I ran to my office and finally got onto twitter (something I had been avoiding so that I could watch the show and learn the outcome that way.) I typed that after meeting Luca Manfe only one time, I still somehow felt vested in his win.
It was true. As a general rule, I really, really dislike reality shows. I find the personal interactions, at best, distracting and contrived and at worst, harmful examples of conflict resolution. But in this case, after meeting the tall, good looking chef in person I was hooked.
Authors often talk nowadays about the changing world of publishing and what it means to our interactions with readers. With so many books being sold electronically, it takes away the ability to create events based on book signings. For some this may seem unimportant, even a blessing. But my interaction with Luca shows why this is so very harmful to building our readership.
It is not that I personally know Mr. Manfe in any meaningful way. During my brief interaction with him I found him to be humble (he did not come right out and tell us he was on Master Chef), kind (he took the time to sign an autograph for and take a picture with my daughter) and generous (he gave me his twitter handle and told me he would follow me back.) But most importantly, he captured my attention and my curiosity, and had a specific call to action – watch Master Chef that night – which was easily managed.
In what ways, I now ask myself, can I take the lesson I learned from him and apply it to my own life? Granted, my books have a much smaller platform than a prime time t.v. show. But still… the lesson is just as valuable. Find ways to meet my readers. Be willing, although it is difficult, to let people know about my work. And offer an easy way to learn more about me and my writing.
And, while the first and last items may seem like the difficult ones, it is actually the middle one, being willing to share my news, that is most difficult for me. Everyone has important things they have done or are doing. No one has time to look up my website, or read my book.
But what if Luca had thought this way? (Or, perhaps he did, but he forced himself out of his comfort zone.) It is true that I too was proud of my work, was in fact going the very next day to pick up the print version of my book. As well, it was our first night in NY. We were hot, tired, and distracted by the sights and sounds. On the surface we should not have had time to chat about his life event, or to watch his show when it came on. But we did. And now
I feel as if, not only was I in some small way part of an amazing event, but also through it, made a new friend… And this, ultimately, is why personal interaction is so very important- Because life is fundamentally personal.
Here’s to you Luca! I can’t wait to someday eat in your new restaurant. Ole, Ole, Ole Ole!
Did you watch Master Chef? Who were you rooting for? Or, do you have a favorite chef in general? You know I am on a campaign to interact personally here… And to prove it I’m giving away a copy of my book BETTING JESSICA to one lucky commenter during the month of September.
Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their
original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)