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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Counting My Linked In Connections

When I saw my number of contacts on Linked In hit 999 yesterday afternoon I knew it could be a matter of minutes or hours before I’d reach quadruple digits. It is somewhat of a milestone and yet I couldn’t help but wonder what it really means.

Certainly what matters is that my number of connections has been steadily rising.  I think I had about 300 as of May.  I’ve more than tripled that with a concerted effort over the past few months.

Further, what’s important is the quality of one’s connections.  I’m only connected with people in the publishing community – such as leading publicists, marketers, editors, literary agents, authors, and related experts.  These are the people I want to communicate with and develop or expand upon a relationship.

The thing that is most important is how you build and interact with your network, whatever its size. Linked In is not a destination, but a tool, here to serve you and facilitate the expansion of your professional game.  For image and ego alone I want to hit 1,000 and then double it and double that again. But what I really want is to enjoy a solid network of like-minded people who are willing to help one another succeed.

Once you connect with a lot of people, start to think about how you will stay in touch and how you will share information with them.  You can’t stay silent but you can’t keep sending out messages constantly. Find a happy medium.

And feel free to send me a Linked In request!


Interview With The Marketing Director Of Mulholland Books

Miriam Parker and I met on LinkedIn. Here is what she shared about her vies on the book publishing industry:

  1. As the marketing director for Mulholland Books,, a division of Little, Brown and Co., what challenges do you face in marketing books in today’s marketplace? I think our challenges and our advantages are in some ways the same. With Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and blogging, we finally have the ability to connect directly to the people who love our books and our brands in an authentic and immediate way. But, there’s also much more noise than ever, more competition for readers’ time. We have to convince the folks who love to read that they should pick up a book instead of watching TV or playing Angry Birds. By publishing the best books we can and by spreading the word in a way appropriate to each individual title, I have confidence that we will be able to do just that. I do think that the digital revolution that we are going through right now is ultimately a positive thing though, it brings every book to every potential reader at every moment. What could be bad about that?!

  1. What do you love about being a part of book publishing? I’ve worked in publishing for a long time, but I still get giddy when I get to meet an author who I admire, whose work I’ve read. I also think the best thing about publishing is that the people I work with are actual geniuses. It’s such a joy to work with brilliant people on a day-to-day basis. I look forward to coming to the office and finding out what they’re all thinking about.

  1. Where do you feel the industry is heading? Obviously we’re headed toward more and more digital purchases on multiple platforms. I think that devices that do multiple things—allow cultural consumers to read, listen, watch and play all at the same time—are the thing of the future. We have too many electronics in our handbags right now (this is why I love reading on my iPhone. It’s always with me!) I do also think, however, that the printed page is still the best way to really commune with a book. I can’t imagine living in a home without bookshelves and I predict that I will continue to fill mine and that I won’t be the only one.

  1. What can authors do to promote or market themselves? Connect. Connect. Connect. Be yourself. Find your fans. They are out there and they want to be your friend and friends buy each other’s books. You don’t need to tell them your address or the social security numbers of your children, nor does it need to take up your entire writing day, but you can still communicate with your readers in an authentic way. Think of your social media presence like a cocktail party, you need to listen to be listened to.

  1. What role should social media play in marketing books today? I think it plays a huge role whether you want it to or not. If you’re a public figure (and as an author you are a public figure) you are going to be discussed in social media. Why not participate in the conversation yourself? It’s such a unique time in our history that we can communicate with fans in such an immediate way. And what fun to get immediate feedback!

  1. Aside from my wonderful blog, what other publications or Web sites do you consult to learn about marketing and book trends?  I read all of the publishing trades (Publisher’s Weekly, Publisher’s Lunch, Publishing Perspectives) and tech trades (I especially like Mashable and Silicon Alley Insider). I also learn lots from Facebook, Twitter and my social networking pals.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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