How to Make Author Network Connections with Five Easy Elements by Guest @DoctorJAuthor

Some people are unaware I grew up on a farm. I took part in crop planting and harvesting when I wasn’t feeding and watering animals. I translate lessons from farming to authoring because there is a lot in common, like seasons. You plan and prepare, plant the seeds, grow the product, harvest and when it’s ready, you share with the world.

So, which was I talking about, farming or writing? By understanding the similarities, it helps me show how to make author network connections with five easy elements.

What Is Networking?

Networking is when you interact with individuals to exchange information and grow professional or social contacts.

As I worked on the farm, I learned that you succeeded when you were connected to the people with whom you worked. These included other farmers and their families, farm agencies, institutions that supported our work, and the consumers who used our product. I needed to understand how they all fit together as I do with author networking.

Cucumbers Explain the Process

As a child, my grandfather designated one acre of land for the grandchildren (five of us) to work a crop of his choosing. I prepared, planted, and harvested the likes of sweet potatoes, white potatoes, green beans, and corn. But the summer we planted cucumbers provided the best lessons in networking.

Let’s go straight to the harvesting. The five of us, under my grandfather’s supervision, checked the cucumbers every day for growth until it was time to pick them. While it’s a one or two-day job, it’s longer when your help is between the ages of 6 and 10.

We accompanied Grandpa Byrd to the market with the bushels of cucumbers. Once the warehouse workers dumped them onto the conveyor belt, the sorting process amazed me. Baskets sat at the end of the machinery to collect the different sizes. My cousins and I ran to the baskets so we could watch how our crop sized up, literally.

I recollect that we got more cash for small cucumbers and less for the large ones. We were lucky in that a well-known pickle company nearby bought our product. For a week, I watched Grandpa take the cash for the day, give each one of us a dollar and pocket the rest. My ten-year-old self had to ask him, “Why do we only get a dollar?”

Let the Networking Lesson Begin. It Starts With a Tell and Ends With a Show.

Grandpa was a shrewd businessman. He could account for every penny in cucumber costs and profit. The next day, he made it his task to introduce me to every person who helped us through the entire crop’s season. His voice echoes in my mind now.

“Choose your company and choose with whom you do business. Take care of the people who helped you get there. Be kind in words and deeds and watch kindness return to you in business. Attract what you want around you and connect with it.”

These ideas stand today as I network in the author world.

Translation: Five Elements for Author Network Connections

  • 1Preparation

The social media world is the best place to make author network connections. Before you head out, prepare. Make lists, four to be exact. You’ll see how they reflect you and provide a natural way to move around people. Lists allow you to create your template and your plan for specific connecting.

Your lists include:

  1. Your areas of expertise.
  2. The information you want to learn about, everything writing and publishing.
  3. Your passions, your interests.
  4. What makes you interesting and unique. If you have trouble here, ask friends to suggest possibilities.

This material will provide a path to help you navigate through social media as you circulate to discover connections relevant to you.

When you arrive at your different social media platforms, plan to engage with information from your four lists. Think of it as one Big Networking Cocktail Party: Mingle.

How to Make Author Network Connections with Five Easy Elements by Guest @DoctorJAuthor #Connections #Networking #Authors

  • 2Get Specific Regarding Connections

For me, Dr. J., the author, I created a strategy around who I wanted to meet. I did it from my lists.

List One: I checked out the folks who had professional expertise like myself and also my writing genre comparables, and I followed them.

List Two: I searched for the #1 influencers for the content of interest to me, like book marketing. That’s how I landed here with Rachel Thompson and BadRedhead Media.

List Three: Of interest to me, is sex-positive education. I follow educators, researchers, podcasters, and coaches. Doing so keeps me up on current information. Meet “your” folks, find out what you like, what they like, follow and converse.

List Four: One thing that makes me interesting is I’m eclectic. I talk about travel, soccer, pugs, coffee, knitting, and my new purple bicycle. These are everyday things that can connect me to readers and other writers as well.

  • 3How to Connect

Converse. Chat and go to chats (Twitter is quite helpful here). Use hashtags related to the content of interest. My favorite way to connect is to ask concrete, direct questions. Be polite. Please and thank you go a long way. Go after what you want. No one will do that for you. Be fearless. If you ask, you might get what you want. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. That is the primary way I have moved quickly to creating network connections.

  • 4Remember Your Overall Goal—Author Network Connections

If you are in this writing business for the long haul, pace yourself. If you are beginning the process, take a step a day. Pick one of your list areas and survey it across your social media networks. Slowly but surely you will meet people and establish your specialty network.

Also, remember that readers are in that network, like those pickle lovers at the grocery store, they are your consumers. They want to know you, so share yourself with them.

  • 5Lead with Your Real and Genuine Heart

Allow people to experience you and your personality. Can you tell I embraced what Grandpa Byrd did for me? I would never have guessed a lesson of my ten-year-old self would wind up in a blog about author network connections, but hey it’s real, and it’s me. And Grandpa Byrd would have loved it.

When you are who you are, it’s easy to do your work every day.

In Conclusion:

It’s your turn. How do you put this all together?

Take those five elements, and do your research, then step on out there. With supportive folks in the writing community, you will create a specific path tailored to make your author network connections.

And remember, I’m in all these places, too. Alert me when you arrive because I’d love to walk with you along your journey.

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Good luck!

Dr. J

Dr. J

While I spent my professional life in the field of sexuality, creating stories to share is a new realm for me. I plan to explore many dimensions of sexuality through erotic writing. The great frontier between our ears holds the treasures and capabilities to expand sexual desire, sexual arousal, and sexual potentials. I strive to focus on imagination and creativity at the intersection of sexuality and the mind.

