Five Types of People You Need in Your Cartel

Twenty years ago, you had to wait for publishers to create a Cartel for you. J.K. Rowling didn’t need to have a community of writing friends because she had Bloomsbury to build it for her. We’re going back to the days of Mary Shelley and Ernest Hemingway, where if you wanted to be a writer, you needed a Cartel. Even for most published authors, it’s up to you.

A Reading in the Salon

Rather than be weighed down by the extra work you have to do as an author, you can look at it as liberating. You have more control over who you work with and how you work than ever before.

And because of that, you can make more connections and deeper connections than ever before. Instead of a book factory, you can create a literary salon.

Who You Should Create Relationships With

It’s just as important to know who to connect with as it is to know how to connect with them. As John D. Rockefeller said, “A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.”

Here are five types of people you should develop relationships with.

1. Other Writers

Other writers aren’t just your competitors, they will be your teachers, your inspiration, your editors, and your promoters. I’ve found most authors to be kind, humble people who will readily answer your questions and offer their help, especially if you are humble and kind in return.

Two things authors are almost always willing to talk about: the writing craft and what they’re working on next. Higher profile authors can be very difficult to reach, but independent and even midlist authors can often be reached by email through their website.

2. Bloggers

Bloggers often have huge influence over their audiences, and they are almost always eager to connect with other writers. Bloggers usually want three things: traffic, links to their blog, and good content. You can connect with them by guest posting on their blog, interviewing them for your blog (and linking to theirs), and sending them traffic by sharing their posts through social media.

They best way to reach out to bloggers is through email or Twitter. However, the higher profile the blogger has, the more email he or she gets. Be sure to be brief and get to the point quickly.

3. Publication Editors

Editors of newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and publishers are gatekeepers, which makes them both incredibly busy and very difficult to get in touch with. However, you can learn more about writing from editors than anyone else because they have to teach the best writers how to write better every day. They also know more people in publishing than almost any writer.

Editors are behind the scenes kind of people, and thus, unlike the writers they work with, their talents rarely get exposure. If you want to get to know an editor, I’ve found that they’re very open to being interviewed, especially if it will increase the exposure of the publication they work for.

Editors can usually be reached through email, but like bloggers, be sure to be brief.

4. Freelance Editors

If you’re thinking about self-publishing, it’s essential to get to know freelance editors. You will want to hire them in the future to edit your writing.

You can find them on Twitter and Facebook and in the blogosphere. Freelance editors often run writing blogs as a way to get exposure for their services. They rely on a constant stream of new clients, so they will always be interested in free exposure if you want to interview them for your blog.

5. Designers

A book isn’t a book without a cover, and unless you’re an expert, you’ll want to work with a designer. We talked about the importance of professionally designed book covers in unit one, but even before you share your story, it’s a good idea to begin courting cover designers now. They can often be found through Twitter and in the blogosphere.

To start building relationships with people like this, head over to the next lesson where we’ll talk about an easy, effective way to build your cartel.

Do you like helping other writers? How do you prefer that they connect with you? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to know how to us Twitter and other tools to connect with important people online? Move on to the next lesson to find out.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. staci troilo says:

    Yes, yes, sometimes, sort of. Don’t we have to wear all those hats to a certain extent?

    I’m first and foremost a writer. That’s how I brand myself, and that’s where my passions lie. I’m a blogger because I like communicating with people, and that’s one way I deliver platform to my market. I’m an editor because I not only have to revise my work, but I am part of three critique groups, and I assist my fellow writers in improving their writing. (I’m also actually an Associate Editor for a small publishing house.) And finally, I studied both writing and design in college and used to work in document design when I worked full time. Now that I write fiction, I know that cover art is crucial when marketing a book, so I’m interested in that aspect of publishing. I know we, as writers, often don’t have much say in the cover art if we go the traditional publication route, but I’m still intrigued by the process and think we as the authors should have more input.

    I love helping writers improve their craft, and I appreciate any constructive feedback writers are willing to give me. That’s why I belong to three critique groups and why I attend seminars and conferences when I can. I check my blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages daily if anyone wants to communicate with me.

  2. Audrey Chin says:

    Yes to all of them in varying degress. I’m a writer because that’s what I do everyday (along with being mother, wife, financial steward, Christian woman…. all everyday). I blog, because that’s what everyone says I have to do to build a platform and because it’s teaching me valuable lessons about connecting. Its amazing which blogs become popular. I’m an editor because I need to edit my own work. On tribewriters, i’m also learning how to critique and edit other work in a useful and supportive way. And I love graphics… and have designed some of my own covers.

  3. Mirelba says:

    yes, not yet, yes, unfortunately not. I like being able to help others, but I feel that I still need better training to critique more effectively.

