Build it and they will come… or so the saying goes. As a yet to be published author the question rumbles around: Is it worth me putting time into social media and a website, when that time can be spent on my manuscript? My experience this year is that, yes, it really has been worth it and I’m going to share why.

The publishers look at your online presence

At a conference this year, I grabbed the mic at question time and asked some top publishers on stage if they look at what we are doing online and how far do they delve e.g. followers count, metrics etc. The answer? Yes, publishing houses will look online to see what you are doing. It might not be the person you send your manuscript to, but the marketing team will likely have a scout online and see what you put out there, if they’re considering contracting you.

Here’s the sweet scoop — they don’t care if you have a mega following or a tiny one, they just want to see that you’re willing to put yourself out there and talk! After all, if you do get published you will have to undertake some public speaking and promote your book (through social media and face-to-face).

Your writing style will get better

I think like anything, the more you do it the more you’ll improve. I’ve found that by writing a blog I’ve become more comfortable and less formal with my online personality. I come from a journalism and corporate comms background, so my writing for many, many years has been of a more serious, less flowery style. Now, I write in first person, throw around exclamation points like they’re confetti and just have a bit of fun with my writing!

Also, having a blog has given me greater discipline. I made a commitment to write online this year — including a 10-part special blog series leading up to a conference — and I have pushed myself to come up with the topics, write the articles and create the social media posts. And that all helps with my writing discipline across the board — consistency is the key, not waiting for creativity or inspiration!

Writing everyday whether it’s your manuscript, a blog post, or a social media post, will all help with keeping that goal front and centre!!

The more you share, the more you get back

You’ve probably heard this a lot, but I truly believe it and have experienced it! I’ve met some wonderful people through social media and in real life, who I now stay in touch with. I love seeing what they’re all up to professionally and learning from the experiences they share. Likewise, when I post a question or share a gem of information, they’re there too! Just today I was feeling a little blah and one of my writing pals shared a photo of us in a throwback, saying in the caption how much she loved our writing group! IT LIFTED ME! I loved that post and felt that comradery that is so important in everyday life!

Writing doesn’t have to be a solo, lonely endeavour. Being part of a community — in the flesh or virtually — is so beneficial! Especially on those low days! 

I hope you enjoy what I post and share! If I don’t already follow you, please drop me a line and let me know where I can find your fabulous work!

J x

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