“You will be Googled”

by Debora Dale

Just days ago, our RWA chapter had the honor and pleasure of meeting with Becky Vinter of FinePrint Literary Management for a Q&A session. She provided us with information about the querying and agenting process. She gave us insight into market trends and the worlds of traditional publishing, small press, digital and self-publishing. All of it captured my interest and attention but none as much as four words she said almost as an aside  – “You will be Googled.”

We hear it repeatedly – authors need an internet presence.  We should have a blog, a Twitter and/or Facebook account, a website that doesn’t sit stagnant. We should interact with other writers, industry professionals and potential – or current – readers. We must also find a way to balance our internet presence with our writing.

Ms. Vinter suggested, when it comes to internet promotion, that we focus on our strengths. Do you write a weekly engaging blog? Stick with it. Are you a whiz with 140 characters? Go with Twitter. Whatever method or medium works for you without distracting from your writing time is the right method for you. But, whatever you do, make sure to maintain a level of friendly professionalism.  Do not engage in flame wars, do not present yourself in a way that detracts from the work you create or the image you’d like to build. Don’t embarrass yourself. The internet is like a laundry marker. It stays forever – even if you’ve labeled something wrong. So, be aware of what you share with the world because it just might come back to bite you. Remember – you will be Googled.

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