Your Reputation is Built When You’re a Nobody
“Opinions are like kittens. People are always giving them away.” ~ Elizabeth Bear
This is one of the nicer quotes on this topic. If you are ever in the mood for a laugh google “opinions are like”. There are some quite entertaining similes.
We all have opinions, strongly held convictions, political views, religious affiliations, whatever may have you. I like to believe when most people voice their thoughts they are doing it from a position of passion, but also education. Because perhaps they legitimately have a viewpoint and information that others have never considered before. Yes, I am a glass-half-full Pollyanna type.
I also am a proponent of taking a stand for what you believe in, getting out of pious places of judgment, and making a real difference in the world. Want to fight hunger? Serve at a soup kitchen. Have issues with the education system? Try tutoring kids for free. My point is, if you have a passionate conviction that something is wrong or right, by all means, go out and tackle that issue head-on.
That said, social media has become an outlet for folks for many things and political, religious, and social views are definitely included. And getting involved in hashtag trends and online petitions may lend some small credence to your cause.
However, this is not without possible fallout. When you are on the hunt for representation, or even for an audience, this may not be your best bet.
Prospective agents and publishers are bound to check your social media presence as it plays such a huge role in marketing. And, to be honest, all authors are expected to participate in the promotion of their books, regardless of the size of your publishing house. So, yes, one of the things they will scope out in the early days is your connectability on all platforms, your number of followers, and just what you are posting.
So, please, be careful what you share. Your dream agent may have an opposing political view and, in their research, discover you are constantly sharing controversial articles and inflammatory links. That could be the end of a potential contract and lucrative career.
Sounds kind of crazy right? It does… but I’ve seen it happen. Agents have been known to publically cite the comments of an author and directly follow that with “when I see this name come across my desk, they will be immediately deleted”.
All three of us Babes want to see enormous success for all the amazing writers on their path to publication and it would be a great tragedy to lose an opportunity over a social media share. So think before you post, focus on positivity, and make a difference in your world away from laptop, tablet, or phone.