Monday, November 14, 2011

How Linked In Are You?

We hear a lot about social media and how it’s transforming our marketplace and lives.  Some of it is real useful, and other parts are a big time-suck. But LinkedIn is worth investing your time in, as an author and a professional.  Here’s why:

Appearance As Expert – People will Google you to see who you are.  You want a LinkedIn page to pop-up. Why?  Because you control the content and it’s your chance to shine. Further, people will look to see how worthy you are, based on quality and quantity of content posted, the number of connections that you have, and the type of people you are associated with.

Networking Tool – It’s free, you don’t have to travel, and you can do it anytime from anywhere.  Your customers and colleagues are on it – go find them!

Competitive Analysis – See what other authors are doing on LinkedIn and model their success.

Bigger Picture – LinkedIn, by itself, won’t make you a best-selling author but it’s a key part of the overall plan to build a strong online presence, along with Twitter, You Tube, Google +, foursquare, blogging and Facebook.

It’s Not Facebook – FB is fine for reaching the commercial marketplace but LinkedIn’s where editors, literary agents, publicists, book packagers, and authors conduct business.

What is Your LinkedIn Brand Persona?

When you interact on LinkedIn, who are people expecting to communicate with?  Will you be a parent, a pet owner, a bowler, or a church-goer?  You may be any and all of those things but save the personal stuff for the FB playground.  LinkedIn is a professional gathering area. Create a profile that builds up the image you want to circulate, the one that highlights your professional credentials and experiences that relate to your writing career.

Branding is so important.  It is how people see you that determines how often they will network with you. So make sure your profile:

·         Represents your professional writing side.
·         Is updated regularly.
·         Presents you in a credible light.
·         Shows photos, blogs, videos, and links to relevant things only.
·         Contains a summary statement that identifies your vision and relevance as an expert and writer.
·         Is something you’re prepared for others to see – competitors, family, a boss, strangers.

When using LinkedIn to meet new people, look into LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Companies. You can also use LinkedIn Answers to meet experts.  If you want to target certain demographics to sell a book or meet others, consider using LinkedIn Ads.

Interview With Yen Cheong, The Associate Director of Digital Media & Publicity, Viking and Penguin Books

1.      What do you do in a typical day at the office? The short answer is that there is no "typical" day! But that's a rather unsatisfying answer, so let's see what I did yesterday ...
My day always starts with email. I usually quickly scan through all new messages when I wake up to see if anything alarming has occurred overnight, but when I arrive in the office I'll go through the new messages one by one.

Yesterday I also completed a number of production orders to send to our warehouse to insruct them where to send out paperback titles. (Paperbacks don't typically get very many reviews, but we still hope for mentions in paperback rounds ups or in articles about related topics.)

I'm in the process of scheduling a couple book tours in January and March 2012, so I followed up with a number of bookstores and lecture venues. I've been in touch with venues since last August, but scheduling tours can be a pretty complicated matter as you wait for venues to get back to you (or not, as is sometimes the case)!

Also, one of my authors will be speaking at a conference in Arizona, so I checked to see if the host had ordered books. I'd contacted Arizona media previously to let them know about his local appearance, but I followed up with them again.

2.  Yen, what do you love about being in book publishing? I love being in an intellectual environment in which people care about literature and ideas and learning.

3. Where do you see the industry heading? Digital -- ebooks, enhanced ebooks (with audio and video) and book apps-- will obviously play an increasingly large role as ereaders and tablet devices become more popular. But even as we think about producing digital content, we also need to be thinking about adoption of devices themselves -- what happens when we introduce a book app to the academic community when most teachers and students don't have tablet devices? It's a tricky question for publishers given that we have no control over the development and pricing of devices, but an important issue to consider, I think.

4. How has digital media transformed the book promotion process? It's opened up new channels for us - now in addition to finding out about books via newspapers and magazines and TV / radio interviews, people might read about a book on a blog or on Twitter of Facebook. Of course, the tricky thing is trying to find out exactly how effective all these new channels are - do we sell more books because an author has a terrific Facebook page? Or because a blogger tweeted about how much they loved a new work?

5. How do you help authors use social media to brand themselves?
It really depends on the book. For certain books - often fiction but also memoirs and certain types of narrative nonfiction - social media can be more effective because readers really do want to engage with the author. (On the other hand, if an author has written a book about Victorian morals, most readers probably won't have a burning desire to engage in a lively discussion with the writer.)

We help authors understand how to use social media and we also help them set up Facebook pages / Twitter accounts / blogs if they so choose. Authors need to maintain their own accounts in part because we work with way too many authors to be Facebooking / tweeting / blogging for each of them, but also because social media is about engagement and authenticity and readers want to engage with authors ... not with their publicists.
Yen is also the author of The Book Publicity Blog (

Why Are Men Dominating NYT Best-Seller List?

This Sunday’s New York Times best-seller list reveals:

**All top 10 fiction hardcover best-selling books are authored by men, including two sets of male co-authors.

**All top 15 non-fiction hardcover best-selling books are authored by men, but for three books.

The majority of book sales are registered by women and women read more books than men, so why are men dominating best-seller lists?

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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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