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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Contacts and Leads

"Do I really have to social network?"

"Social networking is such a time waster."

"What good is social networking if I want to sell a book?"

Answer In a Nutshell:

Social Networks: Connects you, gets you known, and allows you to broadcast quickly

Blogging: Allows others to really get to know your work, informs, educates and even entertains

I've answered these questions and many more when working with aspiring authors concerning their book projects. As we are working on the nuances of their manuscripts readying them for publication, I usually urge setting up a blog and a Facebook account. It is met with much resistance and I only have one current author (that I am publishing) that is proficient in blogging and social networking.

The idea of social networking for business is to meet other like-minded people who are potential clients, customers, or who may know someone who might be interested in your work. It also allows you to generate excitement for a title before it is released. No one can sell a book like the author. The process of publishing can span two years or more and at the end of this time, the author is ready to let the world know the project is completed and ready for sale.

I recently read a blog post by an author who will soon be publishing a book of similar topic to his blog. He has a huge following and I’m sure has many people who are interested in reading his upcoming book. A ready audience, a publishers dream!

In my own business I have met many people online in similar businesses, those like-minded and those who can help me in the world of publishing. For example, on LinkedIn I have referrals that potential clients can read. What a time saving feature. These are from valued colleagues who can vouch for my character and work ethic.

On FaceBook others can learn about the more personal side of my family and my business. While on FaceBook one of my “new friends” happened to be a lady I soon presented a book contract to, upon learning about her manuscript for teaching children to write fiction. I never would have met her as she lives in Washington State and I live in Florida. Another contact on Facebook asked to interview me on her radio broadcast via the internet. This again might not have happened without this powerful networking tool.

On Twitter I was followed by a man who I had tried to interview in the past. Because of the vast amount of email he receives he did not see my query. When I thanked him for the follow on Twitter, I added a quick note about the interview and my email address. He contacted me and not only answered my questions but sent me a short e-book for free.

I could go on about the value of social networking, but you get the idea. The next post will deal with another valuable tip for an aspiring or veteran author.