Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Friday, April 27, 2012

How Linked Are You?

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? 


  1. Stephanie and I are linked up to degree. Probably should be more so. But here's the thing--the linking takes time--lots of time. I need to write. I also need to read, because it is necessary for my soul but I am also a firm believer that a writer must read various genres to be a better writer. I also need to wash clothes and mop the floor. I need to talk to my sister. I need to let my nieces have high drama on my time.

    I would link up more if I were convinced of the value of a thing, if I were convinced I would not get 9,523 messages in my inbox every day.

    Take Pinterest for an example--with apologies to those of you who enjoy it. (I enjoy working crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble and the same could be said for those things.) I created an account and pinned two pictures. I deemed it the biggest waste of (my) time since staring into space and contemplating donuts. But every day I get more followers. Why? So they can see my two pictures, which I don't even remember what they are.

    And I allow myself to play one game of Scrabble against the computer per day before I start to write. It takes me about 10 minutes. I work the crossword in the paper while I have my coffee. It takes me about 10 minutes. I spent five times that pinning two pictures.

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  3. Jean, I completely understand the time issues involved. Time is money and once it's gone, it's gone.

    And I didn't get the point of LinkedIn at all, prior to Mary's class. But now I see it has professional advantages of networking over the more personal social network sites, and it doesn't need daily updates and monitoring like they do, plus I can set my preferences to get minimal emails, too.

    But oh how I understand the time issues. Because you know, once I sign onto Facebook? I see ALL things shiney! Ooh lookey.....let's see what they're up to now! :D Oh! And look! They shared a picture on Pinterest...just for me? It's a pretty beach house! Oh yes! I want to go to the beach. Which beach? I don't know! Let's go looking online and see!

    I should be able to get frequent airmiles for my online travels.

  4. Oh! Thanks to Lesia, I have over 140 connections with 5,551 new network connections. Woot! And that's in 3 days!

    Alas, this is very distressing because I'm always on pinterest.com and facebook and twitter. La sigh. Who knew social networking could be this much fun?

    Must write... must write... must write...

    1. In the words of Shirley Temple....

      Oh. My. Word.

      You have 140 connections? In 3 days? Girlfriend, you rock!

      Keep us posted on how well it works for you, okidoki? A hundred and forty connections......Geeze Louise!

  5. Wow, I commented late today and y'all have already said it all. I can see the advantage of more connections but as Jean said, I just don't have the time.

    1. I understand. Really, I do.

      But Stephanie, if you ever have time to play around with it more, tell me what you think/learn. I'm particularly interested in your take on following companies since you have a real knack for that anyway, even without LinkedIn.