Networking for Authors, Poets, and All Writers

Writers are often solitary types who work alone and spend hours each week without communicating with others.  As a writer, I always look for opportunities each month to get involved in activities where I will meet other writers, authors, publishers, and booksellers.

This past weekend, I was selected to do a poetry reading at Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. While spending the entire day at the festival, I also staffed the exhibit table of one of the several writers’ groups I belong to.

If writers don’t meet other writers, publishers, and booksellers, they are missing out. A writer always gets ideas from other writers and business people in the writers’ marketplace.

When I wasn’t staffing the exhibit table, and before my reading, I walked around the city blocks of this massive festival to learn from other writers, book/journal publishers, cultural,  literacy, and educational organizations,  and bookstore owners who had booths there. I learned so much in the way of what others are writing and publishing, and about what organizations are doing to promote literacy at all levels.

It was particularly revealing to see what books are being published. I always tell fellow writers who are working on their first books, that in order to come up with an effective title for their book, they should do their homework. They should study what other titles in their field are out in the marketplace.

Coming up with a title for your book that everyone will remember is time-consuming, but it is also one of the most important things an author can do. A great title can sell a book, and conversely, a book that may be a great book, may fail to get anyone’s attention because the title isn’t interesting.

For example, if you want to write a novel, investigate titles of novels recently published. When you write a book, whether or not you realize it, you are working on a product that, at some point, you may want to sell.

As a writer, don’t live in a vacuum. Talking to others in the field of the written word is essential. You will also form friendships with others who share your goal and who can give you encouragement when you are burning out on writing. Even the best of writers experience burnout and discouragement. It’s normal.

Being a writer doesn’t mean being a hermit in an attic. It means being an active person in your field who sees the value of keeping your pulse on the literary world, just as any professional keeps a pulse on their chosen field. That’s how you grow! And, someday, you may want to make  writing a full-time job, if you’re doing it as a hobby or part-time now. Never say never about anything.

Copyright 2015 by Charlotte Digregorio.

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About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I am also the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I have signed books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won thirty-three poetry awards. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I am an internationally-published haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, haibun, free verse, acrostic, cinquain, etheree, and sestina poet. My poetry has been translated into six languages, and I have done poetry readings at a variety of bookstores, libraries, art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. My poetry has been displayed at supermarkets, art galleries, libraries, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I've been interviewed on cable television about my poetry. I also hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I was also self-employed as a communications/public relations/marketing consultant with 111 clients in 16 states. In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give special lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and to those at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and to libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America. Currently, I am Second Vice President of the Haiku Society.
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2 Responses to Networking for Authors, Poets, and All Writers

  1. sheila elliott says:

    June 11, 2015Oak Park, Illinois Wise words, indeed. Even if we know how important being with other writers is, we sometimes forget or need a reminder. I had a great time working as a volunteer, going to presentations and readings, and talking to other vendors. The Lit Fest really fills a niche in Chicago and seems almost irreplaceable at this point., Thanks again for your great haiku site. Sincerely, Sheila Elliott

    Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:53:12 +0000 To: sheilakelliot@hotmail.com

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