When a book is presented at publishing acquisition meetings, a topic that is raised, that was never discussed a few years ago, is: ‘How connected is this person in the online world?’.
When you do your submission proposal to a publisher, being able to say that I have 512 ‘friends’ on Facebook, that 736 people follow me on Twitter, and my own website (where I blog at the very least, once a week) has been running for the past 18 months, goes a long way in persuading a publisher to take a chance on a writer.
The publisher views the above as a ready-made audience for potential sales.
The days of bookshops buying hundreds of copies of your book are gone – this is only enjoyed by a few authors whose names are recognised, household brands. For the rest of you, and there are over 300 000 books published every year, the process of publishing has undergone a major change.
Your first job is to write something brilliant. And your second job is to connect with the masses and the media. In a nutshell, you need to make yourself, and your writing, DISCOVERABLE.
How do you do this? You need to build yourself a platform in the online world that will allow you to share your ideas, collect followers, engage in conversation and essentially grow an audience hungry for more. That hunger is the very thing that sells books, be they printed or electronic.
Where to even begin? There is a bewildering array of options in the social media toolbox, but these are essential:
Create a personal Facebook page (and just before your book is published create an author fan page)
Open a Twitter account
Create a website
Your website needs to have a place for you to blog
Once your book is published you need to include this information in your email signature, but in the mean time have hyperlinks to your website, Facebook page and Twitter account.
If you would like assistance in making yourself, and your books, discoverable email Tracey McDonald on firstname.lastname@example.org.