Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Orange Rhombus Talks Networking: Erica Vetsch

First, let me say thank you to my phenomenal writing friends here at Seekerville for letting me come by and post a few of my admittedly quirky thoughts. The Seekers are a long-suffering and generous group of ladies, and I can’t wait to meet up with a bunch of the crew next week in St. Louis. If you are going to the conference, the nightly Seekerville party is THE place to be!

If you haven’t read my last post on Seekerville, you’re probably wondering about the title of today’s blog and why I would call myself an Orange Rhombus. (The mystery can be solved by clicking HERE. {Go ahead, I’ll wait.}) [whistles, listens to crickets chirping, drums fingers while contemplating the mystery of the hotdog-to-hotdog-bun ratio]

Welcome back. :)

One word that strikes terror in the heart of this Orange Rhombus deep enough to induce a case of the screaming mimi’s is: Networking.

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I have to admit, when I first heard about Networking, I got a ‘someone just laid a dead jellyfish on your arm’ feeling. Cold chills and a lot of grimacing and squirming. To my untutored mind, networking sounded a lot like schmoozing and using people. Like a politician currying favor or a used car salesman angling to offload a clunker.

Who wants to be THAT person?

But I was operating under a false definition of networking. Networking isn’t about using people, it’s about forming relationships. Some will be extremely professional, some will be deeply personal, and the majority will be somewhere in between.

So how do we go about this kind of networking? Here are three ways I’ve found productive:

1. Go to conferences. I’ve met the most amazing people at writing conferences. (For example, meeting the Seekers and Seeker-villagers at the aforementioned nightly party.) Go to the workshops and stay after for a minute to chat with the presenter. Chat with the people at your meal table or before a session starts. Exchange business cards and follow up on the acquaintance. If you don’t know what to say to someone at a writing conference, just ask them what they’re working on, or what they’re reading, or what workshop they’ve been to so far. The floodgates will open. Most authors are Gregarious Introverts who will gladly talk your arm off if it’s about writing and books.

2. Blog, tweet, facebook, email. Make friends online. Read blogs and leave comments. Join twitter and find like-minded folks to chat with. I have a group of authors who join me quite often in the #1k1hr thread on twitter and we encourage each other to write one thousand words in an hour. Instant cheerleaders! Get on facebook and find friends. Do you like a particular author’s work? Email them and tell them. You might begin a friendship you’ll both come to treasure. Two caveats here: Please, be respectful of other people’s time and space and don’t be a pest. And be authentic. Don’t reach out to people for the sole purpose of using them to get ahead, to get a referral, to get a free critique. That’s just wrong. This is about making friends, not scoring a coup.

3. Join professional organizations like the ACFW and RWA that have e-loops or forums. I belong to several e-loops, some regional, some topical, some certifiable (grin.) Through these loops I’ve made friends with folks who live in the same area of the country, or who write historical romance, or who think like me.

You might be thinking, okay, so what? You’ve made a lot of friends. How does that networking pay dividends for your writing journey?

I’m so glad you asked. :)

1. Friends are the best marketers. They tell their friends and their readers about cool books they’ve read including yours. At nearly every book signing I am at, I find a customer in the store who is looking for something other than what I write. I’ve sold books for Donita Paul, for Stephanie Morrill, for Mark Mynheir and many others simply because they are my friends and I love their work. Recommending them is easy-peasy, and word-of-mouth is the single best way to sell books.

2. The sharing of information. Nobody can be an expert on everything, but we all know something. Having friends in lots of areas of this business means we can increase our knowledge base. If you have made a friend online who writes for a publishing house you’re interested in, you can email them for the skinny on their editor’s preferences. If you know of an agent who is looking for something in particular and you have a friend who writes that, hook ‘em up. By pooling our knowledge, everyone benefits.

3. We all need friends on this journey. Have you ever felt like giving up? Had a bad breakup with an agent or publishing house? Had a setback? Those friends you’ve made along the way can support you, prop you up, give you a kick in the tookis. Have you completed a manuscript? Won a contest? Gotten a contract? Solved a plot problem? Your friends will celebrate with you.

I encourage you to look on networking in the publishing industry as making friends and forming relationships, not so you can use people for your own ends, but so you can be blessed and be a blessing. After all, everybody can use at least one more friend, right? I know I can.

Somewhere along the way, I managed to wind up having THREE books releasing this month. How did this happen? Search me. But it’s kinda cool.  To celebrate renewing friendships and meeting new friends here at Seekerville, I’m giving away one copy of each book to one commenter.

