Last Saturday I was at another author event at a local bookshop in Newport Shropshire. Unfortunately the picture is a bit dark, but there were 7 local authors tempting visitor's to buy books at the shop's opening of it's new first floor section.
The Book Nook in Newport is only a few months old, but the store's manager, Alison, has always supported local authors and thought this would be a great way to launch her expansion.
Alison used to work for WHSmith's in another Shropshire town and first held a 'local author' event there a few years ago. Since leaving WHSmith's to set up on her own, she's obviously kept our details on file and regularly invites us back.
And that's the point I want to make here. It doesn't matter whether you are an author or a article writer, you must keep a decent 'contacts' book. The programmes that most computers offer are perfectly good for the job, Microsoft's Outlook and Apple's Address Book, both provide spaces for 'notes'. Whenever you come across someone new, put them in your contact's book, AND make a comment in the 'Notes' section where you came across them. Then next time you need to talk to them you can 'jog' their memory about where you first met.
My next book selling opportunity will be at my nearest National Trust property over the May Bank Holiday weekend. We spread the word about it at this event and obtained several new contacts - contacts that we shall keep and invite to other author events. And that's how it should continue. Keep adding to your Contacts book and those contacts will stay in touch with you too. Suddenly they'll approach you with an idea for an article.
Whether you're trying to sell articles, or books, keeping in contact and staying in touch is vital.