  4. Tiersa Danielle says:

    I’m green and undecided about all of the above. I do however like help and am willing to assist whenever possible. If anyone needs to contact me please feel free to tweet me at @literatirhap or email me @

  5. KathyPooler says:

    I mainly connect through my blog, Facebook and Twitter which I check everyday. My challenge is to minimize distractions from all these wonderful connections so I can stay focused on my the reason I started all this – the writing!

  6. Jay Warner says:

    I’m a writer and an editor (with extremely good proofreading skills) and a soon-to-be-blogger. That blog account I signed up for so many months ago is soon to be active. I’ll let you know.

  7. I am a writer, blogger, and designer. I love helping other writers. I prefer them to contact me via my website contact button ( But, I will also get their messages or hellos on facebook and twitter.

  8. I’m a writer and a blogger. I love helping others, one way that I help other writers is by promoting their books on my blog. I write reviews of most of the books that I read, I participate in book tours, whether I review the book or post an excerpt or a spotlight. I prefer that they use the contact form on my website to connect with me. (

    I’m definitely not a designer. I work with a wonderful graphic artist and it’s a lot of fun collaborating with him on the creation of the covers. Usually I tell him what I want and then he comes up with something far better.

  9. I’m a writer and a blogger. Can’t call myself an editor, although I do help critique for my writers group. Definitely not a designer. I also enjoy helping other writers and have made wonderful connections through Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers class.

  10. Julia Ray says:

    I am a writer, blogger, and designer. I am not an expert at editing…yet.:) I would love to help other writers in any way I can. I have a blog, Facebook, and Twitter account. A person can connect to me through any of those medias. They go to my phone so I get the message.

  11. themagicviolinist says:

    I LOVE helping other writers! ๐Ÿ˜€ Often when I help other writers, they return the favor. I help my readers find my friends’ blogs and vice versa.

  12. I would be happy to try to help fellow writers.

    I think email is the best way for me to connect with them.

  13. Yes, I do like helping other writers, and like Helene said, email is the best way to go.

  14. Sunny Henderson says:

    I love helping other writers. E-mail is usually best because I am not very disciplined with Twitter.

  15. I love helping other writers. My top level of connection with a writer is the critique trading, especially at the novel level. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing feedback on any of my writing and giving feedback on writing. But I prefer most the writers who will critique my novel and that have a novel for me to critique.

  16. I love helping other writers. Because it’s NaNoWriMo this month I joined a few different NaNo Bootcamps around the blogosphere and it’s really helped me connect with other writers, mostly through twitter. It’s great to be able to do writer sprints and talk out plot problems (or in my case: motivation to keep writing this story problems) with other writers at all hours of the day/night.

  17. I’ve decided I’m going to be investigating as many different ways of networking as possible. I’m only just beginning to realise the potential of blogging since I set up my blog 3 weeks ago. It really is much easier to connect with people these days. Thanks for all the suggestions on this course.

  18. I love helping other writers and even have a small entourage that follow me around from project to project. I prefer contact on Facebook since my email is a bottomless pit.

  19. Susan Carnes says:

    I work best in a group when I hear the work read by the author. Maybe it is my counseling background, but somehow, I know if the writer fulfills potential and possibilities. I can point out foreshadowing ideas and also emphasize what works so well and what can be made more effective. I love the way words work together like in poetry and also how to dramatize and downplay like the dark and light of art work. All the writing is art work to me, like a painting really. I like it when the work is enveloped, certain words are repeated, the sentences are varied. It is like music really, with a melody and counter melody.

    I am great at supporting the author and also at nailing another person’s excuses for not moving forward. I like to see the created characters moving in one direction or another too. I love philosophy and psychology and depth and challenges and a spiritual dimension that catapults beyond the mundane.

    • Susan Carnes says:

      I must reply to my own comment by saying that I find when people are together in a group, the critiques are better then any other way because we all play off each other. It is a sort of magic in which we are all far more then we would be one on one multiplied. In lurk group, we go round in a circle and speak briefly and get morel chances if we need them to zero in on the presenter. We all learn allot.

  20. Juanita Couch says:

    I like helping other writers in any way I can. You never know when that help will be returned to you in some other way. I am by no means an expert at any thing but I have some experiences that could be useful for a new writer.
    I prefer that they contact me through my many links. or
    or finally at

  21. I love connecting with other writers. I’m especially excited over the idea of connecting with designers, editors, and people with skills outside of my own. Beyond the value of their services, these people offer insight and different angles about writing and publishing that you probably wouldn’t have realized hadn’t you asked for them.

    With that said, I hope to connect with all of the writers, designers, and editors taking the course this year! You can catch me best via email or on Twitter (@stefgonzaga). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. I do like helping other writers. I have written book reviews and purchased books from my writer friends. I prefer they connect with via email, but now that I think about it, connecting over the phone would be kinda cool. Hmm…

  23. Oops! Forgot to post my email.