social media presence as an author


#1

hello!

i’m here with some questions around building a writerly social media presence, because i’ve seen lots of different conflicting advice on the topic. :blush:

  • i’m still working on the first draft of a novel. should i make my writer-associated accounts now?
  • should they be separate from my main accounts, like having locked “personal” accounts, but then open “writer” accounts which would be more of a brand, and which i’d use purely for making friends with other writers and following relevant things?
  • what should i call them? i’m quite eager to escape the silly name i’ve chosen on here (and which also dominates 99% of my personal social media lmao), and i was wondering if there are any accepted naming conventions? “name_thewriter” or whatever? what’s common and professional?
  • what platforms should i use? instagram, twitter, goodreads? is a facebook page worth it?
  • should i start a blog? what goes on a writer blog? i’ve tried with a blog before, but lacked direction and never really kept up with it.

sorry for all the rambling! i’m a bit lost, but i think if i’m building somewhat of an online presence here, perhaps i should be making myself accessible to followers elsewhere as well. let me know what you think!


#2

This is the closest I get to social media. The time I spend writing would be greatly diminished by starting now. It may impact sales, when I get around to self publishing, but I’m OK with that. I enjoy writing far too much to lose what precious time I have.


#3

thank you for this feedback! i’m concerned about time, too. i’m in the position of working a practically full-time job that isn’t ideal for writing, so this would have to be another thing i’d need to balance.

at the same time, i am excited to get to know other writers, though. :confused:


#4

It’s best to have at least one novel under your belt. That helps other people identify what genre you write and the writing style you chose to write in :slight_smile:

Most use instagram, twitter and goodreads. Twitter is really good at finding similar writers. There’s a plethora of writers there (myself included). The community is really positive and it’s quite easy to market your works that way.

With a blog, it’s best to keep in mind what you want to have on their and the types of things you’ll be promoting. Also, you have to keep at it all the time too in order to appear active. Once you disappear from that side of things, you may lose a few fans/followers.

At the end of the day, creating a presence based around your writing can be fun and challenging. The most important thing is thinking about the type of things you want to let potential readers know about yourself and the different ways to convey the things you write about etc.

And remember, have fun :slight_smile:

Being a good communicator is essential for this type of thing and if you become good at it, then it’s easier to promote yourself once you take into account publishing/self publishing etc


#5
  1. Sure! Creating hype for your draft and connecting with other writers during the early stages might come in handy later.

  2. Depends on how open you want to be. I have my personal accounts and the brand of AWFrasier separate (also because I’m anonymous under the writer brand) so for me everything related to AWF has its own spot - while my real life accounts never come in contact with my writer brand. I feel like it makes it easier? I’m not sure how many would be interested in my real life anyways, so I just share writing and book cover art on my twitter. And not really anything else.

  3. My handle is just AWFrasier or aw_frasier on Twitter. I don’t think it matters much. I follow a writer who has the silliest handle, but their “name” is their actual author name.

  4. I tried Instagram but it got too annoying having to do everything from my phone. So I have a Twitter and then Wattpad related to writing. I’ve found Twitter super in terms of just connecting with other writers. And then there’s different querying and publishing opportunities on there too. PitchWars is one of the amazing things Twitter offers, so I’d definitely recommend the blue bird for ya.

  5. Depends on what you want, really. @MakaylaSophia is running a blog - she can maybe tell you a little about writer blogs.

Hope this helps :smile:


#6

I’m in the same boat with working a full time job and writing. It isn’t easy to find the balance and can’t imagine trying to add in the troubles that come from social media in most forms.


#7

Just to add with the Twitter comment, agents are always posting what they’re looking for on Twitter. Also, there’s other Pitch Wars type things which gives you a lot of opportunities no matter where you are.

@palestarlightcowboy There’s also loads of writer groups on Twitter and groups based on genres etc that you can be a part of too, which is super helpful. A lot of the time, writers create lists in order to keep track of who they like to follow etc. Sometimes you can even get added to lists of “Upcoming authors” and things like that if writers like what you do etc.