Light To my Path:

How could something so beautiful on the outside be so rotten on the inside?

When Sam discovers the truth about his money-grabbing fiancée, he breaks off their engagement and makes plans to head back to Denver alone. Disillusioned, he determines never to get caught by a woman again. But then, Aunt Tabitha asks a favor of him, and he couldn’t turn her down.

Eldora Carter, jobless, homeless, and family-less, finds herself suddenly in charge of escorting three orphaned children across country on the train from St. Louis to Denver. What should have been an easy job, however, quickly becomes a nightmare as each child presents their own crisis. If it wasn’t for Sam Mackenzie, they’d all have been put off the train long ago.

When an avalanche halts their progress, Sam and Eldora both must learn to trust God like never before. Life, health, safety, security…even family and love. Can God be trusted to put things together when, despite all their efforts, they’ve failed so miserably?

A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas:

Hoping to leave the shadows of her shady yesteryears behind, Adeline Reid is focusing on her photography career. But when her ex-boyfriend’s compatriot in crime shows up in Dodge City her entire past is threatened by exposure. Can Addie keep her secrets while helping to catch a killer? Deputy Miles Carr’s investigation into a shopkeeper’s murder leads him to Addie’s door. Will his attraction to this female photographer keep him from catching the true culprit? Or will Addie lead him off course in more ways than one?

My novella, Christmas Service, appears in A Log Cabin Christmas Novella Collection:

Experience Christmas through the eyes of adventuresome settlers who relied on log cabins built from trees on their own land to see them through the cruel forces of winter. Discover how rough-hewed shelters become a home in which faith, hope, and love can flourish. Marvel in the blessings of Christmas celebrations without the trappings of modern commercialism where the true meaning of the day shines through. And treasure this exclusive collection of nine Christmas romances penned by some of Christian fiction’s best-selling authors.

About me: Whenever I'm not following flights of fancy in my fictional world, I'm company bookkeeper for our family lumber business, mother of two terrific teens, wife to a man who is my total opposite and yet my soul-mate, and avid museum patron.


  1. Erica,

    I'm so excited to be first!!

    Nothing is coming to mind to ask you. That has to be a one-time thing for me, as all Seekerville regulars know.
    Well, maybe I'll be back.


  2. I'm the first to post! I'm not a coffee drinker so ya'll will have to wait for Helen... sorry.

    I 'met' Erica Vetsch long before she became published and have to say she is one of the kindest and encouraging people you'll ever meet.

    Watching her journey has been a blessing.

  3. THREE???


    Thanks for this post Erica. Super ideas here.

    One thing I learned in business, is to give 2 cards to someone, one for them to keep and another to give to someone else. That's pretty easy.

    Another is to handwrite thank you on every card.

    Another is to take the card someone gives you, write the date, where you met, and SOMEthing about them. When you meet 40-50 people at a conference, it sure helps to have that reminder...

    Y'all have a blast in St. Louis!! Looking forward to next month... Will there be three then too, or four? Wshew! You wear me out!

  4. Jamie, I've neer drank a cup of coffee in my life. I only learned to make it for Seekerville.

    And it's ready now. Line up!!!

    Erica, thank you for the tips.

    I sat across a table from you at a meal last year in Indy, but I wasn't forward enough to strike up a conversatio with you. Hope to see you again this year.


  5. Erica! Cannot wait to meet you next week, friend! I'm bringing the cookies ;).

    And books to get signed. Stuck Idaho Brides in my stack of 'books I already own that I would really like to get a John Hancock on' [Mary should run the other way ;), Julie and Candace have already been warned, I'm not sure who else I'm bringing...].

    I can't begin to tell you how much I'm loving making new friends via social networking in particular. One of these days I'm even gonna get to do #1k1hr with you [wait - I think we did 1 together, but you've moved on to an editing phase haven't you?]. And, yes, I gush over books I love particularly by people I 'know'.

    My mother-in-law has read about 8 books since I've known her [18 years]. Until the last 6-8mos or so when I've started passing along some of the ones I've read [Sandi Rog's was the first one, followed by Missy Tippins, Ruthy, Julie Klassen, Beverly Lewis... I'm blanking on the others...] I think she's read more books in the last 6mos than she's read the whole time I've known her. Maybe even twice as many. [She's asking for my Love Comes Softly series next.]

    And she's passing them on to others. And recommending them. Now, not all of them but some at least, I wouldn't have had if it wasn't for networking.

    I think there was a point in there. I'm not sure what it was though...

    I'll be back in the morning when I might know... ;).

