I've been reading Writer's Market, and after Nancy's post on Stats I'm considering the concept of building a platform and social networking. That's something we're expected to do as writers to promote ourselves because things are so different now. It sounds like a lot of hard work. Now, I'm not squawking and definitely up for it, but I do have a few questions.

Everyone who is anyone is on Facebook, except me.

I've been encouraged, coaxed and begged, but the whole privacy issue holds me back. Once you post something on facebook, regardless of how well you block it, it can still be hacked. I do not kid you. I work with fraudulent cases. If they can't hack into your stuff they will leap onto your friend's facebook and explore your privacy there. Be careful what you post.

I'm a writer.

Once my books get published, people might want to know about me, so that tosses privacy out the window.
What about Twitter? I have a Twitter account I never use because I'm concerned that it's going to take too much time away from everything else.

Also, I'm not quite sure how to use it.

My questions are for those of you out there who have Facebook or Twitter. Do you like it? Do you use it often? What do you use it for?

I basically say what I have to say for the day on my blog because when wound up properly I can ramble on and on. Granted, only writers visit the blog, whereas something life Facebook could attract a myriad of individuals. I blog at work so that it doens't affect my writing or family life. I can read comments on my phone. It's great.

So...any words of advice from those more learned than I?


  1. I don't have a Facebook account and I do not plan on getting one. I have a Twitter account, but I don't tweet. I use it to keep updated on various agents and websites. Also, I don't really know how to use it either.

    The blog is the only social media outlet I use, and it already eats up more time than I like. I don't see myself expanding anytime soon. :)

  2. Social media means you have to be social Laila.:)
    You "network" which means, yes you join Facebbook
    and Twitter or where ever you might find people who want to read or publish your work. I am still learning everything, and I agree that it's good to be cautious. If you're going to be traditionally published with an agent, then you don't really need to worry about it because they are supposed to do all your advertising and marketing for you. If, on the other hand, you are doing everything yourself, then I don't think there is a way out of trying to meet others--even possible hackers. I use Twitter to find out where the best blogs are. Just put in your favorite topic and if people are talking about it on Twitter, you will get to read various blogs or websites about your subject. I didn't know it worked that way, and I was holding out for a long time. It really is fun!

  3. Thank you ladies for the info. I'm definitely pursuing traditional pub for now so I won't be in a hurry to leap onto facebook. I do like the idea of using Twitter check up on agents and find new blogs though. I might have to get on Twitter and play with it so I can figure out how to use it. Thanks again.

  4. All excellent questions, Laila.

    I don't use Facebook, other than a "friends and family" account, and I'm seldom on there. I've heard about the security issues.

    I DO have a Twitter account, and have been learning how to maximize its effectiveness. Making pretty good progress, as much as can be expected from this techno-dinosaur anyway. I link everything back to my blog and use Blogger as the "hub" for my social networking. For the writer's social networking, that is.

    Here's my take on the whole thing. It's all about building your "brand." I'm trying to get Bryce Daniels out there in front of everyone. Yes, I use it to follow agents and blogs. Nathan Bransford is big on personalizing your query when you get to that point. I guess, being a former agent, he should know what works. You can go overboard, but it's amazing the tidbits you can pick up from Twitter. I've had some "personal" conversations with a few agents. You know, fun stuff. Not hounding or stalking.

    I want my target agent to recognize "Bryce" when he comes forward in the form of a query or manuscript. It's one more little edge that might put me ahead of the pack.

    You, more than anyone, know that I am relatively new to all this and have no right to claim myself as an expert. But I hope you also know that I am always willing to help, should you ever need it. I'm an e-mail away.

  5. Thanks Bryce. That is wonderful advice. I haven't approached any agents on Twitter. Heck, I haven't played with Twitter since day one. Like I said, I'm not sure how to mess with it. I have a feeling Bryce Daniels is going to be big. Good luck! Don't give me the go ahead to email you. I just might do it.

  6. I use Facebook to connect with family, friends, and other writers. When I'm about to post something, I always think about who's going to read it. If I felt any qualms whatsoever, then I wouldn't post. But what I post is book related generally, or it's about grandchildren and kids. Nothing monumental. I've seen some stuff on other pages that makes me squirm for the author.

    As for blogging, it took awhile to relax and share who I am. I still hold back, but I want readers and other authors to know my place is open to them to express themselves, or simply to feel they're not alone. It's a big world, but we're really all looking for the same thing: fellowship and respect. I think it's easier to get it if you give it.

    Great post, Laila. Thanks for joining my blog.

  7. I don't use Twitter and have no desire to at all. I tried several times to get on there. I think I MIGHT have opened an account actually but I really couldn't tell. I refuse to use something that is so not user-friendly. I just cannot figure it out nor do I even understand the concept of it. I think that's where my real problem with it comes in. I don't understand the concept of it.

    Honestly, the only places I've ever connected with other writers have been on writing/agent blogs either in forums or in the comments section.

    I am on Facebook but it is a family and friends thing. My friend list is very small, especially compared to other peoples'. Most of my "friends" have over 400 people on their friends list. I have under 150. I've pared it down too. There are still some people from high school on there that I don't know that well but I've left them on my friends list because whenever I post about my writing, they are super supportive and I'm hoping one day if I ever get published, they'll go out and buy my book, like it and recommend it to others.

