Think Before You Tweet!

Social media is a wonderful tool for aspiring authors, illustrators, and publishing industry professionals. It is a fantastic way to learn about and meet editors, agents, art directors. I credit twitter for creating many of my agent relationships that I cherish and it has also helped me find authors and illustrators who I would love to work with someday.

Outside of the publishing industry, social media sites have also become a great way to interact with companies and let them know how you really feel. Who among us hasn’t tweeted about bad service from a cable provider or airline? It seems like one of the only ways to get the attention of companies. A tweet saying “My internet is down! @INSERTYOURCABLEPROVIDERHERE” is a sure way to get the service that you are paying for fixed.

Here’s the thing, while that approach works for mega-corporations, it isn’t the best way to get across your point in the publishing industry areas of twitter/facebook. An editor or agent rejected your book? Or maybe you just got a really intense edit letter or art notes on your work? Here is my advice.


I know this has been said before, but the publishing world is TINY. We all talk to each other. Gchat, google groups, direct messages, and old fashioned drinks at the bar. We talk. If an editor/agent/art director sees a potential author/illustrator publicly complaining about their current project, it makes the complainer less attractive to them and those angry tweets/facebook posts could easily be shown to other potential agents/editors/art directors.

Let’s say your book has been bought or you’ve been hired to illustrate a book. Just because you got the job and are “in” doesn’t mean you should air all of your issues on social media. Your edit letter is late? You disagree with all of your editor/designer’s comments? Ranting on twitter or facebook about it instead of having the conversation with your editor/designer is a bad idea. Better yet, if you are repped, be sure that your agent is looped in and they can be the “bad cop” for you.

Full disclosure: It feels GOOD to rant. I get that. Who hasn’t written out an angry tweet and then deleted it before hitting the tweet button? But instead of taking your anger out on twitter, talk to your crit partner or a fellow illustrator.

Publishing isn’t all auctions and bestseller lists. It is a tough industry filled with a lot of rejection and criticism. It’s not always fun. But the one way to pretty much guarantee you won’t get work is by ranting about it publicly.

In conclusion, tweet and post on facebook to make great connections and have a good time. Save the anger for offline.


6 Responses to Think Before You Tweet!

  1. Natalie Aguirre Apr 3 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Thanks for the tips. It’s good to remember to watch what you say in any social media forum.

  2. Alexa Y. Apr 3 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    YES. I truly think, even as a blogger and aspiring author, that it’s important to be careful about what you tweet. Social media offers a public platform and you get a LOT of attention for whatever you do or say. I believe tweeting should be approached with the same kind of manners and respect you use in real life.

  3. Kim Apr 3 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    “But instead of taking your anger out on twitter, talk to your crit partner or a fellow illustrator.”
    Yes. If you get mad over something — in any profession really — ranting about it on social media (where once it’s said, it can’t be unsaid and people will see it and remember it even if you can delate the post) is a bad idea. If you a friend or coworker you feel comfortable complaining to, then do. That’s what they are for.

    I remember the incident with Wendy and The Selection Debacle (link), because of that and what Elana Roth said about Wendy on twitter … I’ll never pick up The Selection. I probably won’t ever bother to read a book by Kiera Cass either. I know a lot of book reviewers feel the same way. Wendy’s a really loved and reliable person.

    “Think before you tweet” should pop up in front of some people’s submit button before they can actually tweet. Really great post and reminder 🙂

  4. Liz Parker Apr 4 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    This is a really good and insightful post. In a similar vein, praising people on social media and sharing the love can go a long way, too.

  5. Heather Villa Apr 11 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I will certainly “tweet” this post. I love to promote anything about the social graces of social mediea. Thank you for this. By the way, I just discovered this very cool blog. I’ll be back! Best, Heather

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