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Social Media Tips for Unpublished Authors

If you own a business you need to be on social media. It’s where customers find you and how they stay connected with you. It was because of social media (Yelp) that I found my hairdresser and it’s how I’m reminded regularly of why I love my favorite local restaurant (Instagram). If you have any intention of being a published author you have to adapt to social media in some form. If you want to grow a career in publishing, you better get comfortable with it.

While planning a business you don’t need to be on social media. However, the minute you open the doors you better open your social media too.

In the comments on Social Media Tips for Authors a reader asks:

I’ve heard agents say that unpublished fiction authors don’t need to worry about their social media when querying, as long as there’s nothing negative in their accounts. Many also say that having no online presence is okay for an unpublished author and that the agent will give advice on developing a presence after signing the author. Does this advice still hold, or does what you’re saying apply to unpublished authors as well. More specifically, if you received a query and requested a manuscript, would a lack of social media presence make you more likely to reject the manuscript?

You’re right. When querying you don’t need to be on social media, at least not yet. But I do suggest starting your social media sooner rather than later. Waiting until you are published is too late. The earlier you start, the more time you have to get comfortable and establish your brand.

Agents won’t reject a book based solely on the lack of social media, but they could become further interested in an author based on good social media.

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3 comments

  1. Social media is a tool no experienced or wannabe writer can afford to overlook – as long as you don’t spend much time on it. I say “hi” to friends on Facebook, Twitter like a bird, and write two blogs on a semi-regular basis. Want to show off your skills and exercise your writing muscle? Posting pix of cats won’t do that (even if it’s fun)! Blog, baby, blog! My recipe blog is eight years old: (https://nicoleparton.blogspot.com); my “writing” blog is nearly two months old. (https://whatsonnicolepartonsmind.blogspot.com). For any new or experienced writer, a writing blog is by far the most valuable. You’ll dance with words while building name recognition. Twitter offers a valuable connection with writers, agents, and writing groups – and a chance to promote your blog’s URL. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours … Writing is a difficult, solitary pursuit. Social media is a doorway to ideas other than yours.

  2. Jessica, how would you define “good” social media? Being polite and well-mannered? The number of followers? How regularly you post? The relationship between your posts and brand?

  3. Hi, AJ! Jessica’s blog of March 6 mentions author Heather Webber. Ever curious, I clicked on Heather’s link to find she also writes as Heather Webber. While most writers probably don’t have two writing personas, I can see why Heather does; she’s a well-organized, creative, and prolific writer. Heather’s use of social media is outstanding! I’m saving a copy of both Heather’s primary sites. While most writers couldn’t possibly do all she does, her social media sites are an inspiration for future success! Now I’ll shush … I yak on this forum far too often! (PS: You’re an Aussie? Hey, mate! I’ve lived in both Sydney and Melbourne, and have traveled very widely in Oz … VERY widely. My next book will be set in Australia.)

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