Social Media: Making the Best of You

Once upon a time, there were writers. A lot of writers. And they wrote books and, mostly, that was it. Sometimes they may have featured on the radio to talk about current literature, but in the main, readers never heard from the writers of their favorite books. They might have never even known what they looked like.

Things are very different now. Being a successful writer requires being a presence, having a presence. We have forums like Twitter and Facebook to instantly connect with other writers and readers. We do book signings and appearances and tours to publicize our work. When you’re just starting out, all of this can be daunting.

But there are some basics to self-publication which can help make the waters clearer. Here are my top five tips for publicizing yourself via the internet.

1. Be nice.

Don’t be tempted to say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person. Being a witty, sharp social commentator can be a useful skill, but don’t say anything to hurt anyone’s feelings, or anything that might come back to bite you later.

2. Reply.

When other people say nice things about you or your work, or even if they don’t say nice things, reply if you can. Even if it’s just a simple, “Thank you.” It’s a great opportunity to win lifelong fans.

 3. Be current.

If you can, comment on the things that are happening around you. That said, if it’s something you don’t understand, or don’t feel like you can contribute intelligently to, it’s best to leave it alone.

4. Don’t be pushy.

Nothing gets more annoying than those tweets constantly asking to “Retweet my book” or “Rush out and buy a copy now.” If you’re using Twitter or Facebook, these things are social networks. The keyword is social. Build up rapport, don’t just crash by only advertising what you’ve got.

5. Be the best you can be.

When it comes to marketing yourself, the best thing you can do is your best work. Respond to deadlines on time. Always send in your best work. Eventually, enough people will appreciate it and word of mouth will spread.

Social networking can be a great way to advance your position in the writing world. With these tips in mind, give it a go and share yourself with the world.


Helen Dring is a fiction writer from Liverpool, England. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing and is currently writing her first novel. She likes fairy tales, ghost stories and modern history.

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