In a recent article for Women Writers, Women’s Books, I wrote about the ubiquitous ‘author profile’ and whether or not this has any bearing on your readership. I follow lots of authors on Twitter and while a lot of successful authors have a devil-may-care attitude to what they share, others are quite guarded and even take a hiatus from all social media when writing. (Imagine!). So which side of the fence are you on? Are you a J K Rowling type with lots to say and no hesitation about saying it? Or are you a Joanna Trollope, keeping yourself to yourself and looking down your nose at all those attention-grabbing selfies?! Or do you just see it all as one great big distraction?
In this golden age of social media, I still find it a bit of a novelty that I can tweet my favourite author. Even more so on the occasions when they tweet me back!
Having this kind of direct access to an author would have been unimaginable just 20 years ago. Back in the old days, you didn’t get to know anything about the author, save for whatever the publisher deemed necessary on the back page. Their allure was their anonymity, save for the words they put on the page. But times have changed and it is now something of an anomaly if an author doesn’t have a Twitter account. Publishers encourage authors to ‘get out there’ and the constant advice to new authors is to build an author platform (i.e. make yourself widely available across all social media apps.) The lines between being an author and being your own PR machine have become increasingly blurred, which can be both liberating and problematic.
Read the full article here