Earlier today I had the pleasure of presenting a session at the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference on “Marketing Yourself in the Digital Age” to an enthusiastic room of about 75 or so authors — I was on at the same time as the super-smart Jane Friedman; so unfair! — ranging from aspirants to the already-published.
I kept my remarks relatively short, reminding them that being an author is a business and staying on my core message of Community does NOT equal Commerce. The response seemed pretty positive, and I got a lot of great questions, most of which I was able to answer intelligently,(thanks, Matt, for the Bookscan assist!), and not a single one was about content being stolen if they posted it online!
The WD team live-blogged some notes from the session, and I had a number of requests for the slides, which I’ve made available via SlideShare and embedded below.
One thing I didn’t get to cover explicitly was the slide pictured above, my recommendation that anyone vaguely interested in marketing should read these three books:
- The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger (Also available in its original entirety, free online.)
- Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins
- Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff
None of these books are brand new, and a lot of new shiny platforms and gadgets have sprung up since they were published, but each of them is far more relevant, insightful and timely than the majority of the cashing-in-on-a-trend books that have been published since, perhaps none more so than the oldest of them, Cluetrain. If you’re serious about marketing, and understanding how the Internet has dramatically changed how people find information and make connections over the past decade-plus, they’re all must-reads.
And of course, the final piece of the puzzle is to have clear goals and then go for it; JUST DO IT — jump in, get connected and start engaging. with people. It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring writer, traditionally published or going the DIY route, marketing is every writer’s responsibility, and it takes the same level of commitment, dedication and self-discipline as sitting down and actually writing does.
NOTE: If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here, or drop me an email.