once-upon-a-time-719174_640These days it doesn’t matter if you are indie or traditionally published, there are two truths that every author needs to understand.

  1. A social media framework is critical to your success.
  2. You need to start building it BEFORE your book is written.

Building a solid, credible social media network takes time, so how in the world is an author supposed to do that while writing a book, holding down a day job, taking care of the kids…. That’s a real problem for many would-be authors — myself included. But let me explain why you must make social media a priority.

Wendy Keller, the founder of Keller Media, has been a publicist for the non-fiction genre for almost 30 years, and she makes it very clear that every author must have a platform. As an agent, she represents clients and sells their books to the big houses. Wendy explains that whenever she presents a book to a publisher, one of the first questions they ask is, “What is their Klout score?”

Klout is an application that measures the social media reach of an individual. According to Wendy, and I have every reason to trust what she says, if your Klout score is 55 or higher, that proves you are on the right path. If your score is 65 – 70, a major publisher will be interested because they know that you already have a marketing platform from which to help promote and market your book.

My Klout score averages between 60 – 64. That range has been fairly consistent over the last several years, because I’ve been working on my author platform for a long time.

If you are wondering where to start, here’s a tip.

Pick at least one social media venue and become an expert user (two is even better). Research which venue will be most appropriate for your book. In other words, consider where your readers hang out on social media. Writing crime? Facebook and LinkedIn have lots of groups for this genre. Writing about interior design? Pinterest is your best bet because its users are predominantly women and, in particular, women who love pictures. As for me, I love Twitter but have come to use Facebook as well.

There are lots of free resources to help you become more social media savvy. Check Amazon.com for free and low-cost books on social media and platform building. Or, download my free ebook in the sidebar “Five Must-Dos Before You Write Your Book” for even more social media tips!

Sheila Callaham is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and success coach. 

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