A few weeks ago I took a class at the local library with RWA’s 2012 Librarian of the Year, Mary Moore. The class was Research Tools for Writers. It was a kind of brown bag lunch class and the room was packed with writers of all kinds.
I admit, Mary and I have worked together for a few years and my biggest reason for attending was to support her. She is (in my humble opinion) the best research librarian ever! But wowy-zowy did I ever learn a whole bunch of things. Not new things really, but new applications of things I’ve used for years now. Like Facebook, Evernote, Google and such.
But the one thing I brought home with me and took advantage of right away was how to use LinkedIn to my advantage as a writer. Yea, yea, yea. I’ve been on LinkedIn in for a few years and never really thought much of it. Well, I didn’t really have a need for it. There was Facebook, afterall. Right? And Twitter… Flickr… DeviantART... Blogster… Goodreads… Stumbleupon…and of course Pinterest. And the latest at my house is Polyvor. And while Polyvor may help me look my best for that all important editor’s pitch, it’s not going to keep me in touch with my local librarians or booksellers nor will it tell me when there’s a new editor at Harlequin like LinkedIn can do. And I like that about LinkedIn. It’s professional and it cuts through the banter and tells me in simple straightforward terms who’s who and what’s hot today in the company world I follow.
For instance, in the announcements I’ve had over the past 2 weeks I can see that ....Simon And Schuster has a new Assistant Editor, Nicholas JD Greene....Penguin has a new Publicist, Meghan Fallon.... and Harper Collins Publishers has a new Director of Digital Business Development, Adam Silverman. Who knew?
Now perhaps you can get all of that on Twitter, I don’t know. I haven’t tackled that venue yet. Maybe it’s redundant social networking, but it is a part of the whole in the world of business.
Anyway, the greatest thing about LinkedIn is this: I’m connected with 35 people who are connected with 2900+ people who are connected with 309,900+ people making my potential pool of connections 312,900 people! And guess who might just be in that pool of people? You’ve got it! That one special editor or agent I’ve been looking for! And for the record, you can trust the math because yours truly did not calculate those numbers...some saavy mathemetician at LinkIn did! :D
So…..I’m curious. Why are writers not plugged into this incredible network? I found tons of children's authors and illustrators tapped into LinkedIn. But why did I only find a very small smattering of romance writers on there? Do they not know? Have they not seen the beauty of being linked together with other writers, editors, agents, publicists, etc? Are you on there? And if not.....please, oh please.....tell me, why?