by Mia Martins, US West Blogger jaBlog!
These days, a social media presence is an important factor when building your fan base as an author. You need a way to keep your readers updated on what you’re working on and what you may have published.
If your aim is to have a novel published the traditional way (query an agent, published through a press, etc.), your current online presence does factor into an agent or an editor’s consideration when looking at you as a client. However, the Internet can be tricky to navigate correctly. So, here’s my advice for building your writerly Internet presence the right way!
DO: Find the right platform. Luckily, there are many great social media platforms out there that will help you connect to other writers and allow you to share your journey. Blogs, Tumblr, and even Twitter are all great places to start. However, don’t rely solely on platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat. You need a space to cleanly and clearly detail your writing journey, with your words––not pictures––as the main focus.
DON’T: Wait until you accomplish something “noteworthy” to start your platform. You don’t need to be recognized or published to start blogging about your journey. Better sooner than later!
DO: Update regularly. Keep a schedule so that your followers know when they can expect to hear from you, whether that’s every Saturday night or every Wednesday morning. If your followers are unable to connect with you on a regular basis, keeping up with your news will become work for them. Instead, keeping up with you should be extremely easy and habitual.
DON’T: Use your platform for non-writing-related tirades. You’re entirely welcome to do that sort of stuff on your personal social media, where your family and friends follow. However, your platform for writing should concerning mainly writing, and not much else. Of course, it’s okay to occasionally talk about your life or to advocate for certain causes, but keep the main focus on your writing. Your blog needs to be an professional representation of your best work, not a mess of half-baked opinions in angrily written lectures.
DO: Be the bigger person. From personal experience, I used to love one author who wrote amazing books. Sadly, she quickly dropped from my list of role models when she handled her social media and interactions with fans in a stunningly immature way. In order to keep it professional, don’t engage with those who want only to bring you down. Ignore the trolls and keep going regularly. And don’t eliminate your fan base by making them feel unwanted. Not only are readers wanted and appreciated, they’re absolutely necessary. A writer’s career is ultimately furthered only by readers; they are the ones reading your work, giving you encouragement, and recommending you to others.
DON’T: Give away too much personal information. This is a great tip for everyone, but truly imperative to any young writers under eighteen. It is important for readers to be able to easily connect with you, but there’s no need for them to know your address, social security, and telephone numbers. Start a new email that is used solely for writing. Be careful with how much personal information you post for all to see on the Internet.
Hopefully these tips were helpful when considering social media to further your writing career. Above all, remember to make your social media the best representation of you that it can be.