I cannot stress enough how big being a writer on Twitter is. It’s massive compared to here :wink:


#8

Well I’m no expert but I think a social media presence will go a long way when it comes to your writing.

I used to have a separate Instagram account for writing and personal life. It became overwhelming trying to balance writing, work, and two social accounts. So I’ve just kinda merged the writing and personal accounts and decided not to be a closeted writer xD

It’s going great so far. Had a date with another writer last night and I maybe joining a writing collective.

I totally reccomend Instagram. It’s fun.


#9

It’s best to have at least one novel under your belt.

see, this is what i keep seeing - i got a lot of great advice from @MichaelJSullivan’s thread on here, and i know he said not to really bother with marketing until you hit the magic number 3, if you’re self-publishing.

on the other hand, though, for a trad approach, i’ve seen that agents might take a longer, more considered look at queries if the author has a solid presence on more social media than wattpad (i also keep seeing that wattpad numbers won’t be useful unless your read count is into the millions). so i makes me wonder if i should start marketing myself now so that it’s a genuine, slow-build of online friends and potential followers.

Also, you have to keep at it all the time too in order to appear active.

you’re totally right; i think if i want to do a blog, i need to come up with a backlog of subjects i’m interested in to write short articles on, and then have a solid schedule for posting. i’d also need to research the types of content that it’s common to post on whatever sort of blog i want.

AHHH. it’s hard. it’s gonna be a real balance of enjoying myself & having fun, while also trying to be intelligent about what i’m posting almost from a business perspective.

thank you for your response!

also if anyone wants to drop their handles in here (if that’s allowed?) i’d love to follow you guys and get to know you!


#10

Lmao it’s @jo_dahlia on Instagram


#11

True, but the other thing that agents know is the fact that anyone can comment on your work and help edit it. Some works could be edited to the point that it’s vastly different from the writer’s original style. Also, the millions of reads being taken into consideration isn’t actually true. You’ll find a lot of the millions of reads aren’t actually that great and is only a reflection of what readers find popular. Sure, some of the more well known wattpad writers have been able to get further with their writing due to popularity, but it may be possible that the agent would look at the continued rate of ones success on wattpad. After all, it is a massive risk to the agent if the writer on wattpad is only known through wattpad. Showing other signs of social media influence can help this decision making process. However in saying this, it depends on what the agent is looking for and the influence the publishing company they work for has.It can be very subjective, but it depends on what everyone is after from both parties (the writer and the agent).

Agreed. I’ve seen horror writers try blogging a bit as well as Wattpadding and they ended up getting nowhere because they tried to build their presence too fast. It sucks when that happens, but having a build is crucial :slight_smile:

It can be. With working a full time job, writing and using social media, it can be a struggle sometimes. The best way is to chip away at things. Take your time. Building everything up takes time and thnking about what the outcome you want for your works should be the number one priority on the list. Yes, thinking in terms of business may be difficult, but it depends on your background and experience as well.

And remember, have fun. I can’t stress that enough (there’s also writing games on Twitter, which can be a lot of fun and it helps writers connect with you).


#12

Depends on how open you want to be. I have my personal accounts and the brand of AWFrasier separate (also because I’m anonymous under the writer brand) so for me everything related to AWF has its own spot - while my real life accounts never come in contact with my writer brand. I feel like it makes it easier? I’m not sure how many would be interested in my real life anyways, so I just share writing and book cover art on my twitter. And not really anything else.

i think i’ll likely do this. would you recommend anonymity? i’m not sure why it makes me nervous, the idea. i’m also not sure which version of my name to use, whether to have initials, whether to use my surname… if you’re anonymous, do you link to your author profiles at all on your private profiles? how many of family/friends/etc know who you are? sorry if these are all stupid questions!

And then there’s different querying and publishing opportunities on there too. PitchWars is one of the amazing things Twitter offers, so I’d definitely recommend the blue bird for ya.

thank you for the recommendations! happy to take ANY you have! :blush:

thanks also for taking the time to write such a detailed response!


