by Ethan Cohen
There is a sign in the library of Vassar College with a picture of Albert Einstein and two captions; the upper, “You use Google to do research?” The lower, “That’s cute.” The stigma against Google research is highly well deserved. Google is a monster of greatness for other uses, but when it comes to social and professional networking, you have to tailor your searches to a smaller scale.
One of my jobs for Treasure Chest Press operates on three levels:
1) Locating small bookstores and websites suitable to our goals and genre.
2) Discerning ways to open and maintain relationships with them.
3) Conducting these relationships.
Facebook, Meet-Up, Twitter, and assorted library databases have proven the most useful in locating relevant groups, though it is much simpler and easier to tailor searches to genre rather than demographics. The word ‘hardboiled’ alone will yield pages upon pages of outlets, many of them legitimately relevant. With the accelerating pace of social media, more and more groups are looking to develop new voices. The number one rule is to be aware of ideas outside the box. Not everything relevant about a bookstore is available in its title or mission statement. What would Fictionville Books, a run-of-the-mill bookstore seemingly uninvolved with mystery writers or new authors, have to do with us as? Well, look at its location. What kind of people would be visiting the store? Look at its history. Might it be a startup looking for new friends, or an old landmark promising various literary connections? Look at its Internet presence. Read its entire website.
Generally, the smaller the better. That said, there is no limit to the amount of sources you can at least e-mail.
Research and Networking
in the "Real" World
Black Lotus by Lita Lepie
"Possibly one of the most artful colloquial narratives of the past decade."
- E. Cohen
"My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough..."
"...film noir in a book..."
"Awareness of race, gender and sexual orientation shades [Black Lotus] with great depth..."