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Women’s Media Group Talks@WMG: Gretchen Rubin in Conversation with Jenny Blake

November 07, 2018 2:00 PM | Shanta Speller

NEW YORK, NY (Nov. 7, 2018) – At the last gathering of the Women’s Media Group at Upper Story restaurant in Manhattan, Gretchen Rubin, author of many bestselling books, including The Happiness Project and the forthcoming Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness (Harmony / Random House, March 2019), and host of the top-ranking podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” answered questions from Jenny Blake, career and business strategist, international speaker, and author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One.

Connecting With Your Audience
Jenny Blake introduced Gretchen Rubin and asked her, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of The Happiness Project and the success of her podcast Happier, how she connects with her audience. Rubin explained how she learned from the failure to connect to her audience with her book about JFK – after that book she began to search for new ways to engage.

She explored connecting through blogssocial media, and podcasting and discovered she loves doing it! From there, she went on to create more channels of engagement including a newsletterInstagram, a video course and Facebook Live, all of which is a lot work for her, she said, but fun. She gets material and insight into what people are interested in this way. “Audience engagement can lead you,” she said - it helps her figure out what to create next.

For Rubin, the books came first, then the social media. But now that the audience for the podcast that Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft produce, Happier, has had more 40 million downloads, it is better known than the books!

Start with Books
Rubin’s main source of inspiration for her books and content is reading. “If you are in the book industry, remind people that reading is a fun thing to do all the time!” she said. “All my ideas are from reading and from talking to people around me….randomly reading – not research.” She became obsessed temporarily with the subject of color, for instance, based on random reading. She is also inspired by children’s books and is a member of three children’s literature reading groups.

Always drawn to the topic of habits and human nature, in one form or another, her reading is across all genres and disciplines – she also reads nonfiction, biography, and memoir. Every week she posts about the 4-7 books she read with the hashtag #GretchenRubinReads.

“As a former member of the Women’s Media Group,” Blake asked, “how do you make the most of meeting professional friends?”

“Talk shop, have fun, hear what’s going on, get other perspectives,” said Rubin. “Think of friends as allies and not competitors and seek out friends in different fields and areas of publishing.”

Learn more about Gretchen Rubin at:

For more about Jenny Blake visit:

For more about this Women’s Media Group event, see these social media highlights:

This article was prepared by by Susannah Greenberg, WMG board member, and President, Susannah Greenberg Public Relations, a book publicity firm

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