Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why You Should Follow Editors And Agents On Social Media

It is amazing to think that just a few years ago, the idea of social media was something new and exciting. Now, using social media is really almost common practice with people. We use it to stay in touch with each other, to comment on why we hated a call during a recent football game, and even to send a picture of what we are having for dinner at that given moment. In publishing, however, there really is an added benefit for tapping into the social media realm.

It is very important, as a writer, to take the time to start "following" your potential editors and agents that you want to work with. Although you can get a lot of information from their FAQ pages and the articles they write for publications, it is the area of social media where you really get a sense of who that person is and what he or she might be able to do for you. Remember that marketing your projects to these people is more than simply selling a book. This is a marriage and you want it to work and last a long time.

Let's just look at Twitter for example. Following that agent will give you a sense of the things that person seems to be drawn to in terms of projects. There isn't a day that goes by when you won't see a post about some book that agent loved and why they loved it. Watch for patterns.

Along the same lines, there are many agents that "open the door" to their offices by "recording" their thoughts as they read through new submissions and projects. This is a resource that is incredibly useful. You get to learn from the mistakes of other writers.

Finally, some agents will take the time to host "#askagent" sessions. This is your chance to ask those people ANYTHING you want to get you better prepared for the submission process. This is not a time to pitch stories, but truly a time to learn a little about the craft. For the agents, this is simply a way to give back to the community. We aren't going to be looking for new projects, but we are trying to help make the submission and publishing process better for you.

Facebook, Blogs and the like also give you that insight. These, of course, will take a little more work since you can't skim the notes, but you are getting a deeper knowledge of these individuals. Of course, if they have things set up like I do, those blog posts are getting filtered to Twitter and Facebook so that scan option is still there for you.

The key is to get a better understanding of that person. Sending out queries and submissions to simply a name is a sure way of getting rejections letters back. Sending out queries and submissions to people you "know" will increase the chance for that connection to make them want to read more.

So here is the question for you... What do you want to see in the social media from these editors and agents?


  1. I've found it really useful when agents tweet or post on their blogs about where they are in their slush pile (i.e. "Have read all queries through 10/1 and all submitted materials through 9/15") -- it reassures us writers that we're not being ignored and that our materials haven't been lost, without putting the pressure on us to "nudge" agents.

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