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Chris Brogan and a missed opportunity at BEA 09

By Sandra Lee Schubert | June 4, 2009

Friday at the Book Expo 09 was exploratory and exhausting. I was going to attend a couple of workshops, say hi to a couple of friends and get the lay of the expo land. The first workshop was a panel discussion about e-publishing with Mark Coker of Smashwords. Mark was a guest on my show and we had a lively conversation about authors taking charge of their own work. I missed the beginning and end of the panel, but, the conversation was wrapped around how the written word was moving from just a hard copy printed version to include electronic versions.

I know that book lovers mourn the potential loss of held in the hand work. I don’t think we will see the end of printed on paper books, but it will be streamlined and more concise. I also think the rise of smaller print run books will take off. The environment is now lending itself to more and more people who are able to write and print their own books. The computer is now a printing press without the messy ink and plates to muck up our hands. Your Aunt Sue can write her novella about nursing soldiers during WWII and ten people or one hundred can order it online. But Aunt Sue can also get her book uploaded to her families cell phones. Her story may have ended at the family dinner table with her, but now it can continue and reach a broader audience.

My next stop was to hear Chris Brogan talk about being a trust agent, I had met Chris at a tweetup The Roger Smith Hotel in NYC. At that time I didn’t really know who he was. He was just a guy on Twitter who mentioned a tweetup in NY. I knew he had a twitter following but not much more. When I attended the tweetup someone reverently said, “there’s Chris”, at that point I realized I should pay attention. Chris made sure to meet and spend time with each of us at the tweetup. It was not forced. I felt that he was interested in finding out who was in the room with him.

At BEA Chris was in front of the room setting up and I had the thought I should go up and say hi and remind him where we met. I had no expectation that he would remember me. But the opportunity to say hi was there and I did not take it. Later he was signing galley’s of his book but the line was long and I was hungry. I did pick up a book and read it at lunch.

At the end of the day it may not mean much of anything that I didn’t say hello. But the point is I will never know what might have happened from the interaction. When I first met Chris I didn’t know much about him. I did my research and followed his blog and tweets and have become a loyal follower because of what I have read and observed. It was that in-person meeting that made me think I need to pay better attention to this guy. He might have been just a tweet in a vast stream of twitterers, now he is in my group of interesting people to follow.

Chris Brogan at BEA09

I can’t compare myself to Chris. It’s like apples and oranges and I am the unsprouted fruit. I don’t know if I have anything of value to offer him. Maybe that doesn’t matter. I have been reading a book about increasing your luck. The people who call themselves lucky are the ones who take chances and talk to everyone regardless of the possible value of the interaction. I don’t can’t predict the outcome of any interaction. I have been pleasantly surprised when I have taken a chance and I regret not taking the opportunity presented to me.

At the end of the day I have to reach out and see what the possibility might be in each interaction. It is up to me to create my own value.

Here is the presentation Chris gave at BEA- http://www.chrisbrogan.com/publishers-and-social-media/ His book , Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust is good. I have the uncorrected galley the book is published in August 2009.

Tomorrow: Taking my chance- Shaking hands with Gary Vaynerchuk.

Here is my smashwords ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SandraLeeSchubert

Here is my interview w. Mark Coker of Smashwords: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/SandraLeeSchubert/2009/04/28/Wild-Woman-Network-Radio

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Topics: books | 1 Comment »

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