The Rise of Author Influencers
We’re currently living in a world where everyone has a voice and sometimes that voice can be heard in volumes with the right set of followers. Influencers play a huge role in today’s society. Influencers are trustworthy voices in a specific niche. So, what’s an influencer? An influencer is someone in your niche or industry with sway over your target audience. Influencers have specialized knowledge, authority or insight into a specific subject. Author influencers have built their audiences from their work, their ideas, and have cultivated relationships with their viewers on several online platforms.
Recently, the romance writing community’s biggest professional organization was in shambles due to an institutional meltdown over racialized politics. With a 40-year-old organization whose membership is increasingly diversifying it was only a matter of time before things began to change. Out of the ashes arose the author, Courtney Milan. Milan is known for its historical novels containing progressive social elements like interracial relationships and proto-feminist heroines. She also severed on the RWA board for several years, this all happened while she was still apart of the Ethics committee. Milan posted on her Twitter account of 30,000 followers of someone in the industry who had liked posts that were racist and hateful. Once the message was out, her followers were all talking about and sharing their knowledge on the subject. More stories emerged that were just an equally horrifying and shameful for an organization that promised to have inclusivity. As things started getting worse for Milan, she constantly shared her updates and in turn many things began to unravel for the organization and its members. Things got so serious, that mainstream publishers alike began to back Milan and authors who cried out for change. I believe Milan to be an influencer because she caused a change to happen and she used her author’s influence to do so. Sometimes change can be hard and it can cause people to take sides, but in the end, it’s done so everyone has a chance, just not a certain few.
RWA is still recovering as an organization and more changes are happening as we speak. The organization has been hit pretty hard, people sometimes don’t have the patience to deal with the horror of those who are hateful, and trust is lost. With all things change is not easy, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be sought. It’s really a testament to the power of author influencers and influencers alike. Voices, when united, are very powerful and There are many powerful influencer women who have done many great things and I hope that we see more of these. The more that people stand up together the more good change can be done for everyone. This is one of the main reasons that author influencers are so powerful. They already have an audience, they have a platform, and they use it for the good of others. The year has just started and there is so much more to do.