I was recently at #YADay in Melbourne, Australia, and there were four industry professionals on the forth panel for the day. I asked them: "As an author, what can I be doing to help with marketing my book?"
Every. Single. One of them said 'social media'— and I can 100% back that up without being told. But it just shows you how impactful our social world is when even the professionals are saying it.
Social media has been incredibly impactful to me as an author. I grew up in regional Australia. In fact, I still live there. It's not close to any big cities, it's fairly isolated from other towns, and we don't even have a bookshop.
Last year, our town went through a devastating cyclone which left our town in ruins. Jobs were limited before the cyclone, and now they're even more scarce, as business have shut down and people have moved away after losing their homes.
Just after the cyclone, we lost power, water, and communication from the outside world for 3 weeks. Many of us were stranded in our homes, and floodwaters had cut off our town from outside help. I remember, during this time, feeling so disconnected from everything. And it made me realize that I never want to feel like that ever again. Because the reality is, social media does more than allow the world to communicate. It connects everything and everyone, acting as the fabric that brings news, entertainment, and so much more to the phones in our hand.
Losing social media is very jarring, and in our modern-day world, it has become a part of who we are, our lifestyle... so of course it would make sense to incorporate it into our author careers. It's second nature now to go on Twitter for news updates from our favorite influencers, and Instagram and YouTube for a peak into their personal lives. For me, social media has set the foundation of my career and made everything I've achieved possible. I couldn't have pitched my book, or made the friends and connections I have, or gotten an internship working remotely for a US publishing house without social media. I've never left my tiny, regional hometown, but I feel like I've been everywhere.
Social media made it possible for me to expand my own influence and reach other towns, cities and countries. That's the powerful impact that social media has on this world, and that is why having a social media presence is crucial as an author. If I can do all the things I've done from my little town, then think of what social media could do just for your book and your career.