Posts Tagged ‘chris brogan’

An Opportunity for Authors

December 28, 2009

Social media guru Chris Brogan blogs today about a book he read during the Christmas holiday and how well the author, Scott Westerfeld, communicates with his readers via the Internet.

Brogan makes the statement, “Fans are no longer silent onlookers in the experience of books. They are participants.” He continues by saying books are “…a user-driven media where readers and sometimes authors congregate.” He points out that books don’t have to be limited to a rectangle of paper. Today there are printed books, audio books, ebooks, Kindle books, etc. The form of books, Brogan writes, or “the media” is just one facet of their essence.

“If a book is a media where readers and sometimes authors congregate – CONGREGATE – it means that authors get the opportunity to build relationships in a whole new way with readers. It means that the stories don’t have to stay linear, that the ideas don’t have to stay on one side of the page, that the experiences don’t have to end at the edge of the page.”

That’s a powerful statement for authors. Brogan continues, “…the opportunity to empower your audience to actually be a community is a huge one, and shouldn’t be shrugged off without consideration. Not only could authors create differently…they have the chance to build relationships of value, that will work in their favor for future projects.”

Stated another way, the opportunity for all authors who write to make a difference in the world no longer ends when the manuscript is complete or the book is printed. Now authors can engage their readers long after they’ve read and absorbed the message between the covers. Now authors – and readers – can dialog about those messages, can expand on messages for even greater change in our world.


How to Extend Your Platform

September 22, 2009

[The following post is rewritten from the blog of Chris Brogan, social media consultant and author of Trust Agents (John Wiley & Sons). Used with permission.]

Today I’m presenting at the Writer’s Digest conference. This is a bit of a dream, because from the moment I thought I was a “serious writer,” Writer’s Digest products were my guides to what I thought I’d have to do to succeed. Now they’ve asked me in to show people the crazy hazy edge. Today they want to know about the book as platform and seeding your future.

I’m going to start with a great quote from Bob Stein, from the O’Reilly Tools of Change event. He defined a book as such: “A book is a user-driven media where readers and sometimes authors congregate.” Do you love that? Is that crazy? I love it.

I extended myself into a platform. People try to ask about this at events, but because they don’t exactly know or see the edges, they don’t ask the question the way I’m framing it for you now. What do I mean? What’s it mean to be a platform?

I am me. I make media. I push the media onto this blog (at the time of this writing), 30,000 or so folks get this via a subscription, and over a month I’ll have 250,000 unique visitors. I have this linked to my Facebook, so another 4750 people get this. If I tweet the link, just short of 100,000 more people get this. I speak at dozens of events a year.

That means my ideas spread pretty darned far. Not TV show far, but not bad, eh?

You can do the same thing. That’s really what I’m going to say to people. I’m going to talk about HOW I set it up, how I built the network, what I did to nurture it, and how I use it to help other people, and finally, what that does to help me.

Do you know how? You’ve been here awhile now, right?

I started by connecting with people in one place and making relationships. I invited those people to my other platforms. I explored their interests. I learned what mattered to them and tried to fuel it. I moved into new platforms. I went everywhere that information could spread easily. I went nowhere that information was penned in. I connected with as many connectors as I could. I put my ideas into forms that other people could take them and run. I reinforced and encouraged others. I thanked others. I asked for very little in return for everything that I gave.

I co-wrote an entire book on how to make information and value move through systems, that most people buy because they they think it’ll teach them the secrets of social media. The secret is that these tools let us build better relationships. That’s it.

That’s platform, friends. You’re great alone, but you’re everything once you figure out platform thinking and how to equip and empower value transactions.

Make sense? What am I missing in my descriptions? What do you want to ask, given what you see above? What would you add, my brilliant friends?

3 Tips for Building Your Online Presence

June 19, 2009

As we’ve discussed, it’s essential that authors establish themselves online. Not only are publishers pushing for more author-initiated marketing in the digital world, the Internet is where readers go first to find research new titles. A recent poll showed 35% of all online users are over the age of 40 and some of us should be retired.

There are 3 key building blocks to your online platform (full disclosure – these were first brought to our attention by blogger and social media guru Chris Brogan). Core to successfully using your online presence is listening to what your readers are saying about you and your books. You’ll want to know what they (more…)