After a weekslong break in the sultry telenovela spoof, Jane the Virgin returned with another author dilemma that agents and publishers just recently started talking about: social media.
Jane’s romance novel finally comes out to the tune of 10,000 units. This makes Jane nervous since, like most new authors, she assumed more books would be published. With the underwhelming number of books available, she worries about the marketing.
The marketing team tells her she needs to get book buyers with unveiling her dramatic life — from being accidentally inseminated with a hotelier’s sperm by the hotelier’s ob-gyn sister while a virgin to losing her police officer husband in a twisted drug ring scheme associated with the hotel. These events and more — as you can imagine — were documented in the local news, therefore her notoriety could attract readers. It’s not the classy way Jane wants to find an audience.
Though Jane doesn’t want to share her life, her publisher tells her she needs to do just that through social media to get 20,000 followers to qualify for the Miami book festival. Yes, that many to talk at a book festival. And her social media channels are lacking, but luckily her father, a telenovela superstar with thousands upon thousands of followers, plans to help her. The romance department opens up for Jane with her father’s younger hot co-star actually getting her the followers by faking a public breakup.
The episode ends happily with Jane chatting about her life on stage with her favorite author, Maria Semple of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, autographing three books, and having 5,000 more books published.
Again, Jane’s novelist life comes together so well with some real-life hiccups. When I heard the advice from literary agents about upping social media to market your book last year at the Los Angeles Times book festival, I couldn’t believe the added amount of work to be an author. It’s a new phenomenon to use social media to fetch book sales, even before there’s a book. Modern technology makes life harder sometimes. Now, back to Twitter to see if my latest post attracted any followers.