Many people will agree that over the last 10 years the publishing industry has crossed paths with waves that have caused some serious disruption.
The power and influence that social media has on the marketplace in today's world has completely changed how publishers and literary agents look at authors. Where is the majority of attention of most consumers? It's certainly not on television, and it's certainly not on magazines and newspapers that are sold at the Starbucks or Deli near your office. Consumers are shifting a majority of their attention to their mobile devices. And what're they doing on those devices? They're active on social media. So wouldn't it make sense that when an agent or publisher asks you what you've done up until this point to promote yourself, market yourself, and build up a name for yourself and the book, that they're expecting you to incorporate social media into that answer? If you were on their side of the table, wouldn't you rather work with the author who writes a new blog post, films a short-video every week, and is active on social media with their audience vs. the author who says, "I don't really do the whole social media tweet-thing."
Create a Platform.
Building a personal brand on social media and consistently putting out content that aligns with who you are, what your book is about, and what your future plans look like will give you a platform to voice your thoughts, opinions, and develop new business.
Build A Community.
Create a following around your message that people want to be a part of. Engaging with your audience is just as important if not more important as posting new content in itself. What good is writing an article on LinkedIn or sharing it on Facebook, to then have 4 people comment on it with questions that you don't answer? The point is to communicate and to provide value. Build a community that trusts you, and knows they can learn from you. This will make selling your book 10x easier when that time comes, and trust me - publishers and agents know this too.
Keep Things Authentic.
Being original can be one of the most difficult things to do in today's world. We see all of these success stories on social media and so what do we automatically default to? Doing exactly what so and so did to get there. However, all they did to get there, was be authentic. Sure there are certain strategies that you should follow if you don't want to be left behind like adapting to video and how it's becoming more and more favorable to consume, but your videos should be recorded in a way that makes you stand out from the rest of the thought leaders and authors out there saying similar things. The more you differentiate yourself in your content and your social media activity, the more people will look at your personal brand with appreciation for being different, original, authentic and valuable.
If you can cover these three bases with your social media presence, or what I often refer to as your "digital footprint," you'll have a much easier time connecting with a literary agent or book publisher to get your new book out there.
The strategy might be simple, but there's a lot of work that goes into this. So stop wasting time, and let's get to work! :)