    In the meantime, here's some brownies to hold ya'll over.

  6. On a completely serious note...

    [yes, I know. Me. completely serious...]

    How many business cards should one plan to take to STL? For a total newbie?

    Like say... if we had to choose someone... let's use me...

    What's a good number? Rather too many than too few, but no sense buying 2000 either... ;)

    And on another- related note - how many cookies is too many?

    The things I ponder [oops! wrong blog!] when I should be sleeping... ;)

  7. Carol, was that The Master's Wall by Sandi Rog? I LOVE that book!!!
    I have a leather AND a pine air freshener in my car =D

    It's so true Erica, now that I'm reading more I'm telling more of my friends and family about other people's books.

    And a proud moment for me, I got my first reject today! I did a little happy dance. That's SO like me ;-) And I'm absolutely shocked Helen doesn't drink coffee. I don't even know what to do with that. Seriously.

  8. Ever since I started blogging, I've been blessed beyond measure by the friends I've made!! Having friends to encourage you and support you in your writing (and being there to encourage and support them) is a great gift indeed! I'm not a published author now, but if it's the Lord's will I hope to be one someday, and I've so appreciated this chance to not only start building a "platform," but to have such great friends standing on that "platform" with me. ;)

    I would love a chance to win your Heartsong Presents book, Light to my Path, or A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas. Congrats on all the releases!! :D



  9. I hope the cookies will be orange rhombus ones, AND there is no such thing as too many cookies no matter what lies your good black dress pants may tell you. Looking forward to STL and writers, seekers, workshops and books! Heard a rumor there will be books there. There will be some weighed down writers heading home.

  10. I'm just a reader but I found your post very interesting. I love reading and I would love to win one of your books. Since I love Christmas, your novella, Christmas Service, that appears in A Log Cabin Christmas Novella Collection, would be nice to win. Light To My Path and A Bride's Portrait sound like good reads too.

    Any book signings in the state of Indiana on your agenda?



  11. Networking sounds like a job...and a hard one at that! I used to really network through blogs and twitter, but had to cut back due to the fact that I wasn't getting any writing done. Working full time and trying to keep a home gives me limits on how much I can network aka blog/tweet/FB. I miss it and my blog has really suffered, but at this point, I need the extra time to hone my skills. ;)

  12. Good morning, Erica! Terrific to have your humor and savvy advice in Seekerville! Looking forward to seeing you at our nightly gatherings in St. Louis!! Your books sound terrific! One of the blessings of ACFW is the bookstore. I'll be buying one of yours!

    Helen, thanks for the coffee!

    Cathy, I'm guessing you'll be back with a question. :-)

    Carol M, passing along books is a terrific way to introduce others to the writers you love to read.

    KC, excellent advice on those business cards!

    Gotta hit the road. Book due Friday!


  13. Welcome back, Erica! LOVE your covers! And the blurbs are intriguing, too!

  14. Helen, can't believe you've never drank a cup of coffee! You make it all the time for us I just thought you loved it! haha

    Would love to read one of Erica's books. They look really good.

    Lining up for coffee!


  15. How'd I miss the book giveaway?!

    No. No, orange rhombus cookies, but choco chip ones. Even a few gluten free. Well, I'm attempting them. I've not got a clue how they'll turn out...

    Gotta get kiddos ready for school.

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

  16. Carol M - I don't have occasion to use writing-related business cards all that often, so I buy a high-quality card from the office supply store that I can run through my own laser printer. (The kind that have smooth edges.) That way I'm able to update it as needed in several versions--one with my complete contact info (address, phone, etc.) for agents/editors, etc., and another version for others which would have only my website and email addy, then on the back my release names and dates. I also have on both versions my log line -- 'Love on the Light Side' (with a cross being the "T" in light) and a tiny graphic image to add visual interest. My current stories take place in the ponderosa pine mountain country of Arizona, so the graphic is a little pine cone.

    I think I took about 5 of the first version and a dozen of the second, but others may recommend more.

    P.S. You can never have too many cookies, especially if they are chocolate chip. :)

  17. Nancy it's a pass letter ;) Your reaction is right up there with Helen not drinking coffee. If we are allowed 24 hours to whine does that mean you are allowed 24 hours to ...be happy?

    All joking aside - you go girl!

  18. Morning Erica, Great to see you again here at Seekerville. Thanks for stopping by.

    Another important aspect of networking, especially at conferences is the opportunity to meet editors and agents. Then when you submit manuscripts, you have a face to go with the name. And in your cover letter you can mention how much you enjoyed meeting them.

