All right, I get it. The print industry is dying. Self-publishing is where it’s at, and besides, no one reads books any more. This is what all want-to publish writers are told, again and again, over and over. I have come to accept, at least partially, this as the truth. But there is one thing that sticks in my proverbial craw — something else we’ve told repeatedly — that no one will publish you unless you get yourself a social media following, on Book of Face, Twittering, LinkedIn, etc., etc., etc.
It is not an exaggeration to say that I despise and detest social media. I have no Book of Face, I don’t Twit, I do re-print my blog from time to time on LinkedIn, because my husband had set me up on this and told me that it’s all good. Otherwise, my social media footprint in miniscule.
I know what you’re thinking: what do you have against money, Elena? Writing is an art, but publishing is a business, so why don’t you play nice?
Because they didn’t have to do that. Most of the writers I admire, writers whose works I love, they just got published and then they were read. Sure, the classics, such as anyone published one hundred or more years ago, and other who were publishing before the age of social media, say before the turn of this century, they didn’t have a choice. But let’s be honest, shall we? Shakespeare. Mark Twain, Agatha Christie — let’s say they’re so good, they didn’t need social media.
Steve Martin once said, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” That is the route I want to take. I don’t care if I believe in a fairy tale of traditional publishing and no one else is encouraging me. I don’t care how many attempts at finding an agent I will have to do. I intend on becoming so good, a good publisher can’t ignore me.
How strongly do I feel about this? I would rather never get published than get an e-mail list, Book of Face, and all other social media. It is the very principle of the thing, not pride but hurt that makes me take this stand. This is the hill I charge and conquer — or the hill I die on.
* Thanks Meatloaf.