I've been pondering this question for a few weeks, but then I ran across an article from Variety that really made me think more on the subject of popularity. In this interview along with Sebastian Stan, Aniston mentions that Hollywood is more or less just interested in someone's online following. That people don't need talent anymore to get a good acting gig, but they do need a burgeoning social media profile. (Let's not get into her acting roots because the internet is full of the backlash right now. It's not really why I'm here.)
It did make me wonder about social media and books, though! It's 2022, and most authors have profiles on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snap, Etc. Etc. and they are encouraged to post on these platforms relentlessly, either by author gurus or their publishers. Sometimes I see the amount of content being pumped out by authors and wonder when they have the time to actually, you know, write the books. They may have help (many do) in order to feed the social media beast, but I know many of them are struggling to get by and don't have the extra money to pay others to do this work.
Currently, I think I get the most recommendations on new (to me or otherwise) books or authors mainly through word-of-mouth. A friend or family member will talk about a book and it will spur me into buying them. Sometimes, I will see a post from a friend or family member on social media or a blog about a book they loved and that will get me too. I rarely see a post from an author about their books and think, “Hey, that's for me!” The recommendations are coming from people I know.
So, how do you find out about new authors or books? Are you seeing posts from authors or publishers and those are swaying you? Or is it maybe a recommendation from Amazon or another store? Family or friends? School?
I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments. I have pulled way back from social media in 2022, and I have wondered if I'm shooting myself in the foot by doing so. I still do some posts, but I rarely see them commented on or shared, which makes me think that no one is really seeing them or caring about them. It would be good to have some other opinions!