If you own a business you need to be on social media. It’s where customers find you and how they stay connected with you. It was because of social media (Yelp) that I found my hairdresser and it’s how I’m reminded regularly of why I love my favorite local restaurant (Instagram). If you have any intention of being a published author you have to adapt to social media in some form. If you want to grow a career in publishing, you better get comfortable with it.

While planning a business you don’t need to be on social media. However, the minute you open the doors you better open your social media too.

In the comments on Social Media Tips for Authors a reader asks:

I’ve heard agents say that unpublished fiction authors don’t need to worry about their social media when querying, as long as there’s nothing negative in their accounts. Many also say that having no online presence is okay for an unpublished author and that the agent will give advice on developing a presence after signing the author. Does this advice still hold, or does what you’re saying apply to unpublished authors as well. More specifically, if you received a query and requested a manuscript, would a lack of social media presence make you more likely to reject the manuscript?

You’re right. When querying you don’t need to be on social media, at least not yet. But I do suggest starting your social media sooner rather than later. Waiting until you are published is too late. The earlier you start, the more time you have to get comfortable and establish your brand.

Agents won’t reject a book based solely on the lack of social media, but they could become further interested in an author based on good social media.

This content was originally published here.