No matter where you are in your author’s journey, if you haven’t thought about your social media presence, now is the time.

I often hear authors who complain they don’t have time to do it all, or they will worry about their platform once the book is finished. By then, they are way behind in the game. Everyone in publishing – from traditional publishers to Indies – is looking at the future of the industry and wondering what comes next, while lamenting the slow demise of the printed word as e-books take over.

The one thing none of them can deny is the importance of social media presence. The next generation of book buyers (in whatever form that may be) is social media dependent – totally tied in from sun-up to sunset and their mode of transportation through the social media stratosphere is constantly changing.

Take for example my own daughter. At 23 years old, Facebook is already dead to her. She only jumps on if I tag her on something related to the family. Like Myspace for many of us in our 40s, she has been there, done that and moved on. Does this mean she is any less connected by social media? Not in the least, but her chosen medium has changed to one that is even more instantaneous. You will find her on Snapchat, sometimes Instagram. My stepdaughter is 16. She does not go a single day of her life without posting her picture to Instagram. I have another stepdaughter in her early 20s with a young son who is growing up on both Instagram and Facebook.

Here’s the thing, they all read adult fiction of varying types. They are all not only in our future audience, but for many authors, they are our audience right now. I have yet to see them share website links, but I see at least one of them share book links from Facebook to Facebook.

Now, maybe your target audience doesn’t include anyone under 40, and you don’t plan to be writing when today’s twenty-somethings turn 40 … If not, you not only need to be social today, but to keep up with the ever-changing face of social media for tomorrow.

Does that mean you need to have a presence on every social medium ever invented? Of course not. There are mediums best suited to your current audience, and those are your best markets. Choosing one or two in addition to a current and changing Website will keep you active socially and help get the word out about your work. And every so often, re-evaluate your position and where you are focusing your energy to be sure it is being spent in the most advantageous medium.

Beyond that, the key is organization – make a plan to help keep you going with your posting or tweeting or blogging – and then occasionally feel free to throw it aside when the whimsy strikes you and do something totally off-script. If you enjoy your social media marketing, it will make all the difference in the world, because the most important part of social media marketing is being SOCIAL.