Last week, we talked about some of the bricks you’ll need to build a rejection-proof platform
. I also announced the release of my new course, Obscure No More
(only 21 spots left!), where I’ll teach you how to use more platform-building bricks that will give you a solid publishing platform.
This week, I’ve addressed the most popular questions that webinar participants asked Steve Laube and me during the Q & A session after the webinar
. If you attended or listened to the replay, this will not be new, but as always, I wanted to offer it in blog form for our blog readers.
Steve, do you agree with Thomas’s stance on not using social media?
Steve Laube: Thomas has taught me a lot. If you stand still on the freeway of this marketing environment, you will either get run over or left behind. If I had listened to Thomas earlier, I would have made fewer mistakes, and I would have adjusted.
Thomas is on the forefront of the newest thinking regarding marketing. We’re not saying stop all social media. We’re asking you to examine why you’re doing social media. What’s your purpose for using social media?
When Thomas ran the marketing for Enclave Publishing, our focus was building our mailing list. It grew by 500% in six months. It’s still one of the largest, healthiest email lists in the industry for lovers of science fiction and fantasy from a Christian perspective.
At the same time, Enclave moved heavily and intentionally into the Bookstagram community, which is part of the Instagram community. Through Instagram, we found a new wave of interest and fervor, but we had a very intentional strategy when we were posting on Instagram.
So, Thomas isn’t saying, “Don’t participate in social media.” He’s saying, “Don’t build your platform on social media.”
Thomas: That’s right. Social media is a good place to visit, but it’s not a good place to live. You must measure what you do on social media
Steve: It’s important to understand this is a business. It’s the business of changing the world and getting your ideas out into the world so they are visible. You are competing with people who already know how to do this.
I’ve been told by agents that if I can get 5,000 followers, that would be the magic number for a publisher to publish my book. Is that right?
Steve: That is old information and an old way of thinking. You can pay someone to get you 5,000 followers on social media, and none of them will be real humans. There’s not a magic number.
If a publisher looks at your social media following, they want to see a level of engagement with the people who interact with you on your social media accounts. In other words, how are you influencing your reader so that they want to read more from you?
To get a publishing contract, you must have great writing, a great concept, and a great platform. I used to say you needed two of the three. You could get away with great writing and concept. For writers like Phillip Yancey, who is an amazing writer,