Friday, March 4, 2016
Social Media - the gateway to the soul of a 24th century author!
Okay, just give me one second.....and done.
We're starting up with a new topic of discussion this month, folks. And that's social media. Now if you don't know much about social media, well then I'm not exactly sure how you got to this blog. But if you are involved in social media, then you may be asking yourself, "what the heck does social media have to do with me getting a book deal / agent / editor / etc."
I've got news for you. A LOT. Welcome to the 24th century....(i jumped ahead a few centuries).
We live in a world where anything and everything could be found out with a click of a button. Don't lie. You know you've sat on wikipedia for roughly four hours looking up pointless information on the Kardashians. ADMIT IT!!! Ahem...but here's the thing. It's a good thing, and a bad thing when you're talking about endless access to information, especially in the veins of social media. I figured I'd sit down and talk about some the PROS and CONS I've experienced with my dabbling in social media, and how it could benefit you as an upcoming author.
The absolute best thing about social media is that fellow writers are EVERYWHERE. I'm not even kidding when I say most if not all of my writer buddies have come out of twitter / blogs. Seriously, I wouldn't know anybody in the writing world if it wasn't for these methods of communications. I lack the time to attend conventions, so most of my exposure is through the interwebs massive tunnels of information.
But that's the great part about it. You are able to talk to writers from ALL OVER THE WORLD with different genre specialties, interests, knowledge, skills, and more. And above all, you can use this to your advantage. What better way to find a wide variety of critique partners than by utilizing social media. Post on twitter LOOKING FOR A CRIT PARTNER - LETS TRADE MS. I guarantee you'll get a thousand responses. Most people on social media are looking to help one another.
And who couldn't use a few writer pals? *waves at all his friends!*
If you haven't seen them already, now is the time to go looking. There are dozens of writer contests out there year round that can help even the newest offer make his or her mark in this cutthroat industry. I'm talking about such events like PITCH MADNESS, PITCH WARS, SUN VS SNOW, etc. Google them. Look them up. Check out their blogs. And be amazed.
I've been lucky enough to be a mentor in some of these events, and the exposure to talent you are going to receive is awesome. So many writers are involved in these contests with one goal in mind. To help new writers.
The amount of success stories out there coming from these contests is mind blowing, and we a owe a lot of it to the people who take their time to organize these events.
AGENTS AND EDITORS ARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!!
Trust me when I say that most of the agents and editors live and breath social media. It's a superb way to pimp their clients novels, or seek new talent. Heck, there's an event on twitter called #MSWL (manuscript wish list) where agents call out what they're looking for. I kid you not, I FOUND MY AGENT THIS WAY. SEE!? SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS!
Not to mention, its a great way to put your foot in the door and actually have some open conversations with agents and editors. They're people too. Don't be afraid to message them or tweet them. They'll talk to you!
You may not think about this much now, especially if you're trying to perfect your novel, but platform building is a huge...HUUUUGE part of the industry. Editors and agents like to see you establishing yourself outside your novel, and working on establishing some sort of platform before you even have a book published. Whether that's taking part in conversations online on twitter, or creating a blog / podcast, or just being vocal, building that platform helps jump start the sales of your book. After all, it's a bit easier to sell your book when thousands of people know about you already, right?
I started building my platform for my first novel COPERNICUS NERDICUS ( a middle grade novel based around video games) a long time ago. I created a youtube channel, and a blog based around video games to help promote my interests and gain some fans. Although CN is shelved for the moment, and I'm working on other novels, I do have a growing group of followers that would help me in the future. I HOPE :)
Then again.....maybe I still just do it for fun because I love video games so much...but that's another story lol.
Now these are just a small portion of things that are positive about social media..I just wanted to dabble in it. But it's not always bunnies and cupcakes.
Social Media can backfire.
Once you're on social media, you're always on social media. And I'm not talking about being addicted to it lol. I'm talking about be careful about what you say. Because things spread like wild fire. If you turn into some sort of bad egg, or if you insult someone, or you start spouting nonsense. It is going to bite you in the arse, real hard and real fast. Which brings me to rule #1 of social media.
Don't be an a**
Not everyone is friendly on social media. In fact, most people are downright cruel. Don't turn into one of them. Be positive and make it a positive experience for everyone around you. Trust me, its a small industry despite how big it is. Don't dig yourself a hole you can't get out of.
I'll be the first to admit it. But I do get jealous. Everyone does, and if you say you don't you're lying to yourself. When you find yourself on social media, get ready to be exposed to a lot of people sharing their success stories.
Now let me explain. When someone I know announces signing with an agent, or signing with a publisher or getting a book deal, or whatever...I am ecstatic for that person. I love seeing my friends succeed. But then I get hit with it. That little twang....that evil jealousy bug that hits me for 2 seconds. And it's not even that I'm jealous, it's more like I'm asking myself "WHEN IS IT MY TURN?" - It's going to happen, and there's no escaping it, especially if you're on social media.
The important thing is to step away. Don't start doubting yourself. I've done it before, but luckily enough I have some awesome friends that I can talk to about it. Accept it. Talk to someone. And know that your time will come.
I don't know you, but I have faith in you.
Well, that's about it....
I only just scratched the surface folks, but let me know. How has social media benefited you? Do you use it, and if so how often? What do you like about social media in terms of being an author?
KEEP ON WRITING PEOPLE!