Feb 272010

One of the reasons to attend conferences is to confirm that your current beliefs and practices are valid. If you are anything like me, you, on occasion, make business decisions and take actions based on gut feelings or past experiences—feelings and experiences that are, as Nixon’s press secretary Ron Zeigler might have put it, inoperative.

There were at least three things I “knew” before I attended the TOC conference. I was pleased to find they were in fact still “operative.”

1. It isn’t time yet to abandon all the marketing efforts that have worked for years. Book events, speaking engagements, printed reviews, and interviews on radio and TV still have a place. Support your non-social media marketing with social media marketing and vice versa.

2. An app for an iPhone or other device isn’t a replacement for a book, but can both support your book sales and be profitable on its own.

3. The author, rather than the publishing company, is the social media marketer of choice. This is true for at least three reasons: Authors are usually more passionate and knowledgeable about their subject than a publishing company’s employee; social media is about personal connections, not corporate connections; and authors offer star appeal.

One thing I was surprised to learn was pointed out by Tim O’Reilly in his conference-closing address: The top ten blogs according to Technorati.com often include large organizations that are, in reality, publishers in that they are involved primarily in news gathering and distribution. Examples are The Huffington Post, Mashable and Boing Boing.

A side note: When my friends turn up their noses at reading books on a Kindle or other mobile device (like I used to), I’ve been smugly telling them there is an e-reader in their future. Now, after seeing what’s about to hit the landing strip, I’m going to tell them it is in their near future.

 Just a write thought.

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