Ask yourself from whom would you purchase a book—a writer who exists in a cave and never surfaces or a writer who is transparent, approachable, and gives of him/herself?
Writers hear from agents, editors, and other professionals within the publishing industry about the importance of developing a social-media platform. Most of us heed the advice of those who are aware of what makes a book zoom to the top of a reader’s list. We crave the title of hard-working, flexible, and dedicated. But what’s the reasoning behind a writer’s involvement in social media? Does it even sell books?
Branding and building an online platform take time, research, and a willingness to discover where our readers hang out—then more of the same to figure out reader needs, along with how each platform relates to those who use it.
Social media requires writers learn how to:
- use hashtags
- create memes
- produce videos
- develop post content
- comment with respect and compassion
- share content
If we are to expend energy and slice into our writing hours, we must understand the value of adding social media to our writing careers.
1. The primary purpose is to build relationships.
Online communication has caused the world to shrink. News and events report instantly to our devices, attracting those who share similar interests. These groups form communities that range from hundreds to millions of people. Social media is a conduit to provide unique information and increase relationships with like-minded people.
2. The goal is to embrace the attitude, “It’s not about me.”
Writers offer their expertise and knowledge to readers and other writers who have specific questions and requirements. This means the connection is about what the writer can offer the reader. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs asserts the basic needs for every human are self-actualization, esteem, love/belonging, safety, and physiological.
3. The distinction of a brand dominated by integrity and trust
Readers long for writers who entertain, inspire, inform, and encourage them in whatever they are going through. This means transparency for the writer and posts and comments that are well researched and reliable. Writers who stand on their promise reflect integrity and trust.
4. The input from established relationships
Writers appreciate feedback from readers. Their suggestions, questions, and advice help define our writing projects. When readers contribute to a topic or project, they feel a part of something important. That’s a win-win situation for all involved.
5. The hope of book sales
We may consider social media further down our list of priorities—after all, we are writers first, and we long to put our published books into the hands of readers. Ask yourself from whom would you purchase a book—a writer who exists in a cave and never surfaces or a writer who is transparent, approachable, and gives of him/herself?
Perhaps now is the time to further explore how to enhance our social-media presence. The reward of a job well done improves every writer’s optimism.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.
DiAnn is passionate about helping other writers be successful and speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com.