Sunday, February 19, 2023

The Importance of Connections

By Terry Whalin

Your connections are an important element in the publishing world. Ive often said who you know is as important as what you know. Whether you have a few publishing connections or many connections, I encourage you to continually expand and grow these connections. Its a stance that I have taken for many years and continue to see the fruit and opportunity from taking such action.

Years ago I served for 17 years in Wycliffe Bible Translators. One of my Wycliffe friends, Luci Tumas, has recently  published a middle grade novel called Jungle Hunt. Last weekend at her daughters ranch, Luci had a launch party and invited me to attend. I had not seen the Tumas' in over 45 years. 

John and Luci Tumas served with Wycliffe in Papua New Guinea and Jungle Hunt, an adventure story is set in that part of the world. During the launch party, John read a portion of the novel. It was a fun event and I met a number of new people.

While at this event, Luci showed me another book she had written Mission Possible by Marilyn Lazlo with Luci Tumas. While I knew Wycliffe missionary Marilyn Lazlo and saw the lengthy article about her passing in Christianity Today magazine. I had not seen or been aware of this book. I was surprised to see that Tyndale House published this book. I inquired how it happened and learned before Luci got into Wycliffe, she worked as an intern at Tyndale. She used those connections to pitch this publisher and they published the book.

As I looked this book, I noticed the foreword was from Franklin Graham. I asked how this happened and Luci said during the writing, she discussed with Marilyn who could write the foreword. Marilyn suggested Franklin and then immediately called his office, spoke with his assistant to arrange it. This foreword happened because of Marilyns connections. 

As I took a closer look at Mission Possible, it included endorsements from Dr. Billy and Mrs. Graham, Elaine Townsend, the wife of the Wycliffe Bible Translators founder, and professional golfer Suzanne Strudwick. How did Marilyn and Luci get these endorsements? They used their connections and asked for them

Each of us have people connections. As you publish a book, are you using these connections to gather endorsements? These endorsements sell books and are important to readers. Without the author taking action, they do not happen. It is nothing a publisher does for you but you as the author need to ask and gather these endorsements. Your connections are important.

Heres the unusual element about these books. It is not easy for anyone to publish a middle grade novels and especially one set in a remote place like Papua New Guinea. How many mission books do you find in your local bookstore or wherever you buy books? I suspect you will not find many but through using connections, these books got into print and are reaching readers. 

Help Jeff make the Right Connection

One of my long-term friends Jeff Blumenfeld needs a kidney. Our local TV channel did a story about Jeff (follow the link to watch this short video). In real estate sales, they often say it only takes one buyer. The same principle is true 
for Jeff. He only needs one donor but there are over 1,000 people in Colorado waiting for a kidney. If you or someone you know can help Jeff, please check out this link: www.nkr.org/vnd778 

My hope is this article will help you see the importance of connections. Whether you have been in publishing for decades or are brand new, each of us need these connections. I encourage you to continually expand your connections. What actions are you going to take today? Let me know in the comments below.

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