An Introduction to Social Publishing

The Social Publishing phenomenon and how it can help you in your publishing career.

“FicShelf is a publishing platform, with a focus on Social Publishing and…”

As the CEO of a start-up one must pitch. A lot. To VCs, writers, editors and even the cashier at the supermarket. Really, anyone who is willing to listen.

I could not have failed to notice that more frequently than not, I am met with polite nods and vacant looks whenever I mention Social Publishing.

That is because Social Publishing is just another one of those organic internet phenomena that are part of our lives without our giving a name to it.

To offer a very simplistic definition, Social Publishing is about making publishing a two-way street. It is about making use of the power of social networking to involve your readers in your creative process.

As a result, you learn more about your readers own reading experiences and habits. The direct feedback you can get out of such interaction can be instrumental to improving your writing skills, the visibility of your work, and your fan-base.

Picture this: a lodge in the middle of the woods; a hut on a deserted beach; a cottage in a countryside village. You and your typewriter. No interference from the world. Supplies, peace and inspiration, and months ahead in which to write the classic the world has been waiting for.

Lovely as it sounds, this romantic view of writing might have worked for Hemingway (and even for him only at times), but unless you have a number of eager followers waiting for you to come out of your writer’s retreat, isolating yourself and your book from your readers will only do you a disfavour.

Some of us might not like the idea that we are living in the age of the self. Things are more special if there is a little bit of us in it. And so your readers would enjoy your journey, and even fund it, if you were to share it all with them.

They would understand why you are charging more than $1 for your book if they knew how much time you have spent researching just to get that one chapter right. Share your journey with them and you might end up with more than readers — you might end up with followers.

Whether you choose to publish a full novel, a short story, or a few chapters of your work in progress, each review you get is a priceless instant market research and product validation bundle. And more than that.. an opportunity! Here you have someone who has not only read your work, but was moved enough by it to find time to reach out. That matters, even if you don’t like what they have to say.

Engage.

It worked for J K Rowling, who has always kept at least one eye on her prolific fanfiction writers. It certainly worked for E L James, who owes her success to her followers — those who bought her books at a premium — even though they had already read the whole 50 Shades trilogy for free. It worked for Abigail Gibbs, Beth Reeks, and Margaret Atwood.

Make your writing process more social and when it comes time to publish, you will have followers ready to support you.

Monique, CEO @ FicShelf

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