    I tried opening a "public" page for one of my books but since I have absolutely nothing to put on the page right now, I've abandoned it. If my books ever get picked up by a publisher, I would certainly do more with Facebook using a public page, not my personal page.

    I do enjoy Facebook though. At least my personal use of it really helps me keep in touch with family who live far away. My brother in Kentucky had a baby yesterday. If it weren't for Facebook, I still wouldn't have seen a picture of her! It can be weird though. If I post a picture of my kid doing something (like painting a birdhouse) and we run into a friend or family member later that day they'll say, "so you guys were painting birdhouses today, huh?" That kind of thing can be very disconcerting but I've just learned to post a lot less.

    Also Ms. Butler makes a great point--you just have to use common sense when posting. Don't post things you don't want others to see or read or that you might regret later.

  8. @ Joylene. Thanks Joylene. It's surprising to see how everyone steers differently. Some like Twitter, others facebook. It's sound advice about watching what you post. Not so long ago a lady was fired here. Apparently she was angry at someone at work and posted on her facebook that she was going to stab the woman...something to that effect. There's nothing private about the social media. So if anyone out there is listening...I love my job, I love my job... :)

    @ Lisa. Thanks Lisa. That's my problem with Twitter too. I was over at Jessica Faust's blog one day and she was raving about Twitter, so I gave it a try. As a matter of fact I think I might have two account names out there. I Twittered a blog post. Don't know what the heck happened to it. You and Joylene both stated that we should watch what we write. Who knows who might read it. ...^-^... I keep thinking when the time comes I might have to go back through my blog and censor a few items. On second thought...nah...let them take me as I am. I can't believe someone pointed out you guys were painted birdhouses.

  9. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter--and while I can see the possible benefits of having an account, I'm really not inclined to join in on the social networking frenzy. I know people say that it's a good idea to get your name out there as an author, but I don't see it as absolutely necessary.

    Just my two cents. :)

  10. I don't have a Facebook either! Used just my blog and Twitter to promote my first book last fall. Still not sure on Twitter, but I do Tweet daily. Sometimes I get hooked into goofy conversations.

  11. Hi, Laila! Thank you for your comments on Sam's blog. I will now be following you as well!

  12. @Golden Eagle. Feel free to drop in your two cents any time. Agents seem to be placing such an emphasis on the social network that I just had to find out what we as writers are doing. Thank you.

    @Alex J. Cavanaugh. Yet another writer that doesn't care for facebook, hmm. I wouldn't mind conversing on Twitter, but each time I see something funky like #f$%%^...you get the gist, I don't know what to make of it. Thanks for your input.

    @Norma. You are very welcome. I enjoyed Sam very much. It brought back fond memories. Glad to have you here. :)

  13. Well, I'm not the right person to advise because I'm dreading the whole marketing/networking thing almost as much as I'd like to have something out there to promote.

    I have a Facebook account but don't use it. No Twitter -- too many horror stories about what a time drain it can be. Blogging is my outlet for now, plus connecting with other writers on critique forums.

  14. Well I don't have an agent, and nor do I have a facebook. But I do have a blog, tumblr (I have no idea what this does) and a twitter. My publisher neither encouraged or discouraged me to do any of this, I just think that its the best way I have (that is only way I should say) of reaching out to a wider audience.

    I still feel icky about getting a facebook -- I imagine it is rulled by an old girlfriend of mine who is just waiting for me to set foot in her dominion to enact her long planned revenge. But I think i'll get one for Magickless when it finally comes out. I even made a youtube page for a book trailer I'm working on -- god don't get me started on book trailers. Thats a post for my blog... sigh... but it is the reason actually that I think all this social media is important. You need to have a network in place so that when you cast your work to the wind, others are already paying attention.


  15. @Botanist. It looks like many of us dislike the whole social media except for bloggin. I enjoy connecting with other writers most of all, but suppose eventually there will be a need for the other other options.

    @Travis. Not sure what Tumblr is. For some reason it makes me think of little monkeys. That's funny about Facebook being ruled by an old girlfriend...never thought of it that way. My stepson just had a bad experience because of Facebook, makes me like it less. Agents do seem to be raving about using book covers for your Facebook page though.

  16. I have a Twitter account I've never used. I don't even know if I wrote down my own info in order to use it. Can't say that I like the whole concept either. I can't say much in 140 characters. But I do like Facebook. I use it to keep in touch with family since they all live at least 1000 miles away. And I love chatting with long distance friends, too, like Lisa. I keep my list as close to 120 as possible & cut folks out who never talk to or contact me. And I can decide who I WANT to see. Some people put way too much content out there on a daily basis. Having said all that, I recently had a very ugly scene out on my FB page. A lifelong friend had some kind of mental breakdown. I had to cut her off. Very sad. You just have to be careful what you put out there & constantly check your privacy & security settings.

  17. Nancy, my family has been after me for years to get on Facebook, but I just feel it's a waste of time. A cell phone is a wonderful thing. I talk to them every week, so why use time I could spend writing? I know it does have it's uses.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.