I just had a conversation with an author who “gets it” and knows the importance of networking. She spends time looking for blogs to comment on, looking for Linked In groups to network with, and posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and her own website … as often as possible pointing to her books. Over the years, her books have sold over 350,000 copies.
The world of social networking can be overwhelming to authors who have not stayed in touch with the digital world over the past decade. But, the reality is that social networking will make or break a book. Without the strong support of social networking, especially the social networking of the author, books have a hard time getting any traction. I have worked with many publishers and authors, and have seen many great ideas — even ones I love dearly — fail because there was no relevant social networking or online marketing.
So, what is a publisher to do when the authors don’t blog, don’t use Facebook, and don’t have their own website? You create it WITH them. Publishers can’t wait for authors to do it alone, and authors can’t expect publishers to do it all. Unless there is a team effort, where the publisher is supporting and training the author, and the author is supporting and trusting the publisher, it seems the projects always fail to reach their sales potential. I once worked with a client author who blamed his publisher for the lack of marketing, and then when I talked with his publisher, he blamed the author for never doing anything to support the project. Who was at fault? They both were. Publishers and authors can’t waste time these days on the blame game, or other teams who have their act together will get the shelf space and the online rankings.
And, by the way, the author who has sold over 350,000 copies of her previous books is now a WordStream Publishing author, and we are proud to have Meryl Runion on board. 😉
Meryl’s advice to other authors, who might be newbies to the online world, “get your feet wet.” She adds, “just getting familiar — even if you don’t become a power-user — is important.”