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One of my Bring Your Book to Life students e-mailed me to say that she would be meeting a VIP in the medical world in a few short weeks at a networking luncheon through her husband’s business.
She asked how to best approach him. A foreword or even a blurb from him would be a real coup. And perhaps he might offer advice on the book publishing and promotion front.
In the old days, she’d probably have to wait until the event to introduce herself, but nowadays we can connect easily and become part of someone’s community at the click of a mouse through social media.
I suggested she read his books, then check out his blog and subscribe, asking relevant questions or making comments of substance on his posts that add value to the discussion. I also suggested she see if he has a facebook fan page, twitter id, etc. and connect in these social media arenas, as well. Here’s a place she can add value for him by retweeting his tweets or sharing his updates.
Whether he remembers her or not, she’ll now be part of his online community and can introduce herself accordingly. She’s no longer a random stranger, but part of his tribe.
And most bloggers are particularly grateful for those who add to the discourse on their blogs, so he’s likely to remember her unless his blog gets hundreds of comments. Authors appreciate their fans.
Is this disingenuous? I think not. It’s easier to meet people and become part of their circle through social media. To take advantages of the technology just makes sense–and it’s part of what successful authors do. If you can contribute to someone before you ever meet them, why wouldn’t you?
So, if you’re planning to attend an event or book signing with one of your “paper mentors” and you want to connect more deeply, become part of their online circle before you physically meet. And think about what you can do for them, too.