During election cycles, it’s important for an author to maintain a neutral stance. Yes, I can hear everyone now screaming that they have the right to voice their opinions. And I agree with you, but you have to step back and think before you post on social media the latest political slap down against the candidate you don’t like.
What have you just done?
You’ve voiced your opinion. And you may be getting a lot of commentary on both sides of the aisle regarding your post. But have you done yourself, as a public figure, any good?
Now, before you rip me to shreds for this assessment, stop and think, which you probably didn’t do before you posted that opinion or shared an article tearing down a candidate.
Did you ever stop to think that your political post just alienated at least half of your fans? Have you considered that while you have your opinion, others may think differently? Most importantly, have you thought about the impact your post will potentially have on your bottom line—sales of your books?
Well? Did you?
I thought not.
I’m sure the excuses abound. You just couldn’t resist an absolutely fabulous post pointing out all the reasons Candidate A is the wrong person for the job. It was so very important that you inform all of your friends and followers of this, so they know how passionate you are about stopping this person from being elected.
Or… It’s important to make sure everyone knows your opinion. You’re a very important author. People will listen to you and follow your lead. Those who don’t aren’t worthy of your time and attention—except those you deem unworthy of you may buy your books. They will be offended by your post, especially if you’re bashing the candidate they’ve chosen. And that means they’re not going to buy your books, because you are slamming their beliefs.
The worst excuse is the “I truly believe” post. You truly believe so much that you don’t bother to research the facts and see if the media or Candidate B’s rhetoric is fully truthful. Or if it’s a sound bite designated to gull as many people as possible.
The biggest reason you should remain apolitical is that after the elections are over, after the winners have celebrated and the losers have promised to come back next stronger and beat the incumbent, you are left with fewer sales, fewer fans, and the feeling that you didn’t accomplish much professionally, even though you felt so passionately about your candidate prior to the election.
Believe as you want. No one is telling you to do otherwise. Believe in freedom of speech, but remember—your social media posts will remain on the internet forever, even if you delete them. Instead of promoting the divisive discord, promote laughter, music, and books. Entice people away from the hatred with your stories and show them that the rest of the world does exist during an election year.