When Amanda Luedeke (an agent who works with me at MacGregor Literary) told me she was writing a book entitled The Extroverted Writer, I laughed. I mean… let’s face it — most writers are simply not extroverts. They tend to be thinkers, who often sit in front of their computers, or who stare out the window, pondering life and characters (and, at least in my case, who they’re going to murder next and how they’re going to get away with it). Sure, there are some writers who are actually extroverts, but in my experience they tend to be in the minority.
But I saw where Amanda was going with her title… Even an introverted writer can use social media to get out there and meet people. He or she can start tweeting, or post thoughts on a blog, or get involved with friends via Facebook, or do many of the hundred other activities available on the web to build a readership. In other words, an introvert can become, in some ways, an extrovert, introducing herself to other people. And, the more I thought about it, the more I liked that concept.
You see, I’m one of those people who sees the internet as being similar to a book. Books aren’t read by groups (at least not past first grade). They are read by individuals, so a book is really an author telling a story to one person at a time. Reading is an individual experience — as is most social media. It’s personal, with the author having a bunch of one-on-one conversations with individuals. And the more a writer does that, the more he or she has a chance to build a community of friends and readers.
Think of the benefits of a strong social media community. There’s a chance for an author to define her voice. There is an opportunity to get close to people, and thereby have an influence in their lives. It’s one-on-one, so it’s a personal form of communication — no big ads that reach the masses, a social network feels like sharing stories and information among friends. Social media offers a writer a platform, and the means for building that platform. It gives him or her a sense of authority, and generates brand recognition as readers begin to understand and appreciate the author’s voice and message and theme. The more people hear and appreciate the writer, the more they mention that writer to others, inviting them to come listen, so a network is built. The whole idea behind a writer getting involved in social media is that the writer has words that need to be shared, and it’s often best shared individually.
Oh, and there’s one more benefit: It’s nearly free. I mean, an author has to invest his or her own time and energy, but there’s almost no money out of pocket in doing so. What other medium allows an author such advantages?
That’s why I love Amanda’s book. Whether you’re new to the publishing world or a longtime pro, The Extroverted Writer offers real-world tips and ideas for maximizing things like Facebook and Twitter and blogging. There’s a ton of helpful information in that book — and it costs five bucks. So if you’re a writer, I encourage you to drop by Amazon and take a look at Amanda’s book. I’ve yet to find anything else on the topic that’s got as much helpful information as The Extroverted Writer.