Networking For Writers Online

Networking is important for anyone wanting to break into the publishing world. Every aspiring writer knows it is important to make solid contacts that will help him or her get work noticed. Here are some helpful hints to networking online.

All writers know that networking is an integral part of getting your work noticed and published. In the past this was limited to contacts made through the mail, over the telephone, or in professional groups. Today, networking can be done from home. Through the development of the Internet, writers have gained an invaluable toll that can be used to make contacts which otherwise may not be available.

There are many ways a writer can network online. Each way serves a unique purpose and can help a writer learn as well as sell his or her work. It is important to keep in mind that even if a contact may not seem like a pathway to being published, it very well could lead to others that do lead to an opportunity to see your words in print.

The first place to start is with a search engine. Using the search feature of Yahoo, Lycos or other such websites, type in words like writer, author, writing, publishing, freelancing. You can use other words that may seem appropriate such as genre types, agent names, or publishing house titles. This will give you a whole listing of resources. Don't rule any of these resources out too quickly, you never know where one might lead you.

Some of the listings you will find are online writers' groups. These are a great way to improve your writing skills. These come in the form of email lists, online clubs and chats or bulletin boards. Most of these allow you to post your work and get feedback. They give you the chance to exchange ideas and information on anything that has to do with the publishing industry.

Any online community that allows you to communicate with other writers will be helpful not only in developing your skills, but could lead to important contacts. Most of the time the people of these groups are very kind in sharing any information they have about any publishing opportunities including contests, anthologies, and online publications looking for contributors. Not only do they help you find editors that will appreciate your work, but it could also lead editors to you.

Other great resources for writers are publish at will sites. These websites allow you to post your writings for the whole of cyber space to view. They allow you to keep all the rights to your work and some even pay a tiny percentage of the revenue your page views generate. Believe it or not, publishers and editors do peruse these sites and there are times they contact writers about their work, but don't just sit and wait for this to happen. Your active involvement in the search for homes for your work is essential to your success.

The publish at will sites usually allow for comments by other readers which can help you develop relationships with the other writers and users of the site. These relationships have been known to lead to other relationships that develop into publishing opportunities. Pay close attention to what the other writers of these sites have to say, they just may end up being your passage to an editor that is looking for talent just like yours.

Ezines are online magazines. Some of them are the counterpart to print magazines and others are independent entities. Most of them accept submissions from writers. Some even pay for the work they accept. Even if you have work accepted by a non-paying ezine, you never know when that could lead to a paying job. They give you the chance to get your work noticed and exposed. It also allows you to build your portfolio of clips. These types of publications include literary as well as trade and informational ezines.

Most publishing houses, print magazines, and professional organizations have websites. Doing a search for a particular organization will lead you to its website. Do not hesitate to send email to anyone who offers this on his or her website. The more contacts you initiate, the more you will actually turn into communication. Anyone of them could turn into a professional relationship. While doing these types of searches, don't forget about websites that announce and allow you to register for writing conferences. There is always valuable contact information included in these websites.

There is any number of resource sites for writers. Some of them offer research help, agent databases, or even classes that offer instruction online. Quite often these courses are free or cost very little. There are always opportunities to find out about agents, publishers and editors looking for work like yours in the websites that provide these services. Sometimes, these courses are even taught by editors or publishers. Some of these websites charge a membership fee and it is up to you to decide if the site offers enough of what you need to invest in any membership fees they charge.

The most important thing to keep in mind when making any kind of contact or sending any kind of communication through your email or other online services is that these should be considered professional contacts. You should keep the same quality of writing and grammatical style as you would with any other business communication. Check your spelling and your technical form before hitting any send button.

You are a writer and your initial contact with anyone else in the field of writing is the first impression you give of your ability to convey yourself through your words as well as your ability to keep your work clean. An email, bulletin board post or chat conversation that is riddled with mistakes is not going to impress a future publisher or editor and it will not endear you to any agent.

Write your emails as if they were actual business letters because that is what they are. Remember your heading and the date as well as your "signature" at the bottom. If you are including an attachment note that in your email so the receiver of your message knows to look for it. Keep your language professional and refined, keeping in mind that your abilities may not get a second chance after the first message.

When posting on bulletin boards and chat rooms remember to keep your spelling mistakes to a minimum and try to follow grammatical rules as strictly as possible.

No matter what kind of communication it is, it says a lot about your dedication to becoming a success in the publishing world.

Keep in mind when someone gives you advice, most of the time they really are trying to be helpful. Take all advice with a grain of salt and remember you only have to use the advice that you feel will really improve your work. If you get offended or upset because someone does not think your work is perfect, take a step back for a moment and you will probably see some validity in what the advice is offering.

Never give up faith in yourself and keep looking for ways to improve your work. With determination and a professional attitude, you will find the contacts you need to become a success. Also, never give up. You will run into more dead ends than you will find keys to open doors. If one path falls short, turn back and try another one.

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