Friday, April 6, 2012

Help Them Help You


by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director

Have you caught the American Idol bug? Last week I shared my love for the show. After the American Idol auditions, there's always a name that creates a buzz. According to J-Lo this year's name is Phillip Phillips. I have to agree. The charming young man from South Georgia has a music style and talent all his own. He was even hesitant to let celebrity stylist Tommy Hilfiger alter his look from that of a casual coffee-shop rendering. "I want the music to speak for itself," declared Phillips.

This is where we disagree. At least when it comes to authors. In the January issue of Southern Writers, I wrote an article about the importance of being "Google-able". Many authors launch their career with magazine article writing or as a contributor to a larger work. Quite often thousands of entries are received from any call out. The difference in writing style and ability between various submissions is likely small. Why are some chosen and authors not?

You might wish it were all about the writing. It isn't. The editors will select contributors that will both help sell the anthology or publication and who have submitted a quality piece. As writers we must strike a balance between the two. A complete unknown author with no social media activity, no website and few hits on Google has much less chance of finding his name in print than his counterpart whose skill may be slightly less but has a strong brand recognition. Help them help you!

You may be a Phillip Phillips and if you are, let the music of your writing speak for itself. For the rest of us, we need a weekly plan to build our platform and recognition. Next week I'll give you some tips on how to increase your "Google-ability".

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