Where do you go first? Out of the plethora of social media options available, which is going to net you the most bang for your buck? Which is going to be the most efficient and effective use of your time?
Authors are, in a sense, a business unto themselves. In a digital age when personal presence is what sells the book on social media, it is critical for authors to have a consistently branded page or account for users to follow and engage with. But this consistency, this need to post only certain tweets or pictures, might be considered the epitome of the “social media as a false reality” argument. Does having a consistent brand make someone inauthentic online?
We live in a world that was created for those who are seeing. Think about it, how many times a day do you pass a sign or an advertisement? Probably more times than you can count. The internet is a place that can break those barriers and it’s slowly becoming more and more accessible. But, of course, we all have a role to play here. Taking the time to add this text to your image can give your followers a fuller experience of your work. And who doesn’t want that?
There’s no doubt that the world of social media can be daunting for writers who want to establish that online presence many publishers push for, especially if the author has never had a social media account before. But there is no denying its necessity and value when it comes to reaching target audiences. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can all help you promote your blog and your books and can connect you with other people, but Twitter—in itself a form of microblogging—is a great way for writers to build an online presence and stay informed on trends in the industry.
Personal branding, especially as a writer, is complicated, confusing, and—unfortunately—completely necessary. While your presence and brand online aren’t the only factors that contribute to your publishing dreams or successes, your personal brand does have a huge impact on how both readers and publishing professionals alike will see you. We’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re easy to find on the internet. And yes, we do check.
We all know the success of a book depends largely on its social media presence. There isn’t a debate. That’s how it is now. As society and cultures evolve and morph, so do the marketing methods. The younger generations raised in these new marketing methods learn them like they learn language. It’s second nature to craft a tweet, edit, post aesthetically-pleasing pictures, and know when they’re posting too much or too little. But older generations haven’t had the luxury of growing up in this world. It really is as difficult as learning a completely new language—and not everyone has the ability to take the time to learn it.