One of the biggest mistakes a not-yet published author can make is to decide NOT to participate in social media. At conferences, I have often talked with individuals who say they either don’t have time for social media or they are hesitant to give it a try. They believe it is better to wait until they are published to worry about social media.
Here are 5 reasons why I think a not-yet published author should use social media:
1. TO LEARN
By using social media, a not-yet published author can learn priceless information. Educating yourself about the industry is critical, and social media is a great way to do this. Listen to podcasts and interviews, read blogs, and find out who’s who in the publishing world. The more you know, the better you can write something that will have a chance to be published.
As you begin to follow different publishing houses, agents, editors, other authors, and other writers, you will see their posts and tweets. These little snippets give you valuable insights, and they will put you on the inside track towards achieving your dream.
Being an author is MORE than writing a book. Once your book is being launched, you will have to be very proactive in marketing and selling it. Watching others who are a little further along in the process gives you valuable insight for when it is finally your turn.
By using social media, you will discover information such as:
- Current trends of the industry
- What manuscripts are specific agents and editors want to see in their inbox
- What publishing houses have open calls for work by un-agented authors
- What values a specific agency or publishing house holds (so you can better target your queries)
- Marketing strategies used by other authors and publishing houses (so you can better strategize when it is your turn)
- Dates of conferences, contests, podcasts, and other opportunities.
2. TO ESTABLISH AN IDENTITY AND PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
If you are serious about being a published author, you must think ahead and prepare for the future. Step one is putting yourself out there. You are a writer. You are interested in the publishing world. Introduce yourself and jump in.
3. TO CONNECT WITH OTHER WRITERS
By using social media, you will form friendships and connections with other writers. Writing can be lonely! It is a path filled with setbacks and rejections. Having others walk alongside you and encourage you will help cheer you on when you feel like quitting. Once you get a “sale,” you will be able to band together with these new friends to market your books together.
4. TO CONNECT WITH OTHER BOOK LOVERS (YOUR FUTURE READERS)
Many publishing houses expect you to have an established platform before they are willing to buy your manuscript. Having connections with individuals who read the genre that you write will give you a competitive edge when it comes to getting a sale.
5. TO GROW AS A WRITER
Watching, reading, connecting, interacting…all these steps feed into your personal growth and will spur you on to grow in the craft of writing.
So… if you are a not-yet published author and have been hesitating to start using social media, my advice is…just do it! Step into your future! Choose a platform and get started. You will be glad you did!
Mindy Baker, author of Mouse’s Christmas Gift, Zonderkidz 2018, resides in Indiana with her family where she is a high school Spanish teacher. Through her writing, she hopes to plant seeds of truth in the hearts of her readers. She is a team member of the new Read, Discuss, Do! website and a contributing blogger at www.christianchildrensauthors.com
She also produces a mini-magazine called Make the Time! to help you connect with the children in your life through books. If you would like to receive her mini-magazine, you can opt in www.mindybakerbooks.com.
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