Monday, April 26, 2010

The Flipside of Social Networking for Writers By Guest Blogger Shelia M Goss

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 an author 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 personal and there was a big “backlash” in the blogsphere from it. Personally, I feel like they should have kept blogging, but professionally, I can see why they stopped.

Some folks find it hard to separate the author 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?
Shelia M Goss is the national best-selling author of six women's fiction novels: Hollywood Deception (2010), His Invisible Wife, My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum and three young adult books: The Lip Gloss Chronicles series: The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, and Paper Thin. For more information, visit her website: or

What readers are saying about Hollywood Deception:
"With Hollywood Deception Shelia Goss has done it again. Love, lies and delicious drama! Pick this book up and you won't be able to put it down. Be ready though - this fun novel is not a passive read. You'll be yelling at Hailey, relating to her, wanting to slap her and cry with her all at the same time. Hollywood Deception is an all around good read full of scandal, just the way we like it. Well done, Ms. Goss!" ~Abiola Abrams is an Author & Media Personality. Viewers also know Abiola as the host of BET's short film show and Miss Picky of VH1's Tough

“Glitz, Glamour & LOADS of Drama…Ms. Goss once AGAIN keeps me turning the pages with another ENTERTAINING, yet fictional glimpse into the fast-paced lifestyle of a celebrity.” ~ Sweet N Sassy, Book Reviewer

Hollywood Deception is Shelia Goss' ninth book. It's available in hardcover and paperback and is available in stores or online from any of the online outlets such as,, Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc.


  1. Hi Shelia,

    Great post. I like social media, it has really helped in promoting my books. I totally agree with you, where some authors might upset some readers with their comments. So I'm very careful about what I post. Also, as a reader, if one of my favorite authors wrote something that had upset me, I would re-consider whether or not I would support him or her.

    And if I had ever used the anonymous key when posting, I did it out of laziness. I don't post anything that I don't mind people reading.

    Thanks for a great post.

    Desiree Day
    Spiritual Seduction - April 2010
    One G-String Short of Crazy - October 2007
    Cruising - September 2006
    Crazy Love - September 2005

  2. Hi Shelia,

    Great post. I know social media has helped me sell more books and I have to admit it's a medium I enjoy using, more so than placing random advertisements, which I do also.

    I have a pretty strong personality and I'm pretty opinionated, so I have to be careful about posting what I think sometimes. It's also the reason I choose to blog about books and not my personal thoughts.

  3. Desiree, same here. If it can't be repeated, then I don't need to post it so I don't do the anonymous posting.

  4. Rhonda, I love social networking because it places us out in front of people who may not have ever known about our books.

    I stick with books and relationship topics on my author blog. I stick with entertainment on my entertainment blog. The only time I talked politics on my blog is when our Pres was running for office because I was emotionally involved and wanted him to win. I figured that if me supporting him offended someone, then frankly at that point, I didn't care.