If you are an aspiring writer, you know that social media is an important tool for connecting with writers, editors, agents, and the publishing world in general. Connecting on sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and others, can help you build a community around your interest in writing. This can be an important first step toward publication and then, once you are published, social media will also help you connect with readers and market your book.
How you interact on social media is just as important as your presence there. The critical thing to remember is this: Think before you post.
I’ll use Facebook as an example here, but the idea extends to all forms of social media.
As an aspiring writer on Facebook, you will probably join writers’ groups where you can interact with other aspiring and published authors. These groups are a great way to connect, share information, learn the publishing process, and even meet editors and agents. The connections you make in these groups might also become Facebook “friends”. You send and accept friend requests, and then you interact with these people on your profile along with your family members, neighbors, friends from high school, etc . . .
And this is when things can get sticky.
Think about who your “friends” are. Have you added friends who are editors or agents? Do you have friends who work in the industry and might connect you with someone who can help you get published? Remember that these key connections see everything on your status. How you present yourself there can be an indicator of how it might be to work with you.
Think before you post.
• Your key connections will see how often your posts are negative or complaining.
A positive attitude is an indicator that you might be easy to work with.
• Your key connections will notice how you interact with comments.
How do you react if someone disagrees with something you post? An important part of working with editors and agents is being open to criticism and dealing with it professionally. Agents and editor “friends” on social media might notice if you are polite, careful, and thoughtful in your responses.
• Do you engage in disrespectful speech or gossip?
Talking disrespectfully about others, especially other writers, agents, editors, publishing houses, is never helpful. What you say publicly does matter and does get remembered.
• When you post about yourself, do you show you are confident but also humble?
Confidence in your abilities indicates you don’t give up easily. Humility shows your willingness to learn. You need both confidence and humility when working with editors and agents, especially on that first book.
• What about your personal beliefs?
Think about how much you want to share with those key connections (editors, agents) about your politics or other ideas that might be controversial.
The takeaway is this: If you are serious about getting your book published and you post on social media sites, remember that “friends” on social media might extend beyond those you know personally. If you have invited agents, editors and others in the industry to interact with you on social media, remember they see everything you post. Think before you post. Ask yourself, “Is this something I should share with someone I want to work for?
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