(from Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant — meeting new people with tea is always the best option.)
Congratulations! You’re making a graphic novel for the very first time. That means you’re a real author now, and you’re allowed to put that on your taxes and tell your relatives you really are making money writing and drawing books.
That’s so cool!
So . . . how do you get other people to know about your book-to-come? Having gained entry into this mythical AuthorLand, how do you meet other authors and people who work in publishing?
Meeting people can be difficult and intimidating, especially if you’re the kind of author who spends most of or all their time at home at the computer or the drawing table. Meeting people does involve finding new people, and talking to them! And this is even more intimidating because all the new people you have to find and talk to are super-talented beings whose work you have a huge amount of artistic respect for. That’s pretty tough!
On the other hand, meeting authors and publishing people tends to be very useful, because then you become part of a community who you can turn to when you have questions about the publishing process, when you need new story inspiration or feedback, and when you just want to talk to people who understand what’s going on in your creative employment situation! It’s also useful because the biggest advocates of books tend to be other people who love books, and authors and agents and publishers and teachers and librarians and book reviewers tend to be some of the most book-obsessed people around.
In addition to this, one of the side effects of meeting people is befriending them! You meet them and then you become acquaintances and then you, you know, share your hopes and dreams and book first drafts. It’s pretty fantastic, having friends! And who would not want awesome authors as their friends?
One of the things I think is coolest about being an author is that it gives you an excuse to write to your favorite authors and tell them how cool you think their work is. Perhaps you will become friends in the process! Maybe they’ll read your book and think you are a great writer too.
In conclusion: when you have moved to a stage in your career where you feel that you are an ‘official author,’ it’s good to meet people in the publishing industry for multiple reasons. The first is that the vast majority of them are very nice and smart and kind! The second is that people in the publishing industry spend all of their time talking about books, and you want your books to be one of the books they’re spending all of their time talking about.
How to start?
It’s really easy to e-mail people, you guys.