Friday Speak Out!: You Oughtta Write a Book! (Part 3 – The Importance of Social Media in Helping Your Book Get “Found”)

Friday, January 23, 2015
by Heather Heyford

Chances are, when you get published the first time, it will be digitally. You’ll want to develop an on-line personality, aka brand, well ahead of time. Check out my website, facebook page and Pinterest boards and you’ll see I that use the same head shot and color of blue across all my platforms. Once you have established your brand, choose two or three platforms—starting with your own website, because this will become your home base for your book sales—and apply it universally.

Regardless of the path to publishing you choose, selecting a few social media platforms to be active on is an integral part of promoting yourself and your books. A sampling of some of the most common platforms as of today are facebook, twitter, Pinterest, goodreads, instagram, and youtube. But keep abreast of trends—new platforms are born all the time.

Develop a set of rules you can live with, such as never posting after drinking, never engaging in mouth battles, and never responding to negative reviews. The key to presenting a good image to the reading public is to be personable, not personal. If engaging in political or controversial subjects, only do it as part of your brand. Speaking for myself, I try to always be upbeat and entertaining in my posts. There’s enough negativity in the world, right? Others try to post helpful hints or pictures of the setting of their writing, eg., Scotland or the wine country.

It’s also important to genuinely interact with others instead of merely posting original comments all the time. Commiserate with others’ troubles and congratulate them on their successes.

A very famous author once said: The difference between being unpublished and published is one second. Like anything else, the more you use social media, the better you get at it. You can never be ready enough for the day your book becomes a reality.

Following is a list of books that helped me tremendously, both before and after I published. Best of luck with your writing career!

Recommended Reading

The craft of writing:
  • Writing 21st Century Fiction—High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maass
  • Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love
  • Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
  • Hooked by Les Edgerton
  • The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlant
Maximizing the use of social media:
  • Rise of the Machine by Kristin Lamb

(Note: You can read "You Oughtta Write a Book! Part 1— Discover Your Style of Writing" here and "You Oughtta Write a Book! Part 2- The Digital Revolution  Or, There’s More than One Way to Skin a Cat"here.)

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Heather Heyford is the author of Wine Heiresses Series: A Taste of Chardonnay,  A Taste of Merlot, A Taste of Sauvignon, and A Taste of Sake, from Kensington Publishing. She is represented by The Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Visit her at, and

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Margo Dill said...

Thank you for the list of resources! :) It's a great place to start.

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