Earning a Bit More Through Social Media

Rather than saying that there is a whole new different method for authors to make money, I would say that with the addition of a new landscape, they are exposed to other ways of gaining profit.  In this era, the most advanced technology that people have today is the Internet. With this, users can gain access to just about any information and can reach just about anyone around the globe. Instead of using the traditional publishing model, authors can now use the Internet to their advantage and upload things online through various social media platforms in order to first, gain recognition, then to start earning money through things ranging from advertisements to obtaining sponsors who enjoy the writer’s work.

As the traditional way of publishing requires an author to go through a long process of finding an agent, getting their manuscript submitted to the publishing house, having their manuscript edited over and over, and then going through various stages of design and marketing plans before it can officially be released to the public. Even then the book may not obtain enough popularity for the author to make a good amount of money from it. As the case study from Cathryn France (2005) explains, the process of having a book published in a traditional way is very time-consuming and requires a lot of people putting in a lot of effort for one single book. Since the writer basically prepares the foundation of the entire book, they should have rights to object something that they deem not suitable for their book. Since there are so many people working together on the one project, there will definitely be some arguments that arise (Visser, 2005). Everyone has their own opinion on how the book should be made so conflicts are very common in a publishing house. Another point that I would like to point out that makes traditional publishing for authors a bit of a hardship is that it is hard to find a niche market for particular books (Juby, 2005). Of course, all products of writing will be hard to find a good market for them, but for traditional publishing it is even harder since they go through all that process of submitting their manuscript to editing and then in the end, they find out that that not a lot of people like that genre of book. The expenses used to produce that book might be going down the drain and could result in a loss of profit. The traditional way of publishing requires an entire team of people who may or may not have similar ideas with one another; with this group of people, not only does it require a lot of time to produce one book, but the expenses may also be higher than the alternative way for an author to earn money that I will be explaining in the next paragraph.

Since the creation of the Internet, people from all around the world are able to gain access to new information. A great advantage that contributes to the currency gain for authors and writes is that social media has opened up a new outlet for these individuals to push their product out and gain profit in return without going through the same process as a traditional publishing house. Morrison’s (2011) article states that with the digital publishing era, authors are not making as much money as they did before, especially with advances. With so many writers, very few of them will be able to popularize their book to the point that they will be make a ton of money. That is when a secondary option needs to take place in order to help the writer earn another source of income without selling their content directly. The introduction of setting up a YouTube channel or Instagram account is beneficial to the writer in the sense that both services are free to use for the audience.

Ma’s (2015) article nicely outlines the ways an individual can make money through the use of Instagram. To set up an account is free so if the author were to create an Instagram account and share pictures to the audience, they could increase their popularity level and slow earn more money. The author can promote brands or other books through the use of Instagram and can then be paid based on the amount of followers or likes that author has. Not only that, but Ma (2015) mentioned that by maintaining an active social media presence, the author may be able to connect to other professionals and this can increase their exposure rate as well. Authors can also promote their own book to their followers and can update them on any new and upcoming releases. The author can utilize their social media accounts to make a living. Sasson’s (2015) article is interesting in the sense that she focuses on how an author can use social media to build an engaging platform. By using these few points, the author can create a strong social media presence and the more followers and connections they have, the more chances of them to earn money from things like brand promotions and individuals who will continue to purchase the author’s current (and future) books.

Another great thing about authors going on social media platforms is that they can earn money through the advertisements on their sites. For example, YouTube has advertisements in their videos as well as on the side of the screen. Companies of these brands will give money to these YouTube users in exchange for letting them advertise on their page. Many other social media platforms use this technique. Without having the author do anything and still be able to earn money, why not? Plus, a big advantage for the author is that they do not have to spend a large sum of money to create the content they upload onto the Internet. Unlike traditionally publishing a book, the expense to be online is a lot lower than the former option. Decker’s (2014) article has a small section that explains the use of earning money from advertisements on social media sites. He explains that the more people who click on the author’s site, the more money they will be earning because for advertisements, the individual profits through the number of clicks. This new creative way of promoting oneself allows the author to connect with their audience and fans as well as connecting with other professionals around the globe. This can be seen as something beneficial when it comes to them releasing a new book in the future.

In conclusion, the abundance of books in the traditional way of publishing has been considered to be expensive and not quite suited for authors who want to earn a lot of popularity and money. As I have said earlier, very few books and authors will be able to earn amount of popularity and profit from their books so they have to rely on another way to get money to pay their bills. With social media platforms, especially YouTube and Instagram, the author can earn money by promoting other brands and also connect with their readers and other professionals. Hopefully with this new addition of services to their profile, authors are able to earn more money through the creation of something other than a traditional published book.  

References:

Deckers, E. (2014, August 6). Five ways for creative writers to make money (and two that don’t work). Problogservice. Retrieved from problogservice.com

France, C. (2005). A case study of pop culture book: From concept to completion. In Lorimer, R., Maxwell, J. W., & Shoichet, J. G.(Eds.) Publishing studies: Book publishing 1.

Juby, S. (2005). Editor to author: Some personal reflections on getting published. In Lorimer, R., Maxwell, J. W., & Shoichet, J. G.(Eds.) Publishing studies: Book publishing 1.

 Ma, A. (2015, July 30). How to make money on Instagram. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com

Morrison, E. (2011, August 22). Are books dead, and can authors survive? The Guardian.Retrieved from www.theguardian.com

Sasson, D. (2015, March 1). 6 ways for authors to build an engaging platform using social media. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com

 Visser, M. (2005). Editor to author: Some personal reflections on getting published. In Lorimer, R., Maxwell, J. W., & Shoichet, J. G.(Eds.) Publishing studies: Book publishing 1.

Showing 3 Reviews

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    Maryann Farrugia
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    Well social media can be a very powerful tool and can boost sales if you know how to use it. All marketing specialist especially people who are experts with regards to online marketing knows that social media is a very powerful key. Regards, Visit Maryann Farrugia on YouTube.

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    Juan Pablo Alperin
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    This paper offers a lose argument around author's potential to earn money on social media. However, the essay offers little analysis of what achieving this implies for the author, the author's audience, or the publishing industry. One key question that remains unanswered is how the work of maintaining and promoting a social media presence can exist alongside the task of writing. What percentage of their time does an author have to dedicate to being successful online? Is there really a significant payoff? These, and other such questions, would have made for a stronger case, or at least for a more nuanced look at the role of social media in publishing.

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    Nicole Sew Hoy
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    This essay focuses on how authors should utilise social media to increase their author platform while still making money. The essay is easily comprehensible and the author uses many reliable references about social media’s durability and promotability in the publishing world. The essay also paints a good overall picture of how authors can make money through social media with advertisements and promoting other people’s products or brands on their account while still promoting their book.

    To make this essay stronger, I think including an example of an author who is currently or has utilised their social media account(s)with their book would of made all your references in your essay come together nicely. Someone that comes to mind is Khloe Kardashian. She recently released a book called Strong Looks Better Naked, and I have seen that she has been extremely active on Instagram and Twitter promoting her book. Although she is a ‘celebrity’ so I am not sure if she gets paid for her posts on her book. But what I have been seeing lately on Instagram are individuals with 10 000 or more followers get sent free products to promote on their account such as home Teeth Whitening kits, protein powder and facial cleansers for example. These posts usually follow with a discount code in the promoters name for the product which helps boost visibility for the product’s brand and promoter.

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