A writer friend of mine, Keris Stainton has just released her third book, Emma Loves LA. What is so amazing about Keris is that prior to publication of her first book, she had already established a wide fan base using social media. I interviewed her for Writers Forum UK two years ago on this very topic.
On this side of the millennium, we can no longer escape social media or the impact it has had on our lives. Whether it is posting pics on Facebook, creating boards on Pinterest or writing 140 characters max on Twitter, it is practically a full-time job to navigate the internet. But navigate it you must, if you are serious about becoming a published writer.
When I submitted my first novel three years ago, all the agents wanted were my publication credits. Now both agents and e-publishers are not only demanding writing credits but they want links as well as to where they can find you on the web!
Social media is the venue in which writers can be in the driver’s seat in regards to marketing themselves and their books.
On Facebook you can create an author page. At Twitter you can create an account and just jump into the stream of conversation and hope you do not sink. Have interests and hobbies? Then try creating boards on Pinterest. There is Linked In which is a professional social networking site. And if you can really find the time, there is blogging. Everybody blogs these days, the trick is to blog regularly to establish a presence and a following.
This is where I fall down. I have two blogs that have been *clears throat* untended. It is on my to-do list with a gazillion other things. I have to admit that I struggle with all of this. I think it is hard enough to be working and having a life while trying to find the time to write your novel without having to add to that the pressure of creating a consistent online presence. But I have come to the conclusion that if I am serious about my writing then it has to be done.
In the publishing climate of today, not only do you have to write a cracker of a story but you have to be involved in selling yourself and your product and the easiest way to do this is through social media.