August 3, 2021-During August, we’re talking about what publishers want (and what they don’t want) from authors. We’re going to touch on a subject today that can quite honestly make or break your career (pretty much any career), so pay close attention!
When it comes to social media, like anything in life, there are good and not so good aspects. Let’s break down each.
- Content. New, fresh, consistent content that is relevant to your audience is always a good thing. Talking about your upcoming book, the books you’re reading, inspiring quotes, behind-the-scenes photos of you working on your manuscript, and appropriate hashtags and visuals are looked upon by publishers as an excellent indicator of your commitment to your craft.
- Engagement. Publishers love it when we see our authors interact with their followers. This shows us that you care about your readers and that you’re invested in building a relationship with them on social media.
- Professionalism. Everything from your user name to your email address is important to publishers as this is your public persona. We want to see that you’re more or less an upstanding citizen who contributes to society through your craft and that literacy matters to you.
Not so good:
- Pictures. Pictures of you binge drinking, using drugs, or passed out in an alleyway are all detrimental to your brand (and ours) as you are an extension of the publisher. Don’t expect to get a publishing deal if you’re posting ridiculous images of yourself that aren’t going to make you a role model for readers. It doesn’t matter what you write (kids books to thrillers and everything in between); you need to conduct yourself with integrity.
- What’s in a name. Everything. I’ve told my students this (who co-op and volunteer with my company) hundreds of times-your handle matters, what you call yourself online matters. I once received a resume with the handle methhead99 and recycled it upon receipt. Do you honestly think that a publisher will sign you with their House if you’re not even mature enough to have a professional social media name? You’re not worth the risk of embarrassing ourselves by having your horrible handle plastered all over our accounts.
- Hate speech. We will not tolerate hate speech, racism, sexism, or bullying of any kind. Liking comments, images, or posts that are inflammatory (it doesn’t matter if they’re on your page or someone else’s) is still a disqualifier for us. We care who you are, what you participate in online and in real life.
Your social media presence and conduct matter, and we WILL be checking before we even consider bringing you onto our team. We’ll check your Facebook, your Instagram, your LinkedIn, your YouTube, your TikTok, your Snapchat, and you’d better believe we’re going to Google you. All businesses do this, so be sure to keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble. Everyone who works for Pandamonium Publishing House is an extension of me. I choose my authors, illustrators, clients, and employees very carefully because of this. And so will every other company.
For more tips on what publishers want check out my book here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca