Martini's and Manuscripts was a success! The Renaissance Club was the perfect spot for the event, allowing for a night filled with intimate networking opportunity. While I didn't make any sales, I learned a lot. Here's a few things that I took from the experience:
1.) Networking is not chatting with the people you already are acquainted with. It's okay to mingle with familiar faces, but the whole purpose is to meet and expose yourself to people you don't know and, most importantly, people you want to know you.
2.) Be prepared for the unexpected. The featured author at the event had two meetings prior to the event. At no time was it said that there would be opportunity to introduce ourselves and read a selected passage from our books. Perhaps I should have expected this or at least been prepared, but like I said, this was my first event as a featured author. So when the time came, I hate to say I choked. Since publishing, I haven't read any parts of my book aloud and I was nervous about fumbling and getting choked up with a coughing episode. I won't harp over spilled milk, but needless to say until my next event I'll be practicing and I'll never let that kind of opportunity pass me by again.
3) Follow up with all contacts. Luckily this is one of my strong points. One aspiring writer and I engaged in an intriguing conversation about an upcoming project of mine on marriage and divorce. He's putting together an online critique group so I signed up. Well, this morning I confirmed him as a friend on Facebook. I also invited another writer friend of mine to complete our group. I made another contact with a woman, not interested in writing, but is an avid reader. She loves reading and offered her services of critiquing my work. Not sure if she charges a fee, but that gives me a reason to get in touch with her and tell her how great it was meeting her. I'll be touching base with her this evening. It's important not to wait too long, so people don't forget about you :)
4) Always take pictures. In this social networking & visual society we're operating in, pictures speak volumes to anything you're involved in. If you want people to get to know you, posting pictures is a great way. Not to mention the memories they create. I didn't have my own camera, but I was in quite a few pictures, which I'm sure will be on Facebook soon and I'll be sure to tag myself. But at the next event, I'll be sure to have my own camera.
With all this said, I'm eagerly awaiting the next networking opportunity. Details below:
What: Motown Writers Network Annual Literary Meet & Greet
When:Saturday, August 8 11:00AM- 2:00PM
Where: Barnes & Nobles Bookstore on E. Warren, Detroit, MI
Hope to see you there.