Before social media, publishers were the big dogs in the industry. As an author, you couldn’t really gain tangible success without the help of publishing company to get your book or piece on the market. The introduction of social media has definitely made it easy for the authors, but it’s added an entirely new level of complexity for the industry itself.
While the subject of social media brings about the topic of self-publishing and its effects on the publishing industry, it’s interesting to think about the effects of social media once the author has already been published. Someone who stands as a pertinent example of this in the current young adult literature field is John Green. Social media has completely modeled the way Green functions as an author. He blogs on Tumblr, tweets on Twitter and vlogs on YouTube. His presence in the digital world has opened up many doors for him when it comes to fans and marketing to them. His Tumblr boasts, “I am best known on tumblr for a drizzle/hurricane metaphor.” The facts that he uses social media to relate to his fans is and reach them on a more personal level is a smart move and could potentially change the way other published authors interact with their fan base.
What does this mean for the publishing industry? It heavily depends on how publishers choose to see it. Social media and self-publishing might seem like the end of publishing, particularly in print, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. As long as publishers recognize that social media can be used as a marketing tool for authors and even the publishers themselves, it could breathe life into the modern publishing industry.