    Big help.

    I'm so excited to meet our friends at Seekerville Thursday night of the conference. I hope most of you can come join us.

    Thanks Erica. Have fun today.

  19. Hi Erica!

    I can't wait to go to the conference next week so much so that I'm mostly packed already!

    Three books releasing in one month, AWESOME.

  20. Ha! Erica, you have such wit. Do let us know when you've figured out the hotdog to hotdog bun ratio---I've often wondered that myself!

    Erica, you're one of the writers whom I follow and learn so much from about the craft of writing and the experience of being a REAL writer (a title for which I do not qualify yet!) I also love that you are an avid museum nut like myself.

    I'd love a chance to win your books. Thanks!


  21. ERICA!!! Oh, AMEN AND AMEN, girlfriend!!! "Networking" is such an ugly name for such a wonderful thing!!

    FRIENDS!!! I will on record right now to say that the number 1 ... and number 2, 3 and 4 reasons ... I go to ACFW Conference is for friends. Invaluable face time with the Seekers, one-on-one with my agent and dear author friends, late-night hang-out with a host of great people I've met online but never in person and lots and lots of hugs for people I love but only see once a year. Solidifying friendships means more to me than just about anything in the writing world because being a writer can get pretty lonely and you need like-minded crazies like yourself to feel "normal" once again (a feeling that is, regrettably, pretty short-lived in my case! :)).

    And if out of all that wonderful hobnobbing, commiserating, laughter and tears a benefit ekes out for one of your books, well, that's just plain icing on the cake, now isn't it??

    Looking forward to "networking" with you and many others at ACFW, my friend. Big hugs coming your way ...


  22. Good morning, Ms. Rhombus!

    Okay, people, listen to Erica. Networking is not a dirty word.

    To build on what she said, network with the thought of what you can do for others, not what they can do for you.

    And also network with an eye toward the future, not necessarily with the thought that you're going to meet the editor or agent of your dreams or make lifelone friends instantly the first time you connect with someone.

    Be open, be honest, be a friend.

    And have a ball!

  23. Whoops ... forgot to say SUPER CONRATS on the three books. You, Mary and Ruthy make me dizzy ...

    Absolutely LOVED "Portrait of a Bride in Dodge City," my friend.


  24. Carol, business cards. It's according to how outgoing you are! 25-50 is enough for me, and even then, I forget to give them out, although I like KC's idea of giving someone two. (But if someone gave ME two, I'd forget to pass it on! lol)

    Cookies. Oh, girl, this one is easy. You can't have too many cookies!!!!

  25. You have a lot of books coming out, Erica! Go you!

    Writing is such a tough business, you really need friends. I can't imagine life now without my writer friends. Let's be honest. A LOT of things about the writing journey sucks pond water. But the friends are priceless.

  26. And I think I got the "sucks pond water" expression from Julie. Is that a Julie-ism? And I now have a bunch of Ruthy-isms.

  27. Good morning, Cathy! Yay for being first to comment! :D

    Jamie, Yay for being first at the same time! :D It's been quite a journey, hasn't it?

    KC, those are excellent tips re the business cards. Especially writing a bit about the person on the back so you can remember later.

  28. Hi, Helen, talking across those tables during a mealtime is a challenge, isn't it? Amazing how loud 600 introverts can be.

    Carol! I can't wait to meet you. We will have to do some #1k1hr soon.

  29. Hey, Carol, I take about 25, and I bring about 15 home with me. :)

    Nancy! Woohoo! You're first rejection! That's a terrific milestone because it means you've finished something and put it out there! YAY!

    On a separate note...I don't drink coffee either. :D

  30. Amber, I love my blogging friends too. I've met the most amazing people through blogging.

    Stephanie, I'm glad I'm driving to the conference so I can bring home a boatload of books. I always buy a lot of books.

  31. Erica,

    I enjoyed both posts - the orange rhombus post blasted me back into my childhood. I'm sure we probably shared that same patch of white clover in the school playground. My favorite after-school spot was up a tree (with a book, of course!).

    And Networking? I'm with you. I always thought networking was for preppies on their way up, usually eager young exec types with brown noses. But that's so '80's.

    You can imagine how shocked I was when I first learned that what I was doing while homeschooling my children and on the internet now is...{networking}. I still can't say it out loud.

    What's great is that the friends I made in homeschooling circles are spilling over into this new area of my life.

    Friends are friends, right?

    You all have fun at the nightly Seekerville gatherings! Eat bunches of Carol's cookies for me!

