Social Media for Writers - What You Need to Know

Social media can be a minefield for writers. Seen by publishers as a cheap, convenient and effective way for writers to communicate with their readers, it makes many writers new to the medium very nervous. Which is better - Facebook or Twitter?

How often should I post or tweet?

What exactly should I be posting or tweeting about?

I spoke to Cormac Kinsella, publicity director of Repforce Ireland for his opinion. (And thanks to Cormac for his time and expertise!)

He said:

Enjoy social media for it's own sake.

Don't just tweet and post when you have a book out.

Engage with other people on social media.

Offer something - share information, links and observations.

Post/tweet about things that you are interested in.

(Books, writing, movies, music . . . whatever you are passionate about and would like to share with others.)

Don't use use it for self-promotion.

He recommended following @nadineoregan @eithneshortall @sineadgleeson and @guardianbooks to see how it's done.

And you can follow Cormac himself here - @cormackinsella

I find a lot of children's book writers and picture book makers use Facebook more than Twitter. Teen readers love Facebook and are not so interested in Twitter. Adults who are interested in children's books are generally on both. Some people post hourly, others post daily or even weekly. As long as you don't bore people, it's completely up to you. Do try to avoid the 'Had eggs for breakfast' type of posts/tweets, unless you are eating them in Paris or they are ostrich eggs!

I have two Facebook pages - one for my Ask Amy Green readers - and one for my adult readers. I also use Twitter - @sarahwebbishere. I dip and out of both daily and find it's a great way to chat to readers, find out book news, and share information and ideas with the wider book community.

Maybe you will enjoy it too. Try it and see. You can always delete your account if it's not for you.

Yours in writing,

Sarah XXX