In her recently published book, THE EXTROVERTED WRITER – An Authors Guide to Marketing and Building a Platform, Amanda Luedeke, a literary agent for MacGregor Literary Inc., explains the absolute importance of using Social Media for writers (both pre-published and published.)
There is only one way to ensure a long-term publishing career: get a publisher and keep them happy, says Amanda when questioned about the importance of Social Media for writers. And the only way to do that is to have sales numbers that impress. And the only way to have sales numbers that impress is to sell a heck of a lot of books. And how do you sell a heck of a lot of books? Well, there’s the “sit back and wait” method. And then there’s the proactive method.
Authors who use the proactive method are more likely to achieve those sales numbers that impress.
Being proactive means a lot of things. It means developing a following or a reason to be followed. It means interacting with readers. But more than anything it means being present online. We are a society that shops online. We are introduced to new products on line, and online advertisements and presence can do just as much to sway a purchasing decision as in-store shelf space. So this is why authors should be on social media! It’s all about generating multiple touch points with consumers in hopes that one day, they’ll buy your book.”
It’s a small book, less than 100 pages, but Amanda certainly teaches what she preaches. A passage that sums up the entire book’s concept occurs during a plane trip story that she tells. Amanda recounts a conversation she had with someone who had a “great idea for a book.”
Eventually he started asking about formatting the manuscript and design and all of that stuff.
“You don’t have to worry about that.” I said. “Authors have two responsibilities: deadlines and marketing. They have to get their manuscripts turned in on time and then market the heck out of their books.”
And that’s where the conversation took a turn.
“I didn’t know authors had to be marketers,” he said. “I thought they just sat in their homes and wrote and wrote and didn’t talk to a soul.” He laughed, of course, because this is how society sees writers.
Twenty years ago, he would have been right, but the Internet changed everything. It made the world smaller.
And that’s it in a nutshell. These days, if you can’t market your material; chances are you won’t be a successful writer.
In the first chapter, Amanda writes about ‘Knowing your Audience” – she uses personal stories (like going to see a movie with her parents and realizing after the fact that she was the youngest person in the audience.) She also brings valuable marketing and publishing information, based on her years of experience to the table. Trying to pinpoint your audience is not a new concept but Amanda gives it a new twist by suggesting that you stalk people in bookstores, at movies and on the internet (Please note, that the stalking she suggests is not the creepy, illegal kind, she’s just saying to pay attention to who is watching or reading what.)
Step-by-step Amanda then walks you through knowing your writing goals (as in actual numbers for each of the major platforms) and once you’re ready for the Social Media part (assuming you something to promote) she clearly explains websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.
Look, there’s a lot to know about Social Media and when you are busy writing, you need someone who can break it down for you into small bites. Amanda does just this by including tons of good solid information based on what she sees in the field and she does a terrific job of explaining all of those things that people not entirely savvy on the internet tend to get confused about (like breaking down how to write a great tweet into its steps.)
Let’s face it – if you want to be a writer, you’re going to have to get onboard with Social Media. THE EXTROVERTED WRITER, aimed specifically at authors who are developing platforms, is a valuable resource all writers should have in their library.
About the Author
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary, Inc. A 2006 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program, Amanda spent some years working in marketing as a social media expert and copywriter for major national brands, including Vera Bradley, Peg Perego, and Benjamin Moore. While in marketing, she launched blogs, YouTube channels, Facebook pages, and more on behalf of clients. She has been an agent since 2010, and has quickly put to use her knack for understanding and not shying away from marketing and promotions. She works with her authors to perfect their brands and marketing efforts, while offering weekly marketing advice on the agency blog. Amanda lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband and Great Dane.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.