    And Helen - I've never had a cup of coffee either. Want to share a cup of tea?

  32. Hi, Judy! Readers are my FAVORITE people! I love to talk books and stories and writing with readers. If you haven't read any of the books by Seekerville authors, I highly recommend them! There's something for everyone.

    Sherrinda, the writing has to come first, so guard that time jealously. We can't say yes to everything.

  33. Woohoo! I can't wait to read your books, Erica! How exciting!!!
    This is a wonderful post with excellent tips. You seem so proficient at booksignings. I'd like to have some so I appreciate the tips, also, you're totally right about networking.
    I love your term "gregarious introvert" because that really is me.
    Great post, girlie!!

  34. Who is drinking Helen's coffee! The pots always empty at the end of the day ...

  35. Janet! Woohoo! Deadline on Friday! You go Girl! See you next week.

    Hi, Glynna, will I see you next week too?

    Hi, Patsy, I love the smell of coffee, but I rarely drink it (and by rarely, I mean practically never...and by practically never, I mean...never.) :)

  36. Carol, yay for any kind of cookies!

    Glynna, I agree, you can never have too many cookies, and chocolate chip is the best. :)

    Sandra, I totally agree, meeting editors and agents is a great part of networking. And it works both ways. You get a feel for the agents and editors and who you would like to work with, as well as the other way 'round.

  37. Sherrinda keep honing those skills, cause you've got em! We joined scribes at the same time and I enjoyed reading your work. In fact I hope you get your book published soon cause I really want to see how it ends.

  38. Oh, my friend, so excited to have you here! YAYAYAYAYYAYAY!!!!

    We love visits from the rhombus side of town, and three books...

    One month.

    So stinkin' proud of you!

    Helen... shy???? Oh man, if ANY O' YOUSE act like that in St. Louis, I'm going to be wickedly disappointed and possibly naughtily vengeful...

    In the most appropriately funny of ways, of course! Christian authors should always, always, always, always, always be the most approachable. 'Cause if we aren't, WHO IS?????

    And I'd barrel that Vetsch woman right over Helen... Propriety be danged. ;)

    Food, did anyone bring food?

    I did. I have a delicious sausage, cheese, onion and egg quiche here, enough for all. And LISTEN TO PAM....

    Networking should always be about others. The more we let Christ's light shine through our eyes, our actions, the better pass along effect your networking will have.

    Preach it, Pam and Erica!

  39. Hi, Pam, thanks for stopping by! :)

    Rose, you're packed already!??? I haven't even started.

    Hi, Mary Bailey! REAL writer is a nebulous term. If you write, you're a REAL writer. :)

  40. Julie, you've got the right of it, networking is about the friends. :) Can't wait to see you!!!

    Good morning, Pam! I loved this: Be open, be honest, be a friend. So true!

    Melanie...scribbling down sucks pond water. :D You're so right...friends on the journey are so necessary on this tough road.

  41. Great post, Erica! Networking = building friendships. When I put that together, and realized I wasn't selling cleaning products or any such thing *eye roll*, I finally relaxed and started enjoying the journey I'm on. My life has been soooo enriched by my friends--online friends that technically fall into the 'networking' net, but I see them as friends.

    THREE books in one month?! You go girl! Congrats! AND conference. LoL. Hope you can get caught up on sleep next month. LoL.

  42. Thanks Jamie & Erica.
    I like "pass letter" but I'm good with reject letter too.
    Officially it was a "not what we're looking for" letter, and you better believe I'm taking my 24 hours to be thrilled. If I'm not sad, can I still have all the chocolate I want though?

  43. Hi, Jan, Yay! A fellow homeschooler! And yay for fellow orange rhombuses.

    Hi, Jessica, I do love book signings and meeting people. And I was relieved to come across the term Gregarious Introvert...it was like being given permission to be who I really am. :)

  44. Ruthy, I think the St. Louis Meteorologists are probably even now predicting the storm that is about to descend on the Gateway City. :) It's going to be awesome!

    Patty, I felt the same way. Making friends is so much better than 'networking.'

  45. Nancy, you wear that 'pass letter' with pride. You're one step closer on your road to publication. It might be a little tender right now, but in a couple of days, throw some confetti.

  46. Sounds yummy here today. For Carol, I'm bringing gluten free chocolate chip cookies, since that's what I eat.

    Erica, I was an orange rhombus too. Thanks for sharing how to keep a great perpsective about networking, as well as practical tips. They are helpful. I do a little networking on fb, but my time is limited by young children and family things, so I'm finding myself on there less at this time, and reading more blogs. Loved what you shared.

