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When it Comes to Social Media, Everyone is Reading

Contract negotiations are a tricky thing. While an agent can be just as excited as the author when that offer comes through, the last thing we want is for the publisher to think we’re excited. Just like in poker, you don’t want to show your hand. Too much enthusiasm will make asking for more a whole lot harder.

The same is true for authors during this time period. Social media is a fun place to share the highs and lows of everything that’s going on in your career, but sharing too much during contract negotiations can hinder the work your agent is doing.

One of the first things an editor is going to do when she discovers your book is check out your social media. And when an offer is made, she’s going to keep checking your social media. Even a “woo-hoo, exciting news to come” could be risky, especially if your agent is only negotiating with one publisher. If you have bids from other publishers it’s not likely to hurt you.

While I don’t think you need to quit social media during contract negotiations, I would suggest you keep the negotiations as secret as possible until your agent gives you the go-ahead to announce. You and your agent will be happier in the long run.

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3 comments

  1. My degree is in Media, two and half years later and I’m still amused by the fact, that the people I know who know/understand the workings of media, especially social media the most. Are also the ones who use it the least.

    Social media is a very useful tool, and can make the career of many types of self-employed and small businesses, but people forget that it is a tool. However quick and easy it is, tap away a few lines telling your loved ones everything in your life. When you put a comment on Facebook your not only telling your family and friends your news. But the whole street and town.
    It’s like writing a book, once it’s out there you don’t know who is going to read it.

    If you want to use social media for professional reasons, it’s probably a good idea not to mix that with personal or be prepared to have two accounts and lock your personal one for family only.

    Since each of my kids have become old enough for social media, I keep reminding them. There is a difference between our family’s private life and their social ‘media’ life.
    It’s a difficult concept for them at first, but they are soon greatful for it. I think it’s a good general guideline, but most especially if you want a career where social media can be the make or break of you.

  2. Simplest rule for social media… Would you tell people to their face and shout it from the rooftops? If the answer is no, than it probably shouldn’t be posted.

    If in doubt – don’t post.

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