You have to make sure your numbers are good! Publishers are now looking at your stats! Numbers, numbers, NUMBERS!
My fellow blogger friend continued to chatter incessantly about social media and Facebook page likes. According to her, publishers wanted you to now build your own audience before they even considered publishing you. It sounded like a tonne of crap, but she wasn’t the first one to spew it. According to popular theory, the only thing that now matters in the quest to make the leap from internet diary to New York Times Bestseller are the number of followers accrued along the journey.
This scares me in an “I am an artist and my feelings are fickle” sort of way. Not that I have a size problem. Ladies, I have a full five thousand PLUS on my Facebook page. I will let you calm your heavy breathing and flustered cheeks. But why do my 358 Instagram followers matter? Surely the 474 twitter fiends don’t matter, right?
Oh My God, Becky, look at his social media.
Remember the fickle feeling artist? Well, it isn’t because he isn’t well endowed with a strong, erm, following. My problems lie in what this means. If publishers are only interested in my social media following, why do I even have a place like my blog to showcase my writing?
Publishers, I have words too. Stop just eyeing my followers like a piece of meat.
Does this mean publishers are no longer looking for substance? I mean, if you have a large following, they can string your statuses together in one long run on sentence and print it for the masses. Because, you know, fuck literature.
Excuse me while I sit over here, up on my pedestal, wanting to be acknowledged for my skill and not the size of my social media package.
I thought you fell in love with my personality.
While I have yet to write a book, I do look forward to sending draft after draft to editor. I excitedly anticipate for it to be soul-crushingly rejected. I want to sit here sobbing late at night about my inadequacy as a writer before a company sees something in my manuscript and gives me a shot. I want to toss back rum and cokes with JK Rowling and laugh about the journey as we polish our literary awards.
I want to stay hungry, forever maintaining the image of starving artist. Call me old-fashioned, sure, but I want my talents to be looked at. I don’t want a publisher after me because I have already built myself enough people to sling my wares at. Isn’t that part of the publishers job?
In fact, I will be bold enough to say that my “analytics” are none of a publishers business.
This is great, Chuck Palahniuk, really great. I love the whole premise of “Who is Tyler Durden”. Unfortunately, you are just not active enough on The Twitter for us to publish your book at this time.
The great writers, past and present, weren’t published because of how many circles they belonged to in Google+. While I sit here, making Change.Org petitions to permanently change the term blogger to Instant Gratification Authors (Seriously, give us our legitimacy. We need an author turned blogger. A transblogger if you will, to support our cause and raise awareness.) I want to have a level of legitimacy as a writer.
Legitimacy and affirmation don’t come from being published based on popularity.
I am modest. Look at my skill, not my back-end.