    Congrats on the three books! I'm going to be looking for you in the stores.

    BTW, what is STL? A couple of people mentioned it, but I'm not familiar with it.

  47. Hey, Erica baby. You're funny.
    Gregarious Introverts? That might describe me pretty well.

    And can't wait to see you in St. Louis, Erica. And all the folks I've gotten to know through this year.

    We developed the Seekerville nightly party because it's sometimes impossible to find people we want to see. This way, if we don't find each other during the day, or don't have time to talk if we DO find each other, we can have a home base to meet up at night.

  48. Hi, Jeanne T. I felt overwhelmed by all the networking possibilities available online. I decided to narrow it to three that I was comfortable with (Actually two that I'm comfortable with and one I feel is fairly helpful.) I Blog, I'm on Facebook, and I am on Twitter.

  49. Mary, darlin, I can't wait to see you again. Still bummed my trip to Omaha fell through last month.

    I love the Seeker party every night.

    Oh, and Jeanne T. STL is St. Louis. We're all congregating at a big conference there next week. :)

  50. http://www.123print.com/ is where I have gotten all my May the K9 Spy materials (printed mailing labels, postcards of the cover, 2 orders of business cards, thank you cards, etc.)

    Everything is fully customizable with your own art or they have templates. And they are SO inexpensive and the quality is just excellent.

    I've also used http://www.vistaprint.com/

    Both always have sales and have speedy delivery. If you place an order today, you'll have them I'd think.

    Last order I got beautiful biz cards, printed both sides with my own artwork and verbiage. Think I ordered 500 and it was something like $15 with shipping included. But I had the luxury of time, so shipping may be higher if you've waited.

    ALWAYS carry more cards than you think you'll ever need and then some and keep an emergency stash somewhere else. That is one of the least expensive ways to get your name out.

  51. Just FYI, Erica and I are doing three book signings in Rochester and Minneapolis in October.
    Here are details.

    Christian Book and Gift 815 N Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906
    (507) 289-2590, Friday, October
    7th, 2011, 6-8 pm

    Burnsville LifeWay Christian Store (formerly Northwestern Book Store)
    Cobblestone Court
    14150 Nicollet Ave S
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    Phone: 952-435-8600
    Saturday, October 8th, 2011, 10am-12pm

    Maple Grove LifeWay Christian Store (formerly Northwestern Book Store)
    Arbor Lakes Mall
    12985 Elm Creek Blvd
    Maple Grove, MN 55369
    Phone: 763-420-3883
    Saturday, October 8th, 2011 2-4 pm

    And we're doing one with Rose Zediker in Sioux Falls, SD
    Saturday October 15, 2011 at Crossroads Books. More details later.

  52. Mary, if the Twin Cities survive our invasion, it will be...amazing! :)

    I hope, if there are some Seeker-villagers in the area, they can stop by one of the LifeWay stores to say howdy!

  53. Oh, oh, oh...

    Cooler of cokes. (Southern usage, meaning ANY KIND OF POP/SODA AT ALL)


    Iced tea. Diet Snapple for those who like it.

    Fresh coffee. Erica, I cannot wait to read these. What should I ask you?

    Why are you nice to Mary Connealy??? Is this part of some VAST ETERNAL PLAN I know not of?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  54. Hi Erica! Congrats on your three new releases; they sound like must-reads to me! Oh, I LOVE the name Eldora. I've got a secondary character in my current WIP who has that name.

    Thanks for sharing your insight on all this networking stuff. I'm so new to it, it makes me a little A.D.D., but I'm learning. I've yet to start blogging. Got a page all set up, but the creativity and spare time are all going into my WIP right now. Praying on how to balance that.

    I read in your other post that you're a homeschool mom. Way to go! My mom took that route when it was very unpopular in our area and I thank God every day she stuck with it. Keep up the good work!

    -- Natalie

  55. Erica, we're so glad you're back again with another great post!! The word networking always gave me a bad feeling as well. So I'm glad to hear you describe what it really is. And the cool thing is it can be fun! :)

    Congrats on all the releases! Wow, I bet you're going to have a crazy month.

  56. Carol, thanks for passing along our books!!

  57. Nancy, congrats on your rejection. I know that sounds weird, doesn't it??! :) But we celebrate them at our local RWA chapter. That means your submitting. And that's a good thing.

