Monday, April 16, 2012

Networking -- A Word Most Authors Know Well

Before I focus today's post on two important topics beginning with the letter "N," I wanted at least to share one character associated with the letter as well.

The father of the title character in my fourth novel, Opur's Blade, is nicknamed Nada. Owen Purler, Sr. is only a teenager when he impregnates his high school girlfriend, who is upset by his lack of motivation and chides him about his excessive beer drinking. She insists that if Owen doesn’t change his ways, then he won’t amount to anything in life. In a moment of anger leveled at her unborn baby's father, she blurts that he’ll be nothing--Nada. And the nickname stuck.

Nada becomes an over-the-road truck driver and eventually files for a divorce after he falls for a younger girl from Russia during his travels. One unfortunate result, as is so often the case with divorce, is that Owen strands his son during a critical time. Nada never disappears entirely, though, and the storyline eventually comes full circle.

Now, on to two issues are important to all authors, I believe--names and networking.

Naming characters gives me about as much pleasure as dreaming up plots. I love to create memorable men and women to occupy the pages of my novels. I want them to be so off-the-wall that any reader will forever remember their actions. One of the ways to etch that creation in the reader’s mind is to dream up a name that is so catchy and impressive that it is instantly unforgettable. If you've read any or all of my books, I would love to hear if one of my characters stuck with you in a particular way.

And, every writer who wishes to share his work must become familiar with networking. Our world has changed. It used to be that an author sought an agent who then opened doors to publishing houses. The Internet has changed that. Now anyone can get his manuscript published. That’s the easy part.
Driving sales is where the hard work truly lies. Through the use of keywords, fresh content (such as that provided by this blog challenge!) and social networking sites, authors have the opportunity to spread their work and go viral. It takes patience and organization but getting the message to readers is an important step in the sales process, and the efforts online can be quite rewarding at very little cost. 

If you are a writer, what has proven to be your most effective networking outlet?

James Ross
Author of Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, Tuey's Course, Opur's Blade, and Pabby's Score
Publisher Websites: and


Sharkbytes said...

The networking part makes me nuts, but I'm working hard at it, and it's finally paying off.

As for names, I try to make them both realistic and yet, make the characters memorable (what author wouldn't hope for that!)

I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at

nutschell said...

i love naming characters to. It takes me awhile since the names have to fit their personality just so.
Happy A-Zing!

Janelle Madigan said...

I always have a lot of fun on Twitter and enjoy reading people's blogs and starting discussions on my own blog, but I still encourage people to join writers organizations, especially those like Romance Writers of America that have local chapters. Going to writers conferences and regional chapter meetings allows for some face-to-face meetings in what can be a very solitary profession.

Gerry Wendel said...

Networking is indeed important, but must the writer have the entire burden of marketing and promotion? A professional social media consultant can provide strategy in areas that perhaps aren't being covered and also offer up fresh ways to promote that material.

Another avenue is traditional PR ...get on the radio, on TV, etc.