Just found out that I've been given a writing assignment by Novel & Short Stories Writer's Market by Writer's Digest Books. This is a yearly book that contains all the listings and advice for any writers interested in novel or short story writing. It's a huge book, around 1,000 pages, and contains articles about the writing process. I'll be writing an article on networking for the 2007 edition.
How I landed this article is a great example of networking. To wit:
- Katharine Sands, a NY literary agent spoke to our area writer's group last year at our annual meeting. I wrote a thank-you note to her for her talk and inquired about using her as a source for an article I wanted to write on Establishing Author Platforms - a speciality area of Katharine's.
- Katharine called me when she got my note and was very agreeable to being a source for me. She also offered to put in touch for the article with other top literary agents.
- I sent out queries to writer's magazines. All were rejected except for the Novel & Short Story book. The editor there asked that I follow up in 6 months time for review.
- I followed up last week. The editor said the topic wouldn't work, but the editor of Writer's Digest magazine recommended me and she'd like to try and use me for a story. (Was I floating on air after that one? You betcha. I've sent 5 queries in the past year to WD, all rejected. But apparently it pays to keep trying and keep your name out there)
- I offered a query on networking, which the editor accepted.
- Now I'll go back to Katharine to use her as a source and also follow-up with the other agents for sources for the article.
All of this from one little thank you note. Never underestimate it's power--I teach that in my networking workshops.
The really cool thing is that if I get my act together enough to send out my public speaking book proposal soon, having the exposure of appearing in Novel & Short Stories Writer's Market is a big marketing plus. Would be great if I had a public speaking book ready to advertise in my by-line.
The yin-yang time frame of the literary world is amazing. For the most part, it's on big waiting room where you wait 6 months to hear if your query idea is accepted or 2 years to publish your book. But I feel like I've crossed a warp-zone timeline and now I must fly to get things ready. The book proposal must go out NOW to take advantage of the byline, which means the book writing must occur RIGHT NOW.
I actually love it. I get really bored doing the same thing every day and the writer's life offers a great chance to do something unique each day.