Thank ‘The Real World’ for starting our culture’s obsession with reality TV. Thank YouTube for allowing everyday people to post glimpses of their daily lives in a format that is now accessible to anyone who wants to watch it. Thank Facebook and Twitter (and other forms of social media) for creating a culture where daily sharing is appreciated and often rewarded. Thank the advent of self-publishing for creating a world where authors now have to do all their own marketing, and indie authors have learned to use social media to generate sales. Thank whoever you want to thank (or hate whoever you want to hate) but the truth of the matter is that writers can no longer hide out in a cabin in the woods, doing nothing but writing and being eccentric and cut off from the world.
The world has changed and part of becoming a successful writer in today’s climate means having an excited and eager fan base that you have to engage with on a regular basis, and that means you may have to get a little personal. Share a picture of your cat doing something cute, because apparently the internet loves that kind of stuff. Talk about how proud you are of your children. Laugh at yourself in “public” when you burn the rice because you’re a writer, prone to distraction. Put a little bit of yourself out there.
This doesn’t mean you should share everything. We all know at least one person who is prone to oversharing, and nothing will make you lose fans quicker than annoying them or making them uncomfortable by doing something crazy like sharing pictures you took from the toilet. And try to make sure you don’t accidentally leak any amateur porn. Keeping a good balance of fun and lighthearted posts that excite your fan base by putting a smile on their face is the best way to use social media as an author.
It’s not an ideal world for writers, a group of people who tend to prefer seclusion as a rule. But to make money on books today, you have to share little pieces of yourself. So dare to share and watch the sales roll in!
If you’re a fiction author, get inspiration for blogs and social media here!