Authors as promoters – it is not a new concept, but it is certainly one that causes no end of grief if one is to judge by the amount of chatter about it online. Just managing all the social media, promotional and networking required to be a working author can be exhausting, but current opinion holds that it is also necessary.
Here is a sampling of stuff I have read on the subject in the last month:
Now there are all sorts of new ways to monitor your online presence and measure your reach. Although these services use arbitrary methods and have yet to be proven in the wider context, it is still a way to check on your engagement and rough effectiveness. Two that I have checked out are:
Here is what I have discovered so far: You build Klout by engaging in conversations, by writing on trending topics and by saying things that other people think are witty enough to be repeated. Basically, everything you must do to build clout in face to face social situations.
Everybody keeps talking about the ‘new’ promotional role that authors must take, but I don’t think that role is so new.
Sir Walter Scott was perhaps one of the best authors at self-promotion EVER and he lived over 200 years ago. He was such a genius at promotion that he succeeded in getting the King involved, even to the point of dressing in garish layers of tartan and parading the streets of Edinburgh spurring a manic passion for all things Scottish and specifically Scott’s Waverly novels. Sir Walter accomplished this by talking. Scott was a solicitor (lawyer) and to all reports he was charming, self-effacing and immensely entertaining. His first novels were published anonymously, but in the end run, interest in the writing became interest in the author which in turn generated interest in his work. The promotion and the writing became all of a piece, two sides of the same coin. One side represents the writer and the imagination, the other is the resulting works that spring out of that.
Having Klout is important, but when you combine your Klout with your written works you will begin to garner real Clout. My advice to you: keep working on both sides of the equation, and one day they might be building a monument for you. Now that’s clout!