowadays. More publishers are taking on new authors and signing contracts with them based on their sale figures online.
Caitlin R. Kiernan writes:
“You have to be good. But it’s also very important to network and get to know people.”
Kiernan, an Irish born American writer, said once in an interview with Writer’s Digest magazine that when she finished writing her first novel “The Five Cups”, she picked a handful of horror writers whose works she admired and sent them the prologue to the book, as well as a letter of introduction.
“I did not have enough self-confidence to think I could land an agent right off the bat. I said in the letter, “If you like this, I would like you to read the novel with an eye toward giving me a blurb that I can use to help land an agent.” From everything I’d read, I knew that I needed an agent- and a really good one- if I wanted a chance at getting this book and my career off the ground.”
What an unusually brave strategy for a first time author!
Guess what? One of the writers she solicited not only asked to see the manuscript but also passed it on to her agent. The agent asked to see her novel but rejected it on the grounds that there were so many other novels of the same genre out there. But that’s not all! He then asked her to write him another book.
A fairy tale story. But that was back in 1996. Many of us would be so lucky nowadays to be asked to write another book after getting a rejection.
I remember the first rejection letter I got. Not only had the agent gotten the title of my book wrong, but he had also addressed me as sir even though I had mentioned in my covering letter that I was a wife and a mother of two. But maybe I wasn’t as self confident and bold as Caitlin R. Kiernan was.
“You have to be bold. When you see someone that you need to know, an editor or someone, then get to know that person, try to have someone introduce you. You can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. You have to make it happen yourself. And you have to find the people who can help you make it happen.” Caitlin R. Kiernan