Saturday, November 5, 2022

Will Paid Social Media Subscriptions Help Authors?



Billionaire Elon Musk is publicly mulling whether to have a pay portal for verified users to Twitter. Not only does it put money in his pocket, it will perhaps create two entirely different communities: a free one and a pay-to-say one. What will be the gain or loss to authors under such a scenario?

First, other platforms are likely to follow what Twitter does if it successfully grows revenue without alienating users and advertisers. Thus, there will be a doubling in the number of places one can socialize on, further fractioning audiences and diluting their differing experiences.

Second, the paid platform may help filter out the nut jobs. Presumably, those who rail against everything and everyone won’t want to part with a nickel to support their privilege to rant. So, perhaps we can carve out a clean space online to share without despair. Musk says charging and verifying users may reduce the number of bots and fake accounts that spew trash talk.

Third, such a move will further segment or isolate our society into different tribes — the paying vs the mooching. The price to pay for being poor or cheap will leave you amongst the crazies who would savage Mother Theresa.

Fourth, and this will be of most importance to the book publishing world, a two-tier system in social media will separate those who only enjoy what is free vs those willing to pay for things, ie: books. So a paid platform may allow for a filtering of keeping out those who are unlikely to pay for a book.

Maybe, as a result of charging monthly fees for access to social media forums, we will see the development of better quality platforms. Authors looking to market their books will soon understand that their potential buyer will exist on paid platforms.

Then again, screw Musk and other billionaires who will end up crushing the free part of free speech.

After more then two decades of free social media platforms bringing all kinds of people together, dating back to MySpace, we now are on the precipice of monetizing the mere right to communicate with one another.

Twitter doesn’t produce any content; it merely permits its flow. The customers create the content — and now you soon may have to pay for the very content that everyone provides for free — and will soon have to pay for the right to post.

When radio came out, and later television, you had to buy a device to access either. But the one-way content consumption was free. Then came paid premium and ad-free TV like HBO, and cable TV. Then there were different packages of channels at various price points. And advertising crept in. Then ad-free streaming came for a price. Then lower-cost versions with ads arose. I guess free social media is now about to become just like those other mediums.

Authors hate having to use and rely on social media, particularly Twitter, to promote and market themselves. Asking them to shell out a hundred bucks for one service — and more for other services may soon give them yet another reason to avoid social media.

But don’t worry. You can rant about this online — for a fee.

Please Contact Me For Book PR Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:



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