Here's a great article from 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 ebook 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 ebook 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.
Mahesh Grossman is the author of Write a Book Without Lifting a Finger (http://www.writeabooktoday.com) and president of The Authors Team (http://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 http://www.getanagentnow.com.
Meanwhile, check out John Kremer's LinkedIn page and become a friend: http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnkremer.