Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
You used to want to be an author to become famous. Now you have to be famous to become an author.
I was lucky enough to participate in a webinar this week hosted by Grant Faulkner of NaNoWriMo. The guest speakers were the Book Doctors, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. They were wonderful and spoke for over an hour, then followed with a half hour answering all of our questions. I’d like to share some of the wisdom they imparted to us. I’m going to break it up into five sections:
Part Three – Your Social Media Platform
We are in a shrinking marketplace. There are only the Big Five after the merger of Penguin and Random House. Barnes & Noble just announced they will be closing a third of their stores over the next decade. What does this mean for a writer?
Writers, now more than ever before, will need to take responsibility for the marketing, both for themselves and for their books. In the past people wanted to become published authors in order to become famous. In the current day and age, you have to be famous in order to get published. Agents and editors (if you are going that route) want to know if you have a popular blog, lots of Twitter followers, or are a regular commenter on another site(s). For those going the indie path, these are critical to your success. If people don’t know about you, they won’t find your product.
What is your platform? Anything goes, so long as you consistent.
Social networking can be a boon. It is a gift for the shy, those that aren’t comfortable in crowds, or those inclined towards thoughtful deliberation. It is good because anyone can get a book published. It is also bad because anyone can get a book published. (I’ll save discussion about the deluge of e-books for another day)
Everyone is looking for ways to get news out about their books. Do interviews and network with people, even if it is online. Participate in communities. Goodreads is a great community to be a part of. Also become a member of your genre’s society.
You can do this in seven minutes per day.
You have to give more than you take. People will notice, and they will be generous to you if you are generous to them. It may be more cyclical than one-to-one reciprocity, but everything you give you will eventually receive in return.
Developing your social media platform will exponentially help you. This is the equivalent of brushing and flossing your writing career. Do what is comfortable for you, and remember to do it for seven minutes every day!