The Importance of an Online Presence BEFORE Publication!

Ryan Jo

So you’ve just landed a book contract and you are over the moon. Congratulations! It’s super to realize you wrote a book and now your family/friends/coworkers/agent/ publisher all think it’s fantastic. You can’t wait to see the cover and hold that sweet print baby in your hands. There are so many steps involved in bringing a book into the world, and the release date seems forever away. What should you do while you count down the time?  Regardless of your writing plan, you will also need to seriously think about your online presence while you are merrily marking days off the calendar. You will note that sentence is “seriously think about”, because it is implied you’ve been thinking about it all along. Right? Right?
One reason it’s so important to start your online presence long before you finish your first book is to start building an audience. You want to build a list of followers who like you, and then stay with you when you add hype about upcoming releases, sharing tidbits, teasers, sample chapters, cover reveals, specials, character interviews, and much more… all before the book ever leaves your computer.
Many writers—newbies and seasoned ones alike—tend to procrastinate and ignore their online sites. “I have nothing to say”, “I don’t know where to even begin”, or “It’s not like I have a dozen books out there” are common excuses. Don’t forget one of the most popular: “I’ll start something once the book is done/goes to print/comes out”. Rubbish. Readers want to know all about you, and not just that you wrote a book. To sell books, and gain readers, you need to make readers care about you as a person. Readers want to connect with authors.
Hopefully, since you also like to read, you are following other authors socially, getting posts and content you like, and doubtlessly, content that doesn’t do much for you. Use those to shape what messages you want to send to your readers.

Read the entire article in the Dec/Jan 2020-21 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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