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Oct 31, 2013

Jo Linsdell talks Social Media Sites No New Writer Should Be Without: Guestpost

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  9:32 AM

I have been waiting in great anticipation for this post. As someone who would like to putblish a book 
in this lifetime, and to start of with self publishing no less, I would like to be as equiped as possible.
I am so happy to meet experts in the field who can help you and me on this journey.
Most writers will tell you, nothing is as rude a wake up call as slogging to write a book only to find out there's no one to read it. The days of publishers and agents being alone responsible for marketing books went out with cassette tapes.
Jo thank you for dropping in to do this.
Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator, award winning blogger, and freelance writer. 
She is also the founder and organiser of the annual online event Promo Day ( 
Her latest release Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is now available from Amazon
Find out more about her at her website
The dictionary definition of social media is "websites and applications used for social networking". Whilst the first sites that spring to mind are probably ones like Facebook, and Twitter (which I'll talk about in a bit), there are lots of other types of social media sites. Blogs, Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube... they all fall into the category. The ever growing choice of social media sites available can leave writers feeling overwhelmed and without a clue about where to start.

Let's start by taking a closer look at why, as a writer, you should you be using social media sites. According to World Internet Stats around 40% of the worlds population is now using the internet. Then there's the increasing use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. This means your target readers are online and therefore you should be too.

So, which social media sites should you be using?


Goodreads is for book lovers. Everyone using this site loves reading. What ever genre you write, this is a must use site. With over 20 million members (who actively post reviews on books they've read), Goodreads is a powerhouse to have in your corner.

The site offers a wide variety of features for authors too. By signing up in their free author program you can create an author profile on site with your photo and bio, share blog posts, publicize upcoming events, share excerpts and other writing, post videos, and even create a quiz about your book. They also offer various ways to promote your book including giveaways, groups, discussion forums, and the possibility to set up a Q&A discussion group for readers.


Facebook is the giant of social media. 1 out of 5 people on the internet uses Facebook. As the most popular social media site (over 1.15 billion users) it's hard to ignore. There's a wide selection of apps and features that allow you to turn your Facebook page into a community hub for your author brand and books.

Since Facebook introduced Graph Search it's now even easy for people to network on site. People can search by name, topic, hashtag etc... meaning it's super easy to find, and therefore market, content.

They've even changes the rules about contests and text allowance on page banners now so there are even more possibilities for what you can do to connect with your audience.

Twitter boasts over 200 million monthly active users and is a powerhouse for sending content viral. Whilst a standard tweet is limited to 140 characters in length there are lots of other ways to share content on site. You can share links (with a killer headline to catch readers attention), post photo's and video's, and even do live Twitter interviews or join in discussions simply by using a hashtag.

Twitter is fast paced and the newsfeed can leave you feeling overwhelmed. No problem. Use the lists feature to sort content into relevant topic areas. Doing a chat and getting lost in the general twitter noise? Use an app or tool like or to filter so you can concentrate on your conversations.

As the nature of Twitter is fast paced and content needs to fit into a tweet, it makes it a great choice for those with limited time. It's also one of the best sites for getting content shared by others and helping it go viral.

Google+ is now the second largest social media site and offers some fabulous features that no other does. My favourite feature there is the hangouts. This inbuilt video conferencing tool is one of the most popular features on site and has the added bonus of allowing you to choose between a private chat and streaming it live to YouTube.

On Google+ you add people to your circles and therefore have the possibility of creating content specifically for target groups of readers. It goes way beyond the simple "public" or "friends" situation. Here you can create circles for specific purposes. e.g. you might create a circle for Publishers, another for blogger in your genre, another for other authors. You can then post content designed for each group with calls to action specific for each one.

There are many other social media sites that merit being on this list but going through them all would take ages (there's a LOT of choice out there!). These "top players" are a good place to start and offer more than enough to keep you busy.

Final word

When starting out, it's best to pick one or two and focus on those until you get more comfortable with social media. Trying to take them all on from word go will leave your head spinning. The ones you pick will depend on you, and the type of content you feel comfortable with, and where your target readers are.
The one thing that's certain though, is that you need to be online somewhere or you're going to be missing out on a HUGE market.

We'd love to hear about your social meda successes of favourite tools. Please share them in comments.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


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