5 Things a Writer Should Never Say on Social Media and 5 Things That They Should :)

If you use sites like Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools, as I do myself, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t say in public.  This is my rather tongue in cheek list of Dos and Don’ts.

Dont’s

  1. Don’t ever say Buy My Book – yes I know I do this, but it’s boring and annoying and I am trying to give it up. Or at least be slightly more subtle.
  2. Don’t put up posts stating what a terribly hard and underpaid job writing is – no one wants to know that. As far as they’re concerned you are living the dream. At least have the grace to pretend you are!
  3. Don’t write posts confessing you’re just about to go into rehab or are being treated for depression – unless you’re writing the kind of book that is being inspiring about such things and offering solutions/cures. In which case, fill your boots.
  4. Don’t put up photographs of your aunt/uncle/second cousin’s funeral flowers. This may be OK if you use social media just for friends, but it’s not terribly professional if your posts are public. Or at least I don’t think it is. I have enough heartbreak of my own without anyone else’s. Is that harsh?
  5. Don’t put up shocking photos of battered animals or cruelly treated livestock with petitions attached. Please. For same reasons as number 4.

Dos

  1. Do talk about things other than writing. Pets, family, cakes, the weird man you saw on the way to the shop – all make excellent subject matter.
  2. Do take the mickey out of yourself as much as you like. This is always fun and quite entertaining. And fun is what most people expect from social media.
  3. Do put up entertaining/helpful quotes from other writers – or make some up yourself. Be upbeat and amusing.
  4. Do freely share writing help/advice you have come across or learned yourself from your writing experience.
  5. Do share any pictures/jokes/promos from other friends if you think they’re of interest to your followers..

The most helpful advice I ever received about writing was from a very experienced Mills & Boon author.  “Never forget,” she said with a gracious smile, “that we are in the entertainment business.”

I think her advice was very pertinent for social media too.

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