My aim in writing is to explore what excites. I filter my words through my belief that a sex-positive presentation, even in erotic writing, can support sexually healthy adult development. I want my writing to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the spectrum of human sexuality. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing.


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  1. Mischa Eliot on May 18, 2019 at 4:28 am

    Excellent post as always! I love how lessons can spread across a lifetime. XoXo

    • Dr. J. on May 18, 2019 at 6:08 am

      Thank you, Mischa! Life gives us wonderful lessons!!!

  2. Rebecca E. Neely on May 18, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Exceptional post – I particularly enjoyed how you shared and related your experience to farming. I grew up in my family’s restaurant business and the lessons you learn in your youth really stick with you 🙂 I’d love the opportunity to speak with you – your advice is insightful and authentic. Thanks!

    • Dr. J. on May 18, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Rebecca, thank you. Family info is always a learning component. Good Luck on the drawing!

  3. D.B. Moone on May 18, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Dr. J,

    It’s well known, or should be, that I have a myriad of respect for you, think you are fantastic.

    I would never have guessed you grew up on a farm. I suppose I’ve pictured you riding your purple bike around the island, and doing all things writing. Of course, it is apparent that you taught school by the way you used your 10-year old farming life story to lay out the five elements for making author network connections, direct and concise.

    As I’ve said, erotica is not a genre that I’ve ever read and reviewed. Ok, that’s a lie, I’ve read magazines. That said, I am looking forward to reading and reviewing Chemical [se]X 2: just one more, especially since there are no calories. And I’ve got this burning question in the back of my brain. What list was I on, or was I one who just fell into your lap? Regardless of list or fall, I am happy that we are connected. ❣️

    What are your thoughts about expanding your reviewing genre? I can see how it could be beneficial to becoming a well-rounded reviewer. I review religious books, but I am not a religious type of person. So, my question to you is what are your thoughts on expanding my review horizon.

    I’m glad Rachel had you as a guest on #NaNoProMo this year. And I love your purple bicycle.

    • Dr. J. on May 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

      D.B., I am so excited about meeting you in person. Love your comments and question! Reading EVERYTHING gives us a broader perspective and understanding of the world. As Rachel says, “who are your readers?” Do they want reviews of every kind or are they niche specific? Inquiring minds. We have so much to talk about.
      D xoxo

  4. Justin Bienvenue on May 18, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    The cucumber story seemed dry to me at first but I knew you were going somewhere with it so I stuck with it! Great article and a lot of key points. Making connections seems like an easy task but isn’t easy for everyone. I myself stink at making friends in real life and while I’m a bit better online I still have a hard time reaching who I’m supposed to or being where I should be to connect with those that may find what I do interesting.

    • Dr. J. on May 19, 2019 at 5:42 am

      Thanks, for reading Justin. Sometimes I think connecting is an art and a science. Getting the structure in place is definitely helpful. I’ve found the most helpful thing is being clear about who I am and where I want to go! You will get there. 🙂

  5. Gloria on May 19, 2019 at 4:13 am

    This post answers questions I asked myself earlier, after reading Charli Mill’s post on Branding. Thank you.

    • Dr. J. on May 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Gloria, Yay. I’m glad it dovetailed Charli’s post with more info! Thanks for reading.

  6. Raiscara Avalon on May 19, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Very interesting! The one thing I always am is myself – it’s the only thing I can do really, really well with any regularity! lol That’s about as far as I take networking and branding though.

    • Dr. J. on May 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

      Raiscara, you are well on your way. I think many authors struggle with how to “be.” Over half the battle met. Now it is learning technical stuff. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Dana Lemaster on May 19, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I loved your story about Grandpa Byrd and the cucumbers! Thanks for sharing it, and for breaking down the components of forming a writer’s network. I’m eclectic as well-can’t tell you how encouraging it was to see this being described as an asset rather than a liability. This is an article I’m going to reread and reference often.


    Dana Lemaster

    • Dr. J. on May 19, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks, Dana. Grandpa Byrd (in his vernacular) was a spider-legged dude. He had a way with words. He was well read and recited poems to us by the fireplace. My two favorites were Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer and The Cremation of Sam McGhee by Robert W Service. Maybe he started me down the eclectic path. We must find those assets!

  8. Mary Lou Webb on May 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your lists. You’ve helped me with one of the most difficult concepts for me: networking. I thought of networking as getting out and meeting people in person, which has become an impossibility now that I’m housebound. I’m taking what I learned here forward to become more active as an author on social media.

    • Dr.J. on May 19, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      So glad I helped, Mary Lou. Sometimes it’s just rethinking and reworking. Thanks for reading.

  9. McKenna on May 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I really like tying this post back in to your background growing up on a farm. I never thought about networking that way before, but you’ve opened my eyes to new possibilities.

    Some days I think I have this networking thing down, and then I find myself spinning my wheels, following the latest advice or chasing the newest fad without success. I’d love to be able to narrow my focus and make it work for me.

    • Dr. J. on May 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      McKenna, Thanks for reading. Staying centered in who you are and what you want to accomplish makes it easier to stay fluid when all new things move around you. I appreciate your kind words about my farm life!

  10. Jennifer Gilmour on May 20, 2019 at 11:39 am

    I really love to network and its certainly helped me get where I am today. Jen

    • Dr. J. on May 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks for reading, Jen. It is an amazing process!

  11. Jennifer Denslow on May 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Farming is a great metaphor for this process! I am naturally an introvert and finding ways to connect with people is sometimes difficult for me. Loved the practical advice here and would appreciate learning more about finding my tribe.

    • Dr. J. on May 20, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      Jennifer, I’m so happy that my life’s lesson helped. I’m a firm believer in the idea that life gives us exactly want we need to succeed. You will get there!

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