Post No. 22: “If You’re Not Online, You Don’t Exist”
March 31, 2009
Flashback to the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, April 2007. An expert on online marketing is talking about his extended family. It goes something like this. “I have a nephew who’s ten, and a niece who is two. The other day I got some photos of them, and I had this realization: My nephew is the last person in my family who will ever think of photographs as something you hold in your hand and look at.” I think it was Kevin Smoker who offered this insight, although he denies it. In any case, whoever the speaker was, was right. Photos are fast becoming something you look at on your computer screen, or, more and more often, your cell phone.
This is just one example of how profoundly – and rapidly – online communication is replacing older modes. As Kevin said later on, “If you don’t have a presence online, you don’t exist.”
The corollary is, if you don’t exist, you probably won’t sell very many books.
Back in the present, I call Kevin up and ask him if he’ll take me on as a client and become my online publicist. He turns me down. He’s not doing that any more. I ask for a recommendation, and that’s how I learn about Nina Amir. He doesn’t have her contact info, but I google her name and find a web site with a telephone number.
She’s surprised that Kevin has recommended her – “He’s never done that before” – but is eager to help me, and does so immediately by recommending a web designer who will fit in my budget. It may not cost $3000 after all – although it may. I’ve yet to connect with the designer.
Nina and I agree to meet – I always like face-to-face business meetings if they’re possible – and I drive down to Los Gatos, a town at the southern tip of Silicon Valley that has the feel of an upscale shopping mall. Nina, I learn when she shows up about 20 minutes late at the restaurant where we’re having lunch, lives in a more rural setting. I immediately like her, but how much does she know about online publicity? It turns out that she knows a lot.
To be continued…
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Note: I’m using the blog format here to post a journal I have been keeping for some time. We will catch up to the present in a few weeks.