Every Writer Needs Connections


By W. Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Wherever you are in the writing world: brand new or experienced every writer needs publishing connections to editors, agents, promoters and their fellow writers. Attending a conference is a great way to be connected but that only happens once a year. How do you get connected at other times?

Within the publishing community, who you know is almost as important as what you know. Yes, it is important to pitch an excellent book proposal or manuscript to the right publisher. As an editor and an author, I also understand people buy (books or manuscripts) from people they know, like and trust. How can you know more publishing people? From my years in publishing, one of the challenges is keeping track of the moving people.

Years ago, one of my six-figure book deals was cancelled because my New York editor had changed companies. My book was orphaned or without an editor directly responsible for my project. It taught me the importance of having a champion within the publishing house for each book.

How does a new author with no connections, begin to get connected to publishing people? Everyone can use a social network which has over 849 million users: LinkedIn. This network is primarily business related and publishing is a business.

To get connected, you need to take several actions:

1. Rework your LinkedIn profile to show your activity in publishing. Do you write for magazines? Have you published books? Or possibly you have some other explicit publishing role such as leading a local writer’s group. If you have these types of qualifications, then add them to your LinkedIn profile.

2. Begin to send connection requests to different people in publishing. These people could be book editors, literary agents, magazine editors, authors and many other roles. In some cases you will want to send them a little personalized message with your invitation. In other cases, you simply send out the generic invitation that you want to connect with the person.

For many years, I received LinkedIn invitations and ignored them. I had very few connections on LinkedIn. Then I began to look at the background of the person and for most people, I accepted their invitation to connect. My number of connections increased and my public profile says the common “over 500 connections.” The real number of my LinkedIn connections, as of this writing, is over 19,400. These connections are varied with many different roles (mostly within publishing) Here’s the critical reason you want to be connected: when I need to reach someone that I’ve not emailed or called in a long-time, I check their LinkedIn contact information.

While there is a lot of movement within the publishing community, when they change positions or companies or physical location, everyone takes their LinkedIn account with them. This account belongs to the individual and is a way to consistently keep up and reach them.

LinkedIn has a lot of other functions as well but being connected and maintaining those connections is one of the basics and best reasons to consistently use this network. Are we connected on LinkedIn? If not, send me an invitation and let’s get connected. 

How are you using LinkedIn? Let me know in the comments below.


Every writer needs connections but if you are starting out how do you get these connections? Get the detaIls and insights here from this prolific author. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s recent book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.


Karen Cioffi said...

Terry, making connections is a great way to broaden our reach. I use LinkedIn and got two clients from it. I also check on who is requesting a connection; as long as they're legit, I accept. I used to be more proactive in getting connections; I have to get back at it. Thanks for sharing.

Terry Whalin said...


LinkedIn is a terrific way to connect with peolple and something I use all the time. Some of those conections I haven't used in years but when I need to reach them, it's my go to place. Thanks for your comment.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

There is nothing like getting to the very root of what great marketing and PR are! Thank you, Terry!

Linda Wilson said...

Terry, I'm like you used to be and haven't paid attention to emails I get from people wanting to make connections on LinkedIn. Your post is most helpful in making me realize I need to become more proactive. Thank you for the terrific advice.

Terry Whalin said...


Thank you for this feedback. I often say that who you know is as important as what you know. As writers, our connections are important.


I'm glad you found this article helpful. Connections is an area every writer needs to be proactive--including me. I can always use more connections.


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