So yes, what’s the deal with social media and authors? Well, for starters, the more I read the more I am learning that being part of social media is a necessary thing, especially if you want to get traditionally published through the big 5. It seems they are doing less actual marketing for their authors and forcing a lot of it back on them.
At first I thought it was mostly because said big 5 were cutting corners and saving money for themselves. I do think that’s part of the equation because advertising and actually getting the word out takes time and money. However, after listening to a few different indie people I also think it’s because the big 5 maybe don’t know how to market books in this new digital age.
Think about it: for decades, the field was limited and everyone went to bookstores and these publishers had a captive market. They didn’t need to compete as hard because all of the products were in the same place–bookstores. Sure there were still thousands of books, but you just had to go to your genre and boom, you’d find them.
Now, with the internet, bookstores are having to compete with online sales, meaning people don’t have to drive to them to actually look at, read excerpts or hunt down books. AND, with the explosion of indie publishers, there are more avenues to find books. And Amazon screwed up (for good or ill is a whole other conversation) the traditional model of book sales too, allowing anyone to put together a book and sell it there, either digitally or physically.
And so, it brings me back to the big 5, who now suddenly have to compete with the whole world. I keep hearing talk about how people are reading less, but I think the big 5 are basing that on their sales numbers and not actual reading. The problem is you don’t have to go through the big 5 to buy books anymore and you can find more through word of mouth.
Which leads me back to social media.
I have found more authors on Twitter who I have connected with, and who write some great stuff. It’s becoming my go-to for looking for reading material.
On top of that, social media is a great place to connect with other writers to discuss writing, its issues and even how to tackle this monster in the closet called “marketing.”
You can be introverted and still hang out and connect on social media. You don’t have to be the dynamic extrovert who posts fabulous things every morning. Just get on there, find the crowd you’re interested in and comment on the things that make you laugh or get interested in.
And you can do that other dreaded word without even knowing you’re doing it: networking. All networking is, really, is making connections and relationships you can tap into for help (and by extension, provide help when you discover you do have some kernel of information others need).
It took me until last spring to discover Twitter and really gel with it. I had my opinions on social media and still do, but I have found the place worthwhile creatively and professionally.
And you can find me there anytime: @CRAIGLCrawford feel free to say hi 🙂