  58. Thanks, Orange Rhombus. (You'll always be simply Erica to me.)

    Networking even after many years in corporate America still gives me the willies. I'm good online, with no hesitation in genuinely reaching out to others. In person is intimidating though. I won't be at this year's conference, but if I make next year's, I imagine I'll still be pretty nervous about meeting face to face all the wonderful people I've met online.

  59. Judy, we love readers around here!! :) Glad you stopped by.

  60. Carol, I always order whatever number of cards is free on Vistaprint at the moment. :) Then I take about 50 to conference and come home with about 45. :)

  61. Thanks Missy!
    I'm celebrating it too. Really. It was in my list of goals as "First Rejection." I'm already writing the next manuscript and keeping my eyes open for the agents who like peas. ;-)

  62. Ruthy, Mary is just made of awesome. :) She was one of my very first writing friends...a mentor...and you know what they say...the nut don't fall far from the tree. :D

  63. Hi, Natalie! I Love your picture! :D
    My advice re blogging, you don't have to blog every day once you get started, but you do have to be consistent. Post a schedule, and your readers will come find you. Some bloggers like MWF, Some post once a month. As long as you keep to a schedule folks can predict, they won't mind how long you go between posts. And YAY for homeschooling! :D

  64. Hi, Missy, I was so surprised when I realized that networking wasn't some scary monster or heavy obligation. So freeing to just be able to make friends with people who like the same stuff you do. :)

  65. Patricia, if you are able to make it to the next ACFW Conference, one evening at the Seekerville party will totally free you of any fear of meeting these lovely ladies in person. They are the kindest, most hilarious, and diverse group of writers ever, and so incredibly welcoming.

    I hope to see you there next year!

  66. Survive our invasion? Yeah right, like Minneapolis can't survive you and me and a couple of five hour lunches.

    We're not out causing trouble at all, except for the poor 'free refill' lady.

  67. Erica and I are twins separated at birth
    I believe I've explained this before, Ruthy.

    It was one of those weird, twisted cryo-frozen embryo situations so Erica was born a decade (or two) after me. But except for that, we're twins. I'm still at random moments, hit by the sadness of not getting to see you in Omaha. :( I'll try and substitute ACFW and Rochester/Minneapolis then Sioux Falls, but it won't be enough.

  68. I used to make my business cards at home. I probably did that for two conferences. Then I finally got the 250 free vista print cards, as generic as I could make them.
    And now, 200 years later, I've got 50 left. :)

  69. Ah networking... Does anybody want to be my friend?

    No jokes people, I need all the buddies I can get.

    Here lately my networking has been awful, but I'm talking modem and router challenges where i've considered fixing them with a sled hammer.

    I doubt we can fix the other networking in the same manner though. Lol

    Thanks for the post today Erica, it's a great reminder that everyone needs friends, even writers aren't islands whether they resided on one or not. I shall keep plugging away on both my networks and watching for new friends.

    Hugs Tina

  70. The phrase "gregarious introverts" took me back to my freshman year in college. It's a perfect description of my roommate that year, who remains one of my best friends to this day--some 1? years later. She's a writer too, and shows up here on occasion.

    I always look twice at your name. It's also my daughter's name (only with a "k").

    I love that you define networking as "making friends." I mentioned my friend above. She's the first person outside my immediate family that I told I was going to write. She told me about ACFW.

    So far, Seekerville is the place I've made the most friends in the writing community.

    I'm definitely in for the giveaway.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  71. GREAT post, Erica
    And I LOVED meeting you last year at ACFW. Yipee!!!

    I'm so glad you cleared up that jellyfish feeling. Whew....I like the new definition of networking SO MUCH BETTER!!!

    Congrats on the three books. Wow! wonderful!
    Friends do make this a much more enjoyable (and encouraging) journey, plus it ensures that you're not the only crazy person in the world.
    That's comforting...I think

  72. Thanks for the tips, Ms. Vetsch. I 'saw' you on Go Teen Writers yesterday and liked your post there as well, and am headed over there to read the other post :) Your books sound amazing!

  73. Thanks Erica! Sounds very dull of me, but I've never considered the consistency thing. One blog post per month sounds VERY doable. Thinking of it like that, blogging is not a scary monster anymore. Thanks for taming that one for me. :)

  74. Mary Connealy and I even share a birthday. :) How lucky am I?? :D

    Tina, I've been tempted to try some percussive maintenance on computer hardware myself. :)

    Hi, Andrea! Seekerville is a great place to jump into networking.

  75. Hi, Pepper! Can't wait to see you again. And to root you on in the Genesis!

    Hi, Faye, YAY for Go Teen Writers! I love what Stephanie is doing over there. I have the honor of judging the writing prompt contest from time to time, and I love it!

