Monday, April 5, 2010


By Karen Cino

That’s the big question many authors, published and unpublished, ask themselves. And the answer is, Yes.

Social Networking is an important element in today’s technological society. It helps link you with people all over the world, opening up a whole new world of research and adventure. It’s also a place to catch up with old classmates, former employees and friends. Using Facebook, I got back in contact with my cousins in Texas and classmates from high school. It has also been a great place to help promote my son’s band, It’s Not Over. And, you can link your website and blog to Facebook too.

Published authors can connect with their readers by creating a fan page on Facebook. Fan pages help authors market and promote their books and upcoming releases. Fan pages can also be used to keep readers abreast of book signings and other events.

Unpublished authors can become fans of editors, publishers and agents. On these pages you can find out exactly what editors and agents are looking for in submissions. Many of these pages also offer podcasts and guest bloggers, helping inspire and guide authors.

But Beware:

1. Watch what you post. It’s out there for everyone to read. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back.

2. Don’t post your every move. Going to the mall, food shopping, leaving for a nice romantic dinner. Yeah, that’s great. But now an outsider knows that you won’t be home. Post instead when you return.

3. Don’t hide behind your computer. Don’t let your computer take the place of human contact.

4. Never criticize. Again, it’s out there for everyone to read.

5. Don’t complain that you got yet another rejection letter when everyone else loves your book. Suck it up and use your words to revise and create.

6. Watch the addiction. Oh, yes. Facebook can become quite addictive. Don’t get caught up in Mafia Wars, Farmville, the Zoo and so on. You will see your day fly by without doing any writing or revisions if you do.


One of the most important things to use on Facebook are your privacy settings. The last thing you want are people calling or showing up at your house with a book to be autographed. Nor does the unpublished author want Vanity Press calling offering a better alternative to getting published.

Setting up Facebook is easy. It only takes about 5 to 15 minutes depending on how computer savvy you are. I urge you to set your privacy setting as soon as you create your account, even before you request friends. It’s easy to do. Go the upper right hand corner of the page and select Account, then Privacy Settings. Another screen comes up. Now go to contact information. This will let you choose who can instant message you, who sees your address and phone number. (I suggest that you don’t include this information at all.) Return to the previous screen and select profile. This lets you choose who sees your pictures, interests and any other personal information about you on Facebook.

Facebook is a wonderful way to network. If you aren’t already a member, sign up. You’ll experience a new world full of inspiration and adventure.♥

Presently, Karen is serving as President of the RWA New York City Chapter. She keeps her muse alive by walking every morning down at the boardwalk. Currently, she is shopping for a home for her novel ROSES, and is working on her next novel, MYSTYCAL WONDERS.


  1. Thanks, Karen, for some great advice. I know I need to be on Facebook and Twitter, but am a little hesitant about it. You've given me just the nudge I needed. Elizabeth Palladino

  2. Between your gentle, helpful nudging and that of my husband, I may be convinced to set up an account on Facebook yet!

    One thing I am curious about, though: What is the difference between a "fan page" on Facebook and a regular page? Can you set up a fan page under a writing pseudonym and a regular page under your real name and not have them linked (so fans can't trace you to the page you'd prefer to share with friends and family only)?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Karen!