By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
The Literary Agent Matchmaker™
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about why social media matters for writers in all genres.
In today’s world, finding an audience of readers for your book can feel like a daunting task. Picking them up through social media may feel like an even bigger one!
Although it may seem on the surface as a questionable use of your time and resources, in today’s publishing world it is an absolute must.
Agents, publishers, booksellers, speaking bureaus and readers want to know that you have a social media presence before they partner with you – whether you are writing fiction, nonfiction or a children’s book. The more people you are connected with, the more potential you have to push your book out to them and those they know.
Never underestimate the power of a network. It is a surefire way to attract interest in your platform and project.
In fact, some publishers have mandated that they will no longer publish writers who haven’t made the effort to establish and build up their social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook. Another fact: Aaron Patterson, the Publisher at Stone House Ink who was my guest on the show last week, has a policy for turning away writers unless they have a solid social media platform in place.
In a recent post last week on the digital blog FuturEbook from Europe in association with The Bookseller, Steve Emecz of MX Publishing in the UK stated that unless an author will have a blog, Twitter account and a fully fledged eCommerce site, they won’t be considering their manuscript.
Emecz says, “Well, it’s simple risk management for us in a very fast changing and risky industry. If we look at our authors that have blogs they sell more books. The ones that provide content for Twitter – sell more books. The ones that are active on Facebook – sell more books. See a pattern here? Yes, of course we have one or two inactive authors whose books are so good they sell well anyway, but that’s less than one in ten – and how on earth do you tell that up front…..” (Read more of his article on FuturEbook HERE).
In today’s publishing world with so many facets of the industry now going digital, when you have a social media presence, you have built-in communities to market your books to. They find you electronically and they can instantly purchase what you’ve written and read it electronically.
Social media matters to a bookseller too. If you’re going to do an event, who will come? How will you let them know you’ll be doing an event at their store? When you post the event, it’s a great opportunity for you to support the bookseller through your tweets and posts to your followers. When you write about it on your blog and post pictures from the event, you create links back to the bookseller to help them get the word out about their store.
For readers, social media sites are a means of connecting with the author, no matter where you may be. Readers follow authors on Twitter and read their wall posts on Facebook to keep up to date with their latest releases, book tours, blog tours, media appearances and other opportunities they may have to connect. They also read their blogs for upcoming releases, insights and other related information about their favorite characters and writer.
For speaker bureaus, it’s important for you to have a full blown platform online so that when you appear offline you can be promoted by those in the audience who may choose to tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook about your speech. When you have an account on these sites, it’s easy to tag you in their messages to further push you and your speaking platform out to their followers When you have a blog, you can further support events you’ll be speaking at by featuring videos and other posts about your appearances for your fans and followers to see. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase what you can do as a speaker at an event.
For all of these businesses, your ability to partner with them from a marketing perspective is incredibly important. The greater the presence you have in the mind of those they want to reach with their businesses, the more attractive you become as a business partner for them.
You see, your book really is your hook to so much more than just a place on the bookshelf. It has the potential to capture the hearts and minds of your readers and create a place to connect with them – virtually. It also provides wonderful opportunities to find so many ways to expand your writing career with the publishing houses who are only interested in those writers who are extending their platforms into new media to support the ever-changing book industry and the readers in the marketplace.
If you’re on the fence about whether social media should be a vital part of the marketing platform for your career, jump on the bandwagon and set up your social media stream today. You can’t start too early in your writing career and it’s never too late to start!
Jennifer’s show can be heard every week on Tuesday mornings at 9am when it is broadcast on WomensRadio.com and syndicated on Google News and Live365.com. Each show is archived for replay listeners in different time zones and countries.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.