Thursday, August 28, 2014
Does social media matter? by Terry Burns
It's an ongoing discussion. I watch people talking about whether a publisher really cares about social media, blogs, websites and such. Maybe the response I just got from a major publisher will shed some light on it.
The editor said she really liked the project we submitted. It went through several levels of committee . . . until it got to the level where the marketing people were involved. She said the editorial people really liked it, but her website was not functioning properly and she hadn't posted in social media for months. They passed on the project but said they would take another look at it if she could address their concerns.
It's not the first time I have heard comments like these from editors. I'm sure there are publishers that don't look at these things very closely, but it is clear that there are those who do. One thing about it, I never saw a submission rejected because an author had too MUCH social media and online presence.
One of my clients said that authors have to be careful making changes that don't get reflected in their submissions. For example, she said she had quit putting emphasis on her author page and had begun to concentrate on her profile instead. Her rationale was the fact that Facebook now tends to reward those author pages where they buy advertising.
It's about platform. It used to be that platform was only important in non-fiction. But then it used to be that much more marketing and promotion was done by the publishers. Things change. Now whether at a large or small house the author is expected to do a great deal or even all of the marketing and promotion. And platform matters, even in fiction. What publishers are looking for is authors that are fully engaged.
I'm sure the discussion will continue with people deciding for themselves whether to invest more or less time in social media, blogs and websites. But as for me, and what I tell my clients as I see the responses coming in on submissions is . . . you can't have too much media presence.