Author Advice: Social Media Etiquette

Posted March 17, 2016 by Jamie in Author Advice // 5 Comments

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Why Social Media Etiquette is Important…

Much like with bloggers, Authors need to have proper social media etiquette — maybe even more so. Even though it should not be the case, readers see Authors as their Books and if an author does something on social media that turns a reader off from them, they are most likely not going to pick up their book. On the other hand, if an author handles their social media properly, it can have the opposite effect. Rather than break this up like the Blogger Advice series on the different social media websites, this will be a general “Dos and Don’ts” for social media that can be used across different mediums.

When Requesting Reviews…

Even if you follow a reviewer on Twitter and have a relationship with them, it is for the best to follow their review policy as stated on their blog. From personal experience, it is easier to keep track of requests from authors or publishers if I have an email to refer back to rather than a tweet or a Goodreads message. As well, many bloggers only accept certain genres or formats and this will be on their website. For your best chance at an approval, follow their instructions to a “T.” We have also outlined the proper way to email or fill out contact forms in this post, which you can always refer back to. You can see more of our advice about review requests in our previous advice post about them!

When Someone Writes You A Review…

Every review is helpful, whether positive or negative. This review shows that someone took the time to read your book and commented on it, which may not always be the case for some authors. Bloggers get busy and not everyone reviews every book that they read. No matter the case, it is best not to comment on the review, even if it is positive.

As a blogger, even a “Thank You!” from the author can be too much. It makes us feel as though we are being watched and scrutinized, which can lead to us not wanting to read or review books by you again. Obviously if someone writes you a negative review, it is best not to comment, especially to argue. This will not work in your favour and will cause more people to be less likely to read your book.

Interacting with Bloggers…

Each blogger is a person who is spending their time and energy on their blog for fun. Make sure that your interactions with them do not take away from this. Do not pressure a blogger into reading or liking your book. I have seen and heard horror stories where an author tells the blogger if they don’t give them a five star review to not even bother, which is the quickest and easiest way to ensure you never get a five star review. Most bloggers would be more than willing to feature you on their blog through a guest post or interview, however it is still best to request this through their email. Remember that bloggers are doing this for free and because they love it, they are not review or feature machines and do not have to promote any book if they do not want to.

Promotion of Your Novel…

Just like with bloggers, your entire Twitter timeline should not focus on promoting your novel. You should use your social media to interact with other authors and bloggers to realize the full potential of social media. Of course it is important to create buzz about your novel, but do not send tweets to people that say “I see you are enjoying this novel, you should read mine next” because that is the surest way of not having that person read your novel. As well, instant Direct Messages when someone follows you back that promote your novel are not helpful. I am more likely to unfollow you and not pick up your book than click on the link. And do not threaten anything extreme if someone does not pick up your novel. I have heard from a friend that an author messaged them saying “If you don’t pick up my novel, I will drink bleach.” That is horrible. Do not do this.

And that’s it! Bloggers, do you have any more advice for Authors on how to use social media to their advantage?

5 responses to “Author Advice: Social Media Etiquette

  1. Hi, just reading this blog on social media. Of course I completely understand the majority of what you say but I would feel rude if I didn’t send a thank you to someone who has put effort and time into reading my book and then bothered to review it. Are you saying you don’t like a thank you posting on the public channels or would feel uncomfortable with a message to that effect too.?

    • Honestly it depends on how you say it. Reviews and reviewing are a space for readers and bloggers and having authors in them makes it feel less “safe” in a sense. To say just generally thank you or to promote a positive review is something authors do but be careful. Just use your best judgement and discretion.

    • I second what Jamie has said. If I’ve written something positive, then I don’t mind a thank you and even a full sentence in response, especially if I’ve said something like, “[author], when can we have the next book?” However, seeing a notification that an author has responded to a less-than-stellar review often fills me with anxiety, as I, too, have heard stories of authors getting defensive. That being said, I have yet to experience an aggressive author. *Knocks on wood*

      I, personally, think it’s great to interact with authors on Twitter when I’ve reviewed their book and enjoyed it. It’s also lovely when an author tweets about my review or retweets one of my tweets.

      Does this help at all?

  2. I really love this post, Jamie. I get what you mean with the ‘thank you’ thing, but at the same time I do appreciate when authors at least acknowledge the review. I’ve had some who have never replied to emails when I’ve sent the link—I just like to know that they have seen the review. If they don’t reply then, even if that book was a five stars, I feel less interested in any sequels.

    • Yes, replying to an email is just common courtesy. I meant more along the lines of searching out reviews on the Internet to read them then reply to them (which has happened to me, mostly on Goodreads)

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