Career

The Non-Partisan Author

The political environment has been toxic for author branding since the Internet debuted over 20 years ago, but has gotten significantly worse and more dangerous as social media grows in the last decade. When expressing opinions became as easy as a mouse-click “like,” authors entered a danger-zone.

Unless your author brand includes political commentary, or a focused societal issue, it is probably best to stay away from political expression in your communication. Even a “like” can be a problem to some of your followers who might leave you because they disagree.

The divisive political environment across the entire world makes it tempting to express yourself and take sides, simply because you so easily can.

But again, unless your author brand focuses on political interplay, or a focused societal issue, it would be wise to consider refraining from commenting on them.

Or liking, or happy/frowny-facing them.

The question is simply this; do you want to sell books to anyone and everyone, or just to those who agree with you on everything? The number of the latter is a small fraction of the former.

Don’t assume your social media followers all see eye-to-eye on anything, because they don’t.

And yet, every day authors who have no standing to speak about politics jeopardize their author platforms just to get something off their chest.

This is about the business of publishing, branding and selling books, not some sort of First Amendment/integrity/freedom topic in the US or a global human rights stand.

You want to sell books to as many people as possible? Be very careful if you want to express yourself politically. (Unless politics and societal issues are your brand.)

There are some societal problems where any reasonable Christian or moral person should stand united.

Human trafficking is evil and wrong.

Child pornography is evil and wrong.

Killing people for their religion is evil and wrong.

Terrorism is evil and wrong.

We could come up with many more with very little thought.

But this still doesn’t mean you should venture into the political arena. Your readers sincerely want you to deliver the message for which you are best known. That’s all.

You might be surprised how many readers of Christian books are not on the same page regarding abortion, homosexuality, immigration, refugees, the role of government, elections, tax laws, welfare, health care, public schools, military action, patriotism and a myriad of other matters.

Just because you think Christians should all be unified on a certain subject, doesn’t mean they are.

The best way to avoid any potential problems is simply to stick to your brand and give your readers what they expect and nothing more. I would guess they are not looking for your political opinions, unless your books and brand relate to subjects covered by partisan politics or certain societal issues.

Swerving out of your branded lane of traffic is okay, just realize:

The lack of self-discipline in your author platform and declining book sales are related.

Again, all this doesn’t matter if your readers are expecting you to rage against society in some way, or you are not an author. But if you desire to develop and grow a large author platform and sell as many books as possible, you need to be relatively non-partisan politically in social media and other external communications.

 

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