Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

How To Co-Author a New York Times Best Seller: Step 1

Step 1: Go to an unconference!

PodCamp Montreal OrganizersI was watching New York Times best-selling author, Julien Smith‘s presentation on Ustream live from PodCamp Montreal today. As he was presenting I was enjoying the back channel discussions in the chat room with some new and old friends.

I was talking with musecrossing quite a bit, I didn’t get her name (what’s your name?). She wasn’t familiar with Julien, so we were talking a bit about him. I was telling her about his old podcast In Over Your Head and about his excellent book Trust Agents.

Something struck me when musecrossing asked how Julien and his co-author Chris Brogan met. How did two bloggers meet to produce a New York Time’s bestseller?

I replied that they both met at the first PodCamp in Boston a few years ago. Just as I wrote this my friend Merlene Paynter replied: “I think Chris & Julien met at the first Podcamp Boston several years ago.” We both replied the same thing. A light bulb went off in my head about the value in these gatherings. I should mention that I’ve never questioned the value in attending, but it was interesting to think a little more about the topic.

Attending conferences and unconferences is key to building relationships. I’ve often talked about handshakes, high-fives and hugs that take your online relationships so much further when you actually meet in person.

Relationships often begin at events too. I first met Julien at Podcasters Across Borders in 2006, I don’t think we had ever met online before that. I first met the guys at Griffin when they sponsored the first BarCamp Nashville in 2007. Who knew then that I’d end up working for them?

The third BarCamp Nashville is coming to town October 17th, I encourage you to come join in on the incredible sessions and hallway conversations. Don’t be a wallflower either. Start your own and join in on discussions. Be a part of BarCamp, it’s free to attend. You’ve got nothing to lose!

By attending a conference or unconference you’ll be building new relationships, some of which will become friendships. Who knows, you may even end up with a New York Times best seller too. What’s stopping you?

<waving hi to my friends in Montreal>


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  • Christine

    Dave, I am astounded at how quickly you wrote this awesome post. 'twas my pleasure to make your acquaintance too. My name is Christine, Canadian Christine, by the way.

  • Cool! Pleasure to meet you.
    Thanks, I still haven't mowed my lawn though ;)


  • You know, I was sitting in Julien's session and overheard your name, so knew that you were with us in spirit, if not in body. A few moments before, when Julien was discussing the value of coming to things like Podcamp, I too was marveling at how serendipitous meeting people at these events can be. I wish I could get to more conferences out of town, but even attending events in your local community, and making an effort to reach out to new people is a very good thing. Because, you never know what fabulous connection you might make with another person that could lead to a life changing friendship, association or event. All hail meet ups!

  • Thanks Adele.
    People have complained to me before that they don't have a local
    barcamp or podcamp. I always tell the same thing, build it yourself!

    Meetup's are a great way too. The Nashville geek breakfast now has
    about 60-70 people each month. I've had to split it to two seating
    tines because of the number of people. It's growth has been wonderful.

    The trick is that people need to make the effort to attend something.
    First step is getting out of the house.


  • I think that there is nothing better than taking all of those on-line connections and finding opportunities to meet off-line (whether at Barcamps, meetups, tweetups or conferences). The connections you make there (as you so well pointed out) are priceless in my opinion! Seriously, I've met several great people at events and meetups. Some have become mentors and others very close friends and trusted partners whom you can bounce ideas off of.

    Now I haven't gotten started on that New York Time's Bestseller with a co-author (my co-author doesn't quite see the vision) but I am writing!

  • and good luck on that Ricardo! Thanks for your comment. Keep me posted on your book, I'd love to learn more about it.


  • Outline written and chs 1-3 completed. Still have a ways to go but we're getting there…

  • Outline written and chs 1-3 completed. Still have a ways to go but we're getting there…

  • Hey good for you! That’s really amazing. What’s the topic?

  • Pingback: Blissdom: Always Be Connecting | Dave Delaney - Community Enthusiast, Social Media Strategist, Marketing and Promotions Fella()

  • Julian J. Smith’s obsession with prints, patterns, contrast and color, comes out again this season with his Spring collection.