    Natalie, start small and see how it goes. Blogging, like networking, is a gradual process, and you get to decide what you're comfortable with. :)

  76. Stopping in late in the day but so glad to see you here, Erica!

    "Gregarious Introverts." Okay, gotta chew on that one for a while! I'm definitely an introvert, but I don't think anyone who knows me would by any stretch of the imagination call me gregarious. Not even at a writers conference with a bunch of other introverted writers who love talking about books!

    But you are so, so right about networking being all about building relationships. The idea of forming new friendships changes the whole face of networking at a writers conference and memorizing pitches for those dreaded agent and editor appointments.

  77. Hi Erica,

    Won't be long and we'll be networking in person. How fun will that be!!! :)

    Everyone be sure to find the Seekers after dinner and the workshops. We'll be the noisy but very friendly group. We want everyone to join us for late-night chatter. We'll take photos and talk about Tina--only good things, of course--and discuss world issues, like how many books Mary and Erica could write if they co-authored!

    Erica, three books in one month!!! Oh my gosh! And you still have time to blog and network? You are simply amazing!

  78. Hi Erica! Congrats on all those books coming out!

    Your tips for networking are great. I'm already starting to "newtwork," mainly through e-mailing writers and "friending" them on Facebook. I don't writer a blog (yet), mainly because I write all day at work as a journalist, and then sometimes all evening at home on my novel. But I LOVE meeting new friends, so I look forward to meeting all you Seekers at the ACFW conference next year!

    Have a great day, everyone!


  79. Myra, I suppose Gregarious Introvert doesn't work for everyone, but I sure felt it when I finished my book signing this past weekend. I was knackered! The whole drive home from Wisconsin, I was one tired girl, and yet while I was at the signing, I felt great, energized, meeting folks, smiling, talking.

    But when I got home, I sure needed to recharge by being alone.

  80. Hey, Debby, I'm counting the days! And the three books in one month...that sort of snuck up on me!

    Hi, Stephanie, networking isn't something that happens overnight. You don't make 100's of friends in a day. One suggestion about breaking into blogging...you might see about starting a group blog. That way the responsibilities are shared.

  81. I'm not sure if my comment posted- I'll try it again!
    I finally started a blog and added authors to my facebook friends and I feel a lot mroe connected. I even got a comment from someone stopping by from Seekervill! (Thanks, Jessica!)

  82. Enjoyed this post, Erica, and getting your thoughts on networking. A few of your points I'd not considered before. As in all areas of life, it appears that in the writing life, too, making friends and helping one other is vital to success and happiness. Three books in one month! That quite an accomplishment! Congrats on your success, Erica.

  83. Hi, Virginia! Congrats on starting to get connected. :) You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

    Hi, Pat! Thank you so much, and thank you for stopping by Seekerville today.

  84. Love the 'orange rhombus' story! For me, it wasn't the tables we sat at but the shape and colour of the nametags. I envied a set of twins who occasionally swapped nametags to sit in a different group!

    That 'politician currying favor' image was what I once thought marketing and networking were all about. Now that I have a blog I've learned the pleasure of developing relationships and making friends. There's nothing like the people in the writing community! They constantly support and watch out for each other. I don't have anything published to market yet, so I'm enjoying the friendships without strings attrached.

    Congratz on the *three* releases and best of luck with all of them.

  85. Great post Erica!
    3 books in one month! wow! Simply wow!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  86. Carol, writers are some of the most generous, understanding and easiest people to befriend. :)

    Eva Marie, Thank you! :)

  87. Enjoyed your post! Some wonderful tips on networking. Also loved the snippets of your books.

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  88. Erica, I was so far removed from a computer yesterday, I missed your party! Man, and I'd been waiting for the Orange Rhombus to talk, LOL!

    Networking. You hit the entire concept on the head. We can all help each other. Walk hand in hand. Share in the bounty.

    Your writing is so stinkin' wonderful, it's hard not to wait breathless for your next creation to hit the stands. Thank the Lord you're about as prolific as Mary.

    Anyway, back to networking. It's a marvelous tool for authors, but tough to find the balance between work, family, writing, AND networking. Someday I'll find that sweet spot. Until then, I'll just have to rely on good friends to not forget me, LOL!

  89. Carol W. Thanks for stopping by Seekerville and joining the party!

    Audra! I can't wait to see you in just a few days! You're so stinkin' cut I should be jealous, but you're so nice, I can't bring myself to be.