For the last four weeks in The History of Publishing, we have been discussing the challenges faced by contemporary authors. The phrase “Publish or perish,” comes to mind when I come to class everyday. Even though the phrase has been discounted over and over again, the fear still lingers. How can a writer keep their head above water in such a fast moving and evolving market?
A key point in successful publication is the use of social media and networking. In class I have made a point of asking for suggestions from writers, publishers, and bookstore owners who are handling this very dilemma on a daily basis. Each one of them has stressed the importance of networking as a vital medium in their work. I have compiled a list of their ideas and suggestions. Maybe you will find these helpful? Or perhaps they will offer some insight into the current publishing world…
1. Facebook (easy solution, since most of us have one anyways). Great for networking and channeling positive feedback.
2. Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Every tweet is another piece of advertisement! Let your followers know that you are friendly, proactive, and engaged in interesting things. You posts don’t even have to be related to a specific book, author, etc.. It could be as simple as a post about blogging! (Thanks to Ashland Creek Press for mentioning this!).
3. Blogging! This sounds odd at first, since most blogs started off as a place where bakers discussed French cooking… But the persistent and tactful use of blogs helps publishers, writers, and bookstores advertise their products and connect with the public. Blogging about your book could be the secret to getting it published! On a more basic level, it can help your readers stay in tune to you and your work.
4. Amazon is also a useful tool. The social aspect of Amazon is their review section. If your new book has just become available for sale but hasn’t received a lot of attention yet, then tell you friends to get online and give you some positive feedback! After all, that’s what friends are for, right?
There are many other important tools. But as far as I have learned, these are the most common and the most successful currently being used.