#13

thank you, i’ll def hop over there and use it more efficiently!


#14

how do you use instagram, personally? i think i’d run out of things to take photographs of! :tired_face:


#15

Just popping in to say I’ll answer some of your questions once I boot my computer up in a little while. I am obsessed with social media management and marketing and have been doing it for a number of years now!


#16

thank you SO much!

when you do, i have another question to add: for those who are into blogging, which is the best platform to use, and how do you make your blog unique aesthetically? are you coders? do you purchase some sort of premium package? do you pay a web designer? i’d love to know!

(i know it’s not as important as the content, of course, but as a web designer it has some value to me haha)


#17

There are no stupid questions here, so just shoot them at me :smile:

I can’t advice for or against anonymity. The reason I do it is because my real name is connected to my photographer brand. So I don’t want the two to mix - also because I write mature rated fantasy stories that I don’t have a need for my mum to know about :joy:

If you’re fine with using your real name and everyone possibly knowing you’re writing: go for it!

If not, go with anonymity.

That’s all up to you. I’ve made up my author name. A Writer Frasier = A. W. Frasier, because that’s how creative I am. You can do whatever you want, really. There’s no right or wrong there.

Nope. None whatsoever. I don’t want my real life to mix with my writer’s life.

None in my family knows I’m doing this. I have 4 IRL friends who knows I’m on Wattpad, but they haven’t read anything. I’ve showed my actual profile to 2 of them, but that was mostly to show them my follower and read count :joy:

They think it’s pretty cool that I’m writing and sharing stuff online and that people are reading and commenting, so that’s nice. But it doesn’t go beyond that, which I’m fine with. None of them are very interested in Fantasy anyways - which is the only genre I write in.

You’re very welcome! Always happy to help :smile:


#18

I’m on mobile and can answer this quickly — i’d definitely recommend Wordpress is you want to invest in yourself. If you’re a web designer and can handle the coding, you could get hosting for the .org version fairly low on something like BlueHost. By doing that, you can completely code the site as you like from top to bottom, add plugins, etc.

I’m currently on wordpress.com, but I’m debating switching to .org hosting so I can code. I have a personal plan on the .com version, but I can’t edit the CSS, add outside plugins, etc. The personal plan does remove advertisements and allows me to connect my domain name. I code front-end, so I wish I had a bit more wiggle room, but it works for me and what I need, and is low maintenance. The .com version has tons of free themes to choose from and some premium ones. You can’t upload your own themes on personal and below and have to choose from their database. (This is mine right now: http://makaylasophia.com). There are some short codes which makes customization a bit more, though.

So, you could buy premium stuff, or you don’t have to. It’s as much as you want, but with anything premium will give you more customization. If you want your own .com domain name, that always costs money. I always recommend namecheap since they include WhoIS privacy protection.

Before I was on Wordpress.com, I used Tumblr and just connected my domain name. You couldn’t even tell it was a tumblr site, and I coded it from top to bottom! So that’s always another option.

TL;DR you can pay as much or as little as you want to get into blogging.

Lol, that ended up being a longer answer than I anticipated!


#19

this is SO helpful! thank you so much!

my main problem is that i just don’t really like my surname :joy: i might go with first and second name initials and a different surname, because i don’t mind it being linked back to me, but i think i’d also appreciate the distance between brand-me and regular-everyday-me.

thank you for everything else, though, i really appreciate learning other writers’ motivations and such! so interesting and helpful.


#20

i’m only really into front-end too, but my partner has some back-end experience so maybe he could help if i needed it. i suppose, again, it depends how much time i’m going to spend where. would it be better to have a completely custom-coded, aesthetically-perfect blog that might take me 28375 years to make, or a less-editable theme that’s up in a better amount of time so i can start to write content, which would be my focus? WHO KNOWS.

thank you for all this information! considering my job is in computer science, i’m woefully dumb about how a lot of this works.