The first time I contacted someone famous was in 2004. I had seen Don Tapscott, the author of Paradigm Shift, speak at a conference about chaos theory. His last slide included his email address and he gave everyone an invitation to contact him if they had any questions. Don had mentioned a biodiversity experiment at Cedar Creek and I was keen to learn more (really, it's interesting stuff). I asked him how I could get a copy of the original study. Don kindly connected me with the author, David Tilman. I called David and he sent me his research.
A few years later I emailed Matthew J. Bruccoli, an expert on F.S. Fitzgerald and an editor of his books and letters. I was looking for a copy of Sara and Gerald, Villa America and After, a book about American artist patrons in early 1920s France he had helped create. Matthew quickly responded and guided me to a copy on Abebooks.
A few weeks ago, I sent a note to Chris Bogen, co-author of The Impact Equation. I am a fan of his newsletters and shared that his guidance is helping me with my book and business. He kindly and quickly replied, wishing me luck.
Connecting with people you don't know, even famous ones, seems easier and more commonplace today. There are more ways to connect and it is less of a big deal. Contacting an author to clarify a point or ask for guidance is almost expected.
In our more social world, books, presentations and videos are no longer static creations; they are dynamic by virtue of the discussions around them. It's a win-win for the reader and the author.
My opportunity is to make it easy for these connections to happen with my readers, whether through my website design, content or other social media. Not only will it be good to make new connections, it will be good to return past favours.