Authors are a mixed bag. Some like to be quiet, isolated hermits, while others are ready for an interview or a book signing any day, any time. Whether you are the first or the second, it is important to find a balance, especially when it comes to the internet. It is tempting to never post on Twitter or to engage with every troll, but neither creates a positive image. If you think that honing your online image is not important, let me give you some reasons to change your mind.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is used for much more than uploading food pictures or wishing someone a happy birthday. Today, social media is one of the strongest marketing platforms on a global level, and who better to market your new novel than yourself? Giving a sneak peek of your first chapter can drum up excitement, and holding an author Q&A (or the new version — Reddit AMAs) is a great way to relate to your audience and make them feel special, while also promoting your book.
Whether we want it or not, as authors we have taken on the title of role model. Everything we do (or don’t do) will be scrutinized and repeated by our fans. Taking charge of your online presence is the way to avoid people jumping to conclusions, and it can also help you hone your social usage. Finding the balance is the best way to ensure your readers follow in your footsteps and act appropriately.
Just as marketing is important to try to sell books, it’s also important to create your brand and stick to it. Maybe you strive to answer all of your fans, no matter how many DM you. Or, you could be politically or socially active. You should understand the consequences of whichever image you choose to portray, but at the same time, it is critical to portray something.
Anyone who only listens to critics’ feedback is wasting their time. Fans provide the best feedback of anyone because they go into your book wanting it to be good. If they are disappointed by a plot or a character, take note! Asking your readers for their feedback is a good way to ensure you get responses, but many people will contact you directly to tell you what they liked and did not like. Although it may be painful to hear negative feedback, both the positives and negatives will help you become a better writer.
Social media is the way of the world, and any author who is not on it is missing out. I highly suggest Twitter as your primary focus, but each profile provides its own value. Now, think about how you want to be portrayed online and create your persona.