Social Networking: the theory of Six Degrees of Separation

The theory that everyone separated from everyone else through six degrees of separation is repeated as though it is part of the sacred dogma of job search.  As a member of LinkedIn (under the name on my birth certificate rather than my pen name) I have found that my “network” –once you include the contacts of my contacts – is getting pretty big, and I know someone who knows someone or knows someone who knows someone else at almost every company I have an interest in working for.  Has this network helped me land a job?  Not really, but it has led to some great information gathering. I still hold out hope that it will pay off at some point in helping me land my dream job. There is no question that in today’s job market who you know is the difference between getting an interview and winding up in the “slush-pile” of resumes.

Which brings me to the question of how the six degrees of separation works with respect to book sales?

From what I can tell, most of my early book sales were to close friends and family members, but capturing data on whether or not my social networking is resulting in sales is harder. I’ve gotten some contact information for local independent book store owners and book clubs who may be interested in my novel, and I have enriched or expanded my circle of friends and acquaintances. Regardless of how social networking has affected my book sales, it has been work the effort.  Coming from a business background, I can’t help but wonder if any of my book sales have resulted from social networking.

Do you track any metrics on how your social networking has helped your book sales?

Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead reviews books for Crystal Reviews ( and writes paranormal romance. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing ( or


Filed under Mairead Wapole, marketing

8 responses to “Social Networking: the theory of Six Degrees of Separation

  1. mickeyhoffman

    So far the networking has allowed me to find two old friends. Since my book isn’t out yet, I don’t know about sales, but I also would like to hear from others who might be tracking sales from networking.

  2. Since I’m only self-published, I don’t actually have many sales. But I do know I’ve sold at least two books to friends in my social network. And six online to people who I didn’t know before they bought them.

  3. My novel was published last fall. Up to this point, I’d have to say I have not been able to see much correlation between actual book sales and the online networking I’ve done. By creating and commenting on online blogs, it seems to me you make contact with many more writers than readers. But then, you could always argue that there was more or different networking I could have done.

  4. christinehusom

    Physical networking has seemed to be generate more interest and sales than online contacts. But I haven’t been very active in either venue. Now that I’ve finished my next novel, I need to sit down, do some research and plan a schedule of places to visit and people to talk to. I’m invited to a book club on the 23rd and will be the featured author at a new library which recently opened in a nearby town. As much as online marketing seems to be the wave of the future, I’m still holding onto–at least in part–the old practice of starting locally, building into regionally, then nationally. We’ll see!

  5. christinehusom

    I got an extra word–“be”– in my first sentence and should have added “for me” at the end.

  6. Mairead

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  7. An interesting question. My book isn’t out yet either. It has generated some interest on my FB site, but will have to see what that means. Meanwhile, I must add that I found a publisher thru FB, so Social Networking was definitely worth it for me.
    –T.K. Thorne
    Noah’s Wife 2009

  8. If you’re looking to get published, you should visit They provide a lot of great advice and tools to help authors network and get published. They can even get you in touch with freelance editors, cover pages, and publicists. is really a great resource for writers, so I suggest you check it out for yourself.

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