What Social Media Can Do For You
One of the strongest tools a writer has in their arsenal is their social media presence. Publishers like to know that a writer can self-promote, as well as have an already there audience. When publishers receive book proposals, one of the first things they’re going to look at is where you are online. How many twitter followers do you have? Do you have a blog? Are you active on Facebook? The loftier the press, the more important this is.
Let’s look at the smaller side of things. If you’re working for/hoping to get published by a smaller press, social media is still important, but is it as effective and how can you utilize it properly? I find that social media is an area I have a lot of trouble keeping up with. I also find that it makes me feel awkward, and I often can’t think of interesting things to say. Twitter is particularly difficult in this aspect. I hear authors for smaller presses ask, “Is this working? Is it making a difference in my sales?” often.
Social media allows the writer to keep their fanbase updated and to spread any/all news. Even the tiniest amount of attention or followers is going to make a difference. If people are interested, they’ll tell other people. It doesn’t always feel like it pays off right away, but it’s something you have to keep at. And, it’s a fact, other authors are your friends. Follow them on twitter, like their facebook page, interact. You can help each other. Authors are a community, and a community is stronger if you stick together.
With each passing year, social media changes and authors get more and more tools to play with. Thunderclap is a new aid that has been introduced recently and many authors are giving it a go. Blogs allow authors to blog hop and to release snippets of their books (or short stories that are exclusively for the blog). Publishers like to see this. It’s proven that if people like what you’re posting on your blog in regards to snippets/whole stories, they’re likely to purchase the real thing when you release it.
Sometimes it feels like social media isn’t doing anything, or that it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth, but the best thing to do is not give up. Social media is going to be essential to your future as an author in this day and age. Where are you present online? Have you found something that works exceptionally well or not at all? Share your insights and help others asking the same questions.