Ever wonder why publishers want you to have a social media presence before they’ll even consider signing you for publication?
It’s because they want their authors to have a large enough presence that they won’t be starting from scratch when it comes to sales. RAD does this, too. We have to. Because if nobody knows who you are, then we have no way to know how many copies of your book we’ll be able to sell. We just don’t. We also have to be able to count on a fair number of your social media following to purchase the book, so the more dedicated your following is to you, the better off you’ll be.
And yes, I do know how annoying it all is. Remember, I’m an author, just like you.
I’ve been there, in the beginning stages, trying to work out how to have a platform and make sure I’m posting enough content that people remain interested, how to have a dedicated following that will actually buy the books I’m releasing. And yes, I know how hard it is to come up with that.
But, I’ll also be the first one to tell you how important it is.
The thing is, we’re in the business of selling our product to people. We are. You and me, us authors, that’s what we do. We don’t generally like to think of it that way, but really, we’re selling our work to other people and hoping they like it enough to tell their friends to buy it too. How do we do that if we’re living out of a basement and never come outside except to get the mail? How do we promote our books if we sit quietly in our little corner of social media, pretending the rest of the world doesn’t exist?
And believe me, if I could, I would be that person living out of the basement and pretending no one else in the world existed. I like to be in the quiet, I like to have a circle of only a few friends, but I know how important it is to promote myself as being a really cool person who’s not a completely neurotic introvert (though there are some ways to use that to your benefit as well, let me tell you).
We need to have an online presence. We need to help publishers see us as a more viable investment. It makes a difference.
Before you ask, RAD Writing isn’t as extreme in this as a lot of other publishing houses. We’re still growing too, if you hadn’t noticed. We like to work with our authors to build something bigger and better for all of us—but it’s a heck of a lot easier for us if you’ve already done the groundwork.
So if you haven’t done it already, go start yourself a Facebook page. Get Twitter going too, while you’re at it. Maybe throw in some Instagram and Pinterest, if you have some extra time on your hands. But get started. Develop a following. Build a foundation on which your publisher can build to get you an even larger following, and more readers than you’d ever be able to get otherwise.
Senior Editor, etc.
P.S. If you’re in Gallup, NM, don’t forget to swing by Downtown tomorrow evening for the ArtsCrawl! I’ll be there with everything we have in stock at the RAD Store, along with a fun new chapbook, Letters From Hell (by none other than yours truly).