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.
No matter how brilliant a piece of writing is, if it doesn’t know who the audience should be or doesn’t give enough context about its subject, the writing fails to be read, understood, and shared. It fails to communicate. The same holds true for book design.
While I’ve read and continue to read numerous books on the art of editing and writing, I find myself most frequently leaning on an editing tip that was thrown at me way back in high school. Read it out loud.
Remember that a manuscript is the result of a writer’s blood, sweat, and tears. Unless they’re lucky to be full-time writers, authors are usually people working a nine-to-five job and have to write during their lunch breaks or stay up late into the night writing after their children have gone to bed. They’ve sacrificed their energy, time, and social life to write a book, and if a query is not handled well, they could see it as an attack on them and not as constructive feedback.
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.
Numerous instructors of writing share the same advice when it comes to editing: resist the urge to edit while you write! Just get your ideas out, flesh them out, and worry about the fine points of editing later. But despite the numerous voices in your head and from those around you pleading for you to resist the temptation, is this really the best advice in any and every situation?