Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest author Shelia M. Goss: The Flipside of Social Networking for Writers

Due to the Internet and the various forms of social media, readers have easier access to their favorite authors. This can be a good thing; however, beware of the flipside.

Blogging, Tweeting or being on Facebook can be a good way to express your thoughts on newsworthy items, let others know about your books, talk about controversial topics, etc. When you’re voicing your views online, everyone is not going to agree with your point of view. You might gain some readers using some of the social networks but you may also alienate a few people as well.

I’m not saying don’t say what you want to say, but beware that whatever you say on your own page or in the comment fields is subject to criticism. Should writers care about what they post online? How should authors respond to comments, especially those that are directed at them? I say use your best judgment. Some things can’t go left unsaid, while other comments need to be simply ignored.

Several of my favorite bloggers no longer blog on a regular basis because of fall out due to some of their blog posts. Some people took what they said on their blogs personally and there was a big “backlash” in the blogsphere from it. Personally, I feel they should have kept blogging, but professionally, I can see why they stopped.

Some folks find it hard to separate authors from their books so if they don’t like their online persona, they won’t purchase their books. It’s unfortunate but that’s just how it is. The online social networks can be another promotional tool but beware of the thin line. On the flip-side don’t let the thin line stop you from having your say—just beware that what mama said about “never say something you don’t want repeated” is not just true for your offline world, but it’s true for when you’re on any of the social networks too.

What’s your opinion about using online social media? Have you ever crossed the line and if so, what was the backlash? Do you ever use the anonymous key when posting? If so, why?

Straight-laced Savannah Blake’s world is turned upside down when she finds her dad, Major Blake, shot on his lawn. Before he dies, he gives her a few clues to the identity of his killer. His dying request is “Protect your sisters.” Montana and Asia are the only family Savannah has left, and she will fight to the end to save them. The pain of losing their father has Savannah obsessed with finding his killer.

Savannah suspects someone from “The Agency,” a secret government security operation where her father once worked, is behind his death. She enlists the help of Troy Bridges, the owner of a private security firm in Dallas. She doesn’t necessarily trust him, but Savannah needs Troy because of his inside knowledge of The Agency.

The chemistry between Savannah and Troy is electric, and only intensifies as the stakes get higher. They have no time to deal with their unresolved feelings, though, because the closer they get to the killer, the more dangerous things become.

Savannah’s Curse, Shelia Goss' eleventh book, will take you on a roller-coaster ride of suspense as Savannah channels her grief into an unrelenting search for her father’s murderer. It's available in stores or from any of the online outlets such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

Shelia M. Goss is the Dallas Morning News and Essence Magazine Best-Selling author of Savannah's Curse, Delilah, My Invisible Husband, Roses are Thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum, His Invisible Wife, Hollywood Deception, and the teen series The Lip Gloss Chronicles. Delilah is her tenth novel and first Christian fiction novel. To learn more, visit her website: www.sheliagoss.com, www.twitter.com/sheliamgoss or www.facebook.com/sheliagoss.


Shelia Goss said...

Thank you for being a stop on my Savannah's Curse virtual tour. If anyone has any questions, I'll be checking in and will respond throughout the day.

Liane Spicer said...

Shelia, thank you for being our guest, and best of luck on your book tour!

Maxine Thompson said...

Shelia, very wise words from your mother. Also, the other one my late mother used to say; "If you don't have anything good to say about a person, don't say anything at all."

I'm amazed at how many people attack one another for whatever comment they make, when it's not related to maligning another human being.

Charles Gramlich said...

I definitely agree social media i a two edged sword. For those of us who don't have contracts with big houses, however, it may be the only way we'll get news about ourselves out there. I do try to be careful what I say, although I've lost a few folks along the way I think I've added more to replace them.

Shelia Goss said...

Liane, thank you for having me.

Maxine, that's been my best practice. That way I don't have to worry about it coming back to shoot me in the foot. lol

Charles, its a thin line, but we can still be ourselves and keep our fan-based.

Lynn Emery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn Emery said...

I've seen some of the wild west stuff on blogs, forums and such. That kind of stuff just sucks my energy (imagining a sexy vampire, not the nasty kind LOL). I'd rather conserve the energy I have left after the day job to write. So I share my opinions on certain topics only with a few close friends. I can still be myself online, just choose which part of me I share. :)

(p.s. That was me that removed a post with a typo)

Jewel Amethyst said...

Great post. Often times we feel as if the social media gives us a remote field of magnetic anonymity, when in fact, it's the opposite.

And it's not just the blogs, but even the pictures posted on facebook which can leave an impression...good or bad.