In our technology-fueled world, we are always connected. With the permeance of social media, the lines that define our lives have become blurry—our public and private selves, our professional and personal lives. We all live in the digital space, and unless you maintain separate accounts for different purposes (a large undertaking, considering the pressure to be present and active on so many platforms), we must be all of these at once.
As an author, this is compounded. Your online presence is how your readers get to know you—and they do want to know you. You have to be personable and likable to turn a casual reader into a fan. Fans want to be a fan of you as a person, not just your work. That said, you still have to maintain an air of professionalism. This is also a way that media outlets may find you.
Thus, here are a few tips for maintaining an air of professionalism, while occupying the digital space and promoting and advocating for your book.
Your book is important, and you definitely do want your title (or your hashtag!) in the appropriate posts. However, you do not need your title/hashtag in every tweet/Facebook post/Instagram caption. Use it only when it’s relevant—and with that said, it should not be relevant in every post. Your followers want to know you beyond the book, so post about the rest of your life too! Worried that your followers won’t make the connection between you and your book without the reminder? Name the book in your bio.
Annoying celebrities and media outlets
Let your publicist reach out to media professionals for you to advocate for your book. They’ve spent their careers building relationships with people who can provide coverage. If you have a relationship with someone, that’s fine, but Reese Witherspoon or the editor of the New York Times isn’t going to be impressed by desperate tweets at them to read your book.
Harassing your publicist/editor/other person working to make your book a success
The occasional email asking a question is totally appropriate. Staying in somewhat regular contact with the people working on your book will keep you and your title top-of-mind—but there is a degree where this diligence works in reverse. Your publicist will likely be assigned long before your campaign begins, and they will contact you with updates as they come. Emailing them a few times each week, more than six months before pub day is not necessarily proactive. If you were told something would be done on a certain day, do not ask why it hasn’t been done by noon that day—if it’s not up/posted/emailed by the next morning, then you can nudge them. Remember, these people have your book’s best interest at heart, so trust them.
Do you have any tips on how to maintain professionalism in the digital space? Let us know below!