Thursday, July 23, 2009

help wanted: social media experiences

This fall, I’ll be presenting at a number of conferences on the topic of social media. Specifically, I will be chatting about the many ways social networking sites (eg. twitter, facebook, shewrites) benefit writers.

As I would like to share real examples of how writers can benefit from interacting with others online, I am asking you to share your experiences with me. Whether you want to keep the names between you and me, or you’re not concerned about anonymity is up to you. I’ll only disclose with workshop attendees what you agree to share.

Moving past the obvious benefits of public profiles, making friends, and using RSS feeds, I am hoping to discover tangible experiences of writers of all stages and all genres. Some of the stories I would love to hear about include the following suggestions:
  • An author develops a working relationship with a freelance editor
  • A publisher discovers and recruits a new voice for their magazine, newspaper, or anthology
  • An author is discovered and contacted by an editor, agent, or other paying market
  • A collaboration is developed through a relationship initiated online
  • A writer is offered an opportunity to speak at a conference or workshop
  • An author’s work published online is acquired by another media outlet/publisher
  • A really interesting friendship is developed that may not have otherwise emerged if it weren’t for social networking
  • Evidence of sales increase or readership linked to specific online activity
  • Your blog caught the attention of an editor, agent, publicist, etc
  • Any number of other positive working relationships and benefits that came about because of using twitter, facebook, myspace, goodreads, shewrites, or any of the other sites

You know the experiences you’ve had. I’d love to hear your personal success stories about how social media has benefited you, improved your readership, or improved your sales/contracts, etc. I don’t need to know all the details, but I would love to be able to share with conference attendees some of the tangible experiences real working writers have benefited from as a result of creating an online presence.

To submit your experience, send an email to

Give as many details as you like, but be sure to let me know anything you want kept between us. As an example, you may have had an experience with a well-known author or a mega publishing house and no
t want to name them by name. That’s fine. You can still share the story without identifying all parties. So long as your story is yours, real, and something that truly benefited you, I want to hear about it. Also please feel free to mention your website and publications if you want me to share that info with workshop attendees, so they can learn more about you – if you want. I’m happy to send people your way, but only if you want to share your links and publications.

Thank you to all who submit an experience or two. If you’ve had the kind of experience I am talking about, you know how valuable social networking can be for an author. Thus, I thank you for allowing me to share such positive examples with others looking for a reason to create an online presence.

Remember to send your experiences to

Until tomorrow, happy reading!


  1. Hi, Lori,

    Well, I just started networking about the first of May. As of yet, no real motivational success stories. I have met some very nice folks, however, through blogging and, as a way to promote that, Twitter and Facebook.

    My publisher says getting really connected through these media takes time. She uses the cocktail party analogy where you just have to mingle and eventually the topic of your book pops up. Additionally, I gather it’s a two way street, where I might be able to do something to help promote someone else. This week, for example, I’m helping a very fine author with her blog posts while she’s doing other things. So, it works out.

    Thank you for the very complete response about critique groups. I did check out, AND, found a group in Albuquerque, but, it was full. My next attempt will be to join Sisters-in-Crime and try to get into one of their groups.

    I’ve never been a big fan of groups, but, thought I would at least try. My wife, bless her heart, loves my second book…but, she is my wife. (Grin)

    Best regards, Galen

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  2. Hi Galen,

    I hope you do find a group to connect with. Sometimes all it takes is some added insight from the outside to improve a draft or fix a glitch. Plus, the other benefit of such groups is the general networking and cross-promotional opportunities. It takes time to find a good group, but once you do you’ll want to hang on to it.

    I agree with your publisher, too, about social networking taking time to develop. As authors we can’t expect things to happen overnight for our books and it’s the same for connecting with others online. But, like writing, consistency and effort can pay off in time so I hope you keep at it. You’re already doing one of the key things by cross promoting with another author. Writers can accomplish a lot when they work together in such ways. Good job!

  3. I haven't had anything earthshaking happen, but have made some amazing friends through blogging whose friendships and feedback have been invaluable to me. I just joined She Writes, and I'm looking forward to developing and strengthening relationships with my writing peers there as well.

  4. Deb, sometimes those friendships are the best thing to come out of networking online. Cherish them!

    Isn't She Writes great? I just love it.