Whether you are a New York Times accomplished writer or simply have a half finished manuscript sitting in Google Docs, being on social media is vital to your career as an author. Gone are the days of traditional literary marketing where a publishing house would do the dirty work of getting your book noticed by potential readers. Instead, authors are now having to rely heavily on digital content creation and marketing to jump start their sales and overall readership.
In fact, having an active social media presence as an author is so important that many agents and publishing houses won’t even consider working with you and your book unless you are actively engaging with your online audience.
As an author, social media can help you:
Join a Community
By regularly posting and replying to other writers and readers via social media, you will be able to join a community of like minded authors from all over the world with just a few taps on your smartphone. Joining in on conversations using literary hashtags (#WIP , #AmReading , #AmWriting , etc.) will not only help you to find fellow authors to follow and support, but will also get your name and ideas out there for others to explore. The relationships that you build through online communities will be some of the best, most long-lasting support systems for your future literary work.
Build a Platform
The social media channels that you use automatically become a part of your author platform as soon as you press “Post”. Your platform is the way that you connect to potential readers, and social media allows for you to gain new audiences quickly and relatively painlessly. The bigger your platform, the more people your posts will reach, leading to more people reading your novel.
While not always the most common path to getting published, social media has a knack for connecting aspiring authors with agents, and even book deals. Top agents with connections to all of the big publishing houses are always scrolling through social media looking for the next great writer. By being active on social media, joining communities, and building your online platform, agents will have a better chance of finding your work, connecting with your writing, and reaching out to learn more. You can even join in on organized contests like #PitMad to get your query in front of eager agents and editors quickly.
Are you an author on social media? What are your favorite hashtags to browse?