Why Writers Need Social Media (It's More Than Marketing)

Most writers have heard that building a platform is important to publishing and selling books. Generally this means having a Twitter and/or Facebook presence--at the least--and blogging. It's all about that "M" word we love to hate and it's about developing a relationship with our audience (otherwise known as marketing base). Building a platform is also about performing literary citizenship. Supporting the literary community itself and the art it produces is a good way to grow an audience for everything literary. Why is that important?

Literary art helps to define and create the world we live in. It causes us to become aware of and to think more deeply about our individual and collective humanity. Sometimes we like what we see and sometimes we are motivated to impel change. In addition, it opens us to possibilities and that can lead to creating a vision of the world we want to build. Nothing gets created that isn't first envisioned.

But there is another reason social media is important for writers. Relationship building and world-building have become intrinsic to social media. We live in a fast paced and technological world. People change jobs regularly, often moving great distances and hardly knowing their relatives much less their neighbors. Many writers work at home and so are even more isolated from others--especially from other writers. Participating in social media keeps us connected with our tribe--our colleagues, our stakeholders, and those who read or influence our art. It allows us to build relationships all over the world and to contribute to tribal dialogue in meaningful ways. Social media immerses us in world-building by enabling us to participate in conversations that drive global innovation and social growth. The community we experience is consequently larger and more diverse and in turn this informs and refines our literary art.

Which social media tools do you use and why?


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Social Media Lab at Midwest Writers Workshop 2012