World of F2F, virtual friends collide, helping to promote book

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This is how wonderful the online world can be: it can make connections between people who would never otherwise meet, providing them with resources they need. (It can also highlight the holes in your publicity department, showing where you’re missing crucial sales.)
By the way, when I use “F2F” above, it’s not in the network sense. I was trying to decide how to describe people I know from my daily life—as opposed to those virtual friends I’ve met online. So in this case, F2F means face-to-face.
A couple of months ago, I saw a former business owner I knew, a F2F friend, on Facebook. I’m not sure who reached out first, but we ended up becoming FB friends. I had not seen or heard anything about Ed since my early reporting days. (He once owned a computer business in Preston County.) He ordered a copy of my book, Sister of Silence, and sometimes posts insightful comments with suggestions about how to continue marketing it in this online world.
Yesterday he made my day—not in the Clint Eastwood sense—but by sending me an email that goes, in part, as follows:
“Hi Daleen, Well this is an amazing story. I met (a new friend) the other day at the local gas station. We talked for 30 minutes and . . . I recommended your book to her . . . I mentioned your name and she said you had already emailed her, yet said nothing of your book!”
Turns out, she was new to the area and facing a challenging move. Something about her told Ed she needed to read my book. (How cool is that?!) Of course, he was shocked that she and I had already “met” via Facebook—and that I had not promoted Sister of Silence when we did so.
(Here’s the thing: I have many diverse interests, some which have nothing to do with my book. And sometimes, I just don’t want to seem, well, pushy, by automatically saying to a new contact: “I’m an author and you should really read my book!” That being said, this story shows I probably need to ramp up my marketing strategy.)
I “met” this same woman, apparently just prior to when Ed met her in person, on FB. I saw her post in a news feed and sent her a message. Not a “please friend me” message, just a general, friendly inquiry. I have a close friend in California with the same last name, who once wistfully told me that, due to her parents’ divorce, she wasn’t close to her father’s side of the family. Because it’s an unusual spelling, I asked this woman if she had relatives in Ohio, where my friend’s father was from. Turns out, she did.
I have a feeling this story isn’t over yet, but for now it has a semi-ending: I feel good because people are talking about my book while pumping gas—which is pretty good, considering that the high price of fuel has turned the experience of just going to the gas station into a negative one. (Have you noticed how crabby people are, as they fill up their tanks these days?) And now they have something positive to share with each other, as their paychecks virtually disappear into their fuel tanks.
I’ve also learned it doesn’t serve me well to be shy about my work, and I’ve sold another copy of my book. Plus, Ed said he personally believes he’s being used in a way that will help others, which is the ultimate highlight of this wonderful story!
Editor’s note: Sister of Silence, which is not about FB or anything else virtual, but which does nonetheless actually provide amazing life insight, is available now for only $14.99.


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