Writing Show: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

This should have gone up sooner. Anyway, it was a packed attendance at last month’s Writing Show.

This should have gone up sooner. Anyway, it was  a packed attendance at last month’s Writing Show. Questions came up almost immediately, especially regarding Twitter, which was highly recommended by the panelists. Below is my review, published in the James River Writers newsletter, Get Your Word On. I’ll add that the discussion was mostly geared around Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, but that there are many other social networking opportunities. Consider MeetUp, Goodreads and LinkedIn. What do you think?

Social media do’s and don’ts for the smart writer

Suppose you have a finished manuscript, a connected agent and a savvy editor. Then all that’s left is to enjoy the launch party and take a long deserved vacation, right? Sorry, but this is no time to relax. It’s time to market your masterpiece, a challenging task that an Internet presence makes easier, said the panelists at the August Writing Show.

Kelly Justice of Fountain Books led the discussion before an audience brimming with questions. What is Twitter? Should I have a separate FaceBook account for my book? How can I make money on my blog? Editor Ron Hogan, “Book Lady” Rebecca Schinsky, and writer Joe Wallace provided the answers with humor, personal stories and cautionary tales.

Twitter is the little birdie telling people about the great novel that was just released. Simple and versatile, Twitter is a fun platform way to network 140 characters at a time. Wallace credits it for his success. Schinsky called Twitter the great equalizer for the way it puts you in immediate contact with other writers at all levels of fame.

Blogs and online journals  — two other popular ways to build an audience — are tools Schinsky knows well. Her blog’s success attracts not only paying advertisers, it also allows her to promote authors, booksellers and others in the industry. Reciprocity is key to all forms of social media: The more you give of yourself, the more you get in return.

Facebook falls between blogging and tweeting. It allows for quick communication and network building like Twitter, while being a central place for people to learn more about you in the manner of a blog.