Thursday, May 23, 2013

Amazing Things Do Happen

An amazing thing happened several months ago.

C.C. Chapman visited Kobo's head office and his good friend Mitch Joel interviewed him for a Kobo in Conversation video.

It was one of those serendipitous moments that couldn't be planned, and yet it was likely based on an ongoing stream of constant and consistent community building.

Authors regularly ask me questions about marketing and how to get the word out about their book.

Photo courtesy of C.C. Chapman

What nobody who asks that question ever really wants to hear is that it's hard, there are millions of other books and authors out there and the thing that works best isn't a single gimmick or a quick one shot bullet.  What works best is building and engaging in a community -- in particular a community that can benefit from the type of thing that you are writing.

Working on that, focusing on how you can add value to the community, add value to those who are potentially within your target audience demographic, is the main thing to focus on.  And I'll use C.C. Chapman as an example - particularly since his he seems to exude the principle of giving.

C.C. has been blogging and podcasting and sharing his enthusiasm for life in an open and up front way for many years. He has consistently been giving to the community, and, he hasn't been broadcasting using social media - he has been engaging with them.  He hasn't been using the community, he has become a relevant and desired part of it. He has offered, and given, and shared and connected.

And he has done it in such a generous and honest way that, as James A. Owen said so beautifully in the Drawing out the Dragons talk he gave at Superstars Writing Seminars last week, people can hear it in his voice, see it in his face, and seem to automatically want to help him.

It might have been a single innocent tweet that C.C. sent out which led to Kobo inviting him to come to our office, to bring in his good friend Mitch Joel to interview him, and to make a special day out of it -- culminating in this video -- but that single tweet stemmed from years of engagement by C.C.

Sure, I saw the tweet in which he was asking for some simple advice about Toronto, responded to C.C. and began a conversation with him.  But that conversation never would have happened without C.C.'s initial investment in the digital community he harvested and stays engaged with. 

C.C. might thank others for something like this, but he is really the spark that made it all happen.

But, despite the fun had that day of finally getting to meet him in person, the best part is that I found a great new book (Amazing Things Will Happen) that I can recommend and purchase - one that, along with the Dr. Seuss book "Oh The Places You'll Go" make an excellent gift for any graduate.

Check out CC Chapman's books at Kobo.

Check out Mitch Joel's books at Kobo.

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