The Power of Social Networking

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 17 2011

There’s always a lot of talk about Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other social networking sites. We discuss whether you need to join and how to best use them to build an audience for your books. Well, I have a really cool story about the power of social networking.

BookEnds technically closed December 17 for the holidays and for the year, but that doesn’t mean I fully disappear. As I said to one of my authors, I’m really just in hiding. Just to make sure I’m not going to be too overwhelmed when I return, I still check email and answer those I can answer. And, as a frequent social networker, I also tend to stay active on both my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

On December 23, just before I started a day of cooking, I logged on to Facebook and saw this adorable status by Elizabeth Lynn Casey: “I think I’m finally losing it. I just found myself wondering what the ladies of Sweet Briar are doing for this year’s Christmas…” My first thought was that’s a good status. That’s something readers will love.

Apparently Elizabeth’s editor saw the same status, and her first thought was that we should all be thinking about those ladies of Sweet Briar. Within hours of posting the status, Elizabeth’s editor called with an offer for a Christmas book about those ladies of Sweet Briar. So between grating potatoes for latkes and melting chocolate for cookies I was interrupting Elizabeth’s Christmas shopping to negotiate with one of the few editors who was actually still in the office.

And who says nothing happens over the holidays?


21 responses to “The Power of Social Networking”

  1. Avatar Misty says:

    I love this post. You constantly revive hope, Jessica. Thanks for doing that time and time again.

  2. Avatar Angie Fox says:

    Oh that is fantastic. I hadn't heard that story. What a fun way to sign on for a book!

  3. Avatar Steph W. says:

    Wow–congrats to both you and Elizabeth!
    Personally, I think it's very important to have a presence on social networking sites. I know I've read books based on recommendations of tweets. And it's a useful way to broadcast updates to blogs, contests, etc.

  4. Okay… I'm sold! If social networking can get to an editor, I'm in.

    Except someone is using my name – my full name – on Twitter, and it's not me!!!

  5. Avatar Victoria says:

    I was having this discussion just yesterday with an unconvinced writer… social networking is the best way for a midlist author to make some waves and gain a loyal following.

    To know editors may be watching is just icing on the carrot cake!!!

  6. Awesome! Thanks for the encouraging words:)

  7. Avatar Cynthia says:

    It's also why someone like me who is just starting out makes sure we circle the social network.

  8. Avatar Ben says:

    Great story. I particularly like Twitter because people are so business minded over there. I mean, interaction is personal, but it's full of people, scanning to find business opportunities…in our case, the next Stephen King.

    You can follow me a: @BenoitLelievre by the way (sorry, had to do it) 😉

  9. Avatar Anna says:

    My heart just skipped a beat. That's an amazing story.

  10. I think it's great how just sharing your thoughts on Facebook can attract enough attention for a book deal. Awesome!

  11. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I had one book turn into a series thanks to a facebook post just like this. And the book was never supposed to go that far. I wasn't even sure I wanted it to go that far. That was four sequels ago…lol.

  12. Avatar Joan Swan says:

    That is an inspiring story!

    I met and secured two quotes for my debut novel via Twitter from two NYT bestselling authors — both of whom I've cultivated wonderful friendships with since then.

    No one will ever be able to tell me Twitter/Facebook/Blogging is a waste of time.

  13. Avatar Sharla says:

    Love that, it just shows the power of social media. And clearly fit the author very well.

    I'm another one with a firm belief in the benefits of this, since it was a conversation on Twitter that led to the query that led to the request that led to the phone call from my awesome now-agent!! :))

    Even my husband, who is anti-internet and barely knows how to check his email, now thinks Twitter is golden!

  14. Avatar Cynthia Lee says:

    Well, now I'm convinced. I'd better hurry up and become a Twit.

  15. Avatar A.M. Kuska says:

    Having a social presence is very important, I agree. ^^ I'm so glad to hear this wonderful news for you two also. Congratulations!

  16. Avatar Ruth E. Day says:

    My Gran went to Sweet Briar. She would most definitely read that book.

  17. Just like anywhere else, we can, I suppose, gather inspiration for stories from Facebook posts–but it's pretty awesome that this time it was the editor's idea!

  18. Avatar Rebecca Kiel says:

    If the goal is a writing career, there's a business hat sitting on the desk. This hat doesn't sort wizards into houses. Instead, it whispers, "Market your brand, honey!"

  19. Avatar Ms. Khan says:

    Social networking proves a " lifeline in oppression & tyranny" especially in the Third World countries like the Middle East and Pakistan. The example of our group blog, THE TERRORLAND, is just one example which has saved writer Habib Sulemani's life so far.

  20. Avatar Lynne says:

    And this illustrates exactly why you rock. Congrats!