Industry attendance is an important part of being involved in the social scene which encompasses the publishing community. There are always events taking place around the city and deciding which ones to attend takes some careful planning. It is important to be informed on what is happening in the community and to go to events to see what is being done. Now as much as I hugely dislike but am reliant against my will on Facebook, it is undeniably an excellent place to help me out with my social calendar.
I daresay that is it’s only remaining useful feature (disagree? Tell me why @QuattroBooks)
If you are anything like me (working 3-5+ jobs at any given time? Don’t really have a social life but love your job(s)? Avid watcher of Girls?) you have a hard time planning your life. Facebook is actually very useful for this as many publishers have either groups or fan pages which lets people know when the next event is for their reading or when the next launch for a new seasonal slew of books will take place.
Being active and aware of events is the first step to actually attending them. Attending events can be a great way to network and talk with and meet other people who are equally passionate and interested in writing, publishing and reading. I am not always a terribly social human being, but I try to attend events in order to have a better understanding of how different people and publishers write, publish and present their content to the world. Attending an event is a way for you to express your interests and share them with others, support local artists, and network with other industry professionals.
Never underestimate the power of good networking skills and remember that if you are passionate and willing to make the effort, people will see it and good things will come your way.
Case in point: This past Halloween I had decided to dress as one of my favorite cartoon characters (if you are not watching cartoons in your twenties, you SHOULD) and I wore the costume to the office, fluffy hat and all. I had mentioned my interest in learning a new skill with one of my bosses and he happened to know someone who might be able to help me. I had been prepared to do the research and contact them myself, but sometimes luck or karma sides with the intern and what do you know but the woman he had mentioned just happened to show up on Halloween! In my excitement I had forgotten both myself and my costume, and charged out to meet her and show her how determined and willing I could be. Long story short, she liked my costume and my energy and she gave me the opportunity to learn with her.
Sometimes it just comes down to being at the right place, at the right time, in the right cartoon costume.