Networking at Byte the Book
September 24, 2012
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I’m not a great networker. While I find it extremely easy to ‘sell’ myself in a one-to-one (or one-to-several) meeting, put me in a room full of strangers and I’m likely to fall to pieces. I’m never the cool, efficient person who comes out with a useful string of email addresses – I’m usually the one who gets so nervous I neck back three glasses of wine in short order and gibber away to the one guest who isn’t a good contact at all.
So while I was excited about the concept Byte the Book, the new digital literary soiree, I was also cynical: would it be anything other than yet another chance for me to fluff meeting people (albeit in the impressive surroundings of the Ivy rather than some ugly corporate hellhole). But, having now attended three of their evenings, I must admit I’m rather taken with the whole experience.
Much of this is due to the tireless founder, Justine Solomons, who as well as being passionate about publishing, is one of those people who is extremely good at making connections, and enjoys introducing attendees to those she thinks will be useful – so, for instance, she introduced me to Zoe Cunningham, who interviewed me for her Zone One radio show, and who has now invited me to be a judge in the radio play competition that the station is running. I’ve also met some nice authors and publisher types – so who knows where that will lead? The talks themselves are usually very interesting, with high calibre guest speakers (I must admit there was a degree of pop star worship when one of last week’s speakers turned out to be Fergal Sharkey) and so far, at least, I haven’t embarrassed myself by tripping over the furniture. This means I’m getting better, right?
The next meeting is in October – if you’re in London and fancy coming along, check out the website.
Dark Dates round up
When it comes to digital networking, I am of course much better – though I admit I still get nervous when sending that initial query email. But I have managed to get a couple of guest posts on blogs this last week: talking about the blessings of a bad review over at Literary R&R and, on a more pop culture note, raving about the 80s classic movie The Lost Boys over at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts.