Five Ways Authors Can Profit from LinkedIn

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959956_book_money The following article came up a couple of times in my Google Alerts in the past few weeks, and I thought it was truly excellent. The author gives free reprint permission, so I thought rather than link to it, I’d just provide it directly here.

By the way, I’ve used LinkedIn for several of these myself. I found my agent for The Virtual Handshake indirectly via LinkedIn, and have used it in more ways than I can count to support my books. If you’re an author and you’d like more ideas beyond just LinkedIn, check out my article, Online Networking for Authorpreneurs.

5 Ways Authors Can Profit from LinkedIn

By Mahesh Grossman

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, just changed my life.

To be honest, until a few weeks ago, I never took it seriously. From time to time a friend or an acquaintance would ask me to “link” with them, and I would, but I didn’t understand what to do with my network. In fact, I’m not sure I ever invited anyone to link with me.

Now I understand some of the power of this tool–and it’s especially useful for authors. So here are five ways you can use LinkedIn to help you write, publish, and promote your book:

1) Ask for help with your content, including websites and people to interview.

LinkedIn has a feature where you get to ask questions, either of your network or of people in a particular industry. I am working on an e-book that will be a list of a particular group of sites. I asked the network where to find more of these sites and I got an amazing response that made this e-book my top priority. But you could also ask a question like “Do you know how I could find people to interview for my book who have a successful arranged marriage?”. Not only would you get suggestions on where to find people to interview, anyone with a successful arranged marriage would be likely to offer to be interviewed.

It’s also possible that people have already asked questions on your topic, so if you search the Answers section using appropriate keywords, you are likely to find some usable information as well.

2) Get introduced to famous authors and ask for testimonials.

I am shocked at how many famous authors are on LinkedIn. I have a few bestelling authors as direct links myself–and I am only one introduction away, meaning someone in my network can introduce me–from several authors who have sold more than ten million books–and there aren’t that many authors who have done that. So if you were to join LinkedIn and link to me, you would be one level away from the bestselling authors I know, and two people away from these authors who have sold massive quantities of books. That’s pretty amazing. So if you have high quality work that has been vetted by a professional coach (one that has been published by traditional publishers!), you could approach a very big name author through LinkedIn.

3) Have a particular agent you want to be introduced to? There are 326 agents on LinkedIn.

I did a search on the term “literary agent” and found 326.  I wouldn’t try to get introduced to all of them, but you do your homework and find a particular agent that is the most likely to be interested in your work, it could be a good way to make a connection. Once again, you have to really have studied the publishing business and know what you are doing to make this work. But it is an interesting strategy. (And I know of a number of editors from major publishing houses who are also on LinkedIn.)

4) Want publicity? There are lots of  periodical editors and TV producers you can network with.

I know several publicists on LinkedIn, and some are connected to top editors and producers. Want to get in Time magazine or Sports Illustrated? There are writers and editors from those publications. Want to get on national television? Once again,  you  can reach out and try to connect with these folks, who are also on LinkedIn.

5) Want to connect to people who might help market your book? Ask the right question.

Once again, LinkedIn Answers gives you the opportunity to ask how to do something, and let people volunteer to help you.  Ask a question like “I’m the author of a book about living a balanced life. I would like to be interviewed on 50 teleseminars this year. How do I find people who might want to host me on a teleseminar?”  Whatever your goal is, ask how you can do it, or find people to help you. Some good Samaritans will come forward and say, “I’d be happy to have you on a teleseminar.”

So those are five ways to work with LinkedIn.com. The bigger your network, easier it is to get help.
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You may post or send this article to anyone you want as long as you credit Mahesh Grossman as the author AND it includes the following information at the end of the article:

Mahesh Grossman is the author of Write a Book Without Lifting a Finger (www.writeabooktoday.com) and President of The Authors Team (www.AuthorsTeam.com), a company that helps credible business experts become Incredible Business Authors, through ghostwriting, editing, coaching, publishing, publicity and marketing.  For a free list of more than 400 agents as well as a newsletter with tips on planning, writing, publishing and marketing your book, go to www.getanagentnow.com.

Image: Billy Alexander via stock.xchng

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4 Comments

  1. I found my publisher via LinkedIn. They were referred to me by someone else who had used them. And I’ve participated in a couple of podcasts this year through people at LinkedIn. Being published means that people now want to interview me. Next, all I’m waiting for is an invitation to come to the US to speak (paid) 🙂

  2. It may be, Dirk, but I have to admit that I’m skeptical about a company that:

    a) has no contact information on their website — no phone, no email, no contact form, no physical address. Oh wait, I found an “info@” email address at the very bottom of the FAQ. Hmm. What if I need service? Quick service? If I’m having someone print and distribute my book, I want to have a phone number for them. And if you’re selling books on the site, customers need to be able to reach customer service too.

    b) promotes itself by shilling.

    c) has a pricing model completely out of step with the rest of the industry. With most of the print-on-demand self-publishing solutions I’ve seen, the author is making more like 20-40% of the selling price, not the 5-20% WWAOW offers.

    Sorry to hit you like that, Dirk, but you kind of asked for it when you came here and promoted your company with a comment that really wasn’t even on-topic.

    I’ve got nothing against doing business with start-ups, but folks, if you’re considering self-publishing, compare any deal you’re looking at to the established companies like Lulu, iUniverse, etc.

  3. These blurbs from your coworkers make your LinkedIn profile more dynamic and bring more credit and validity to your profile. Career experts recommend that you seek recommendations from your coworkers, former managers, direct reports and even clients. Shorter tends to be better; one or two paragraphs will suffice.

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