Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's All In the Network

© Marta Stephens 2009 all rights reserved

Does the word “book promotion” conjure up the image of the Fuller Brush Salesman knocking on doors to sell his goods? Book promotions isn’t a task that everyone has a knack for doing well, nor is it something most writers enjoy doing at all. However, whether a writer realizes it or not, the ease to self-promotion depends on what he or she does right now that will be of benefit to them in the future—networking.

You network every time you blog, answer an e-mail, join in on an online discussion, or post a comment. Networking doesn’t mean getting into the reader’s face with a sales pitch. It’s a matter of getting involved as much as time allows. Anyone who has followed my posts around the net knows how often I’ve stressed the value of networking and sharing your knowledge.

I’m going to take the next several weeks to concentrate on writing the third book in the series and thus won’t be actively blogging outside of MB4 for a while, but I do want to share a couple of examples that reflect the beauty of networking.

A few weeks ago, we featured Jean Henry Mead here on Murder By 4. She in turn graciously invited me to answer a few interview questions and asked me to write a brief article for her blog, Mysterious People.

You’ll find the recent interview here: and the article here: As you can imagine, I was thrilled to have this unexpected opportunity to reach a new set of readers.

Another unexpected surprise came from Mayra Calvani. Many of you follow Mayra's blogs and have read her articles and comments here on Murder By 4 and elsewhere. Recently, Mayra read a review of my second novel, “The Devil Can Wait” and asked if she could review it. This week, I was delighted to receive her review of “Silenced Cry” instead. You’ll find it here: Mayra indicated that she would also like to a review “The Devil Can Wait” and offered to follow up with an interview. I’m ecstatic!

Okay, so I'm self-promoting, but these are just two great examples of the beauty of networking with other writers. These opportunities came my way because of a past “working” relationship with Jean and Mayra and that’s what networking is all about.

Everyone needs help promoting their books, but more important, networking is a chance to become acquainted with others in the publishing business--learn a thing or two in the process and pass that knowledge on to others. For a first time published author, this will be key to getting your name out there.

Networking may seem like a slow process, but give it time and it will work for you too.

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Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.
THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (November 3, 2008)

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book FestivalTop Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)

Visit the charcter blog for Sam Harper at


Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Nice to read how it works.

s.w. vaughn said...

Absolutely, Marta. Networking can be a powerful thing. You never know who you know... :-)

And it's always cool to get those unexpected notes from people in your network!

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for the plug, Marta. It was a pleasure reading your book. I'll be sending you those interview questions soon!

Marta Stephens said...

Hey ladies! Thanks for stopping by. My pleasure, Mayra!