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fiction, MA Prof Writing, marketing, social media, social networking

5 things I learnt about social media from 10 writers

images-13As part of this Industry Analysis for my in MA Professional Writing, I set out to ask:

what can traditionally-published writers learn from self-published authors, when it comes to marketing fiction via social media?

It was a provocative question, I know – I always have been and probably always will be a journalist at heart…

… but judging by the writers’ workshops and panel discussions I have attended in recent years, it is a question that preoccupies authors right now. In fact, it is clear that the distinction between independent- and traditionally-published authors is waning – not in the book shop, perhaps, but on the Internet.

Social media is now the domain of the ‘conviction author’ – for writers of any ilk, it offers the chance to connect with readers and share their passion.

By way of a conclusion, and a final post on this ‘pop-up’ blog, here are my top five observations from speaking to ten successful writers about their social media habits.

1. It’s not a sell-out to go out selling: writers have always done it, it’s just more visible now.

2. A writer doesn’t have to promote their book on social media, but they’d better have a damn good explanation for why not… and that goes for self- and traditionally-published authors.

3. The internet is not the Wild West: sites like Awesome Indies and other independent reviewers are starting to formalise the online marketing of fiction.

4. Writing tweets that engage people’s attention requires craft in the same way as writing a novel.

5. Don’t be a stranger – yes, writing is a solitary activity when you have your bum in the hotseat, but social media offers a world of support and advice when you’re ready to get back out into the (writing) community.

And as a freebie extra:

6. Try to enjoy it – you go out, you chat to friends, meet new people, talk about books, maybe sell a few. It’s not a bad job, is it?


About jofurniss

I'm a writer, living by the jungle in Singapore.


One thought on “5 things I learnt about social media from 10 writers

  1. Really enjoyed reading you blog posts on this topic. I wonder how tech savvy your typical traditional author is, though?

    I mean, I know writers like Clive Barker and Hilary Mantel use Twitter and Facebook, but I just can’t see others plugging their stuff online. For instance, John le Carre, who you mentioned on the May 6th post, is allergic to computers!


    Posted by Aodan Halligan | May 26, 2013, 6:42 am

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