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How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input? : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Here's the place to share a writing or marketing tip you've used successfully and want to pass along.
Spinners
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How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby Spinners » Wed May 25, 2016 5:49 am

Today, it is expected of all authors - even aspiring authors - to have a platform: a website, a blog, and/or a Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) page. For the topic on which I am writing, I hesitate to open the potential flood gates of unsolicited ideas or shared experiences that would leave me vulnerable to someone suing on the claim I stole their idea. Recognizing that ideas cannot be protected by Intellectual Property (IP) laws (i.e., copyrights, patents, trademarks), people can sue for anything - wasting my time and money. And, while I can post a disclaimer discouraging unsolicited submissions, how do the established authors handle this problem?

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shadowwalker
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby shadowwalker » Wed May 25, 2016 9:36 am

First, a "platform" is not necessary unless you're writing nonfiction - in which case, a platform is what helps establish your bona fides. For fiction writers, it might be encouraged to have a social media presence; for "aspiring authors" (I'm assuming you mean writers who haven't been published yet), I don't see the point. Until you have something out there, what do you talk about? Until you've published (self or trade), you're just one among thousands who, perceptually speaking, are going to write the Great American Novel.

As to lawsuits, you're right - people will sue over anything and everything. Even if most get tossed out, they're a pain to deal with. But your neighbor could sue you because he thinks your fence is an eye-sore, so I wouldn't worry about comments or discussions on social media. (Most established authors I've seen talking about unsolicited stuff say they just return it unopened or delete the emails. Again, most established authors don't have to plagiarize so claims against them are pretty much doomed to failure anyway).
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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u.v.ray
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby u.v.ray » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:14 am

Out from Murder Slim Press:
We Are Glass - Short Stories.
Spiral Out - novella
The Migrant - novella
Black Cradle - novel

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Brien Sz
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby Brien Sz » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:57 am

If you live in fear of maybe, why live at all.

In today's age, it certainly can't hurt to have social media presence. With all the information that gets bombarded at folks, you should at least attempt some form of a presence and work it from there. But like with any business venture - you have to have a plan. Pantsing might work for writing, but it rarely ever works in business. If you want to have a serious presence then your plan for it should match.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby cynicalwanderer » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:00 am

One thing I'd add to this, being in the I.T. industry myself, is to encourage people to think about security. If your work takes off and you gain even a modicum of fame, you will be targeted by nefarious individuals.

Passwords need to be strong, and unique for every website you use. Here's an example of a strong one: SOE1eU6$ax1G26w - this uses capitals, lowercase, numbers, and symbols, and is of sufficient length. Don't use names or pets or childrens' birthdays or "password1" - even if you think you're being clever by inserting numbers to replace letters, such as "Andr3w1986", hackers have curated lists of passwords that will still break these with ease. It's worth investing in a password manager (or installing a free one like LastPass) which will help you generate, save, and easily access these. Heard the news lately about Zuckerberg's Twitter getting hacked? Or insert-celebrity-X here getting hacked? That's what happens when you don't think about security properly.

Doxxing is one of the other dangers to watch out for. This is when an investigative hacker tracks down all of the personal data about you that you've strewn about online over the years and publishes all those documents for public consumption. Where you live, your phone number, social security number, names of your friends and family, etc. If some online maniac decides to go after you, that stuff is their bread and butter. So go through all your old web profiles and delete and edit out anything you wouldn't want a deranged fan getting hold of. Tighten up settings on social media to "friends only" and be cautious about unsolicited friend requests of people you don't know in real life.

Virus scanner and firewall software goes without saying. If you don't have it, get it immediately. There are plenty of free and inexpensive options. Unless you want to risk having your only copy of that 100K word manuscript corrupted by malware, or encrypted by ransomware behind a popup that gives you a week to pay hundreds of dollars to get it unlocked.

Basically, all the above comes down to: protect your identity, protect your personal data, and protect your work.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

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shadowwalker
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:39 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Oldtimer
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby Oldtimer » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:04 am

I was worried ... not that's not the right word, but I definitely was not pleased ... to read yesterday that Microsoft is bidding millions for LinkedIn. Combining the two will create an online personal security nightmare, in my opinion. It makes me want to withdraw from social media altogether and rely solely on word of mouth to find buyers for my stories.
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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shadowwalker
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:35 am

Security is one reason I don't mess with it at all. That, plus I got tired of reading what people had at the coffee shop, or 'inside jokes' that only a handful of their closest friends would understand, and frankly, I don't have time to throw away on it. I'd rather be working on the next story. :)
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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u.v.ray
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby u.v.ray » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:02 pm

Out from Murder Slim Press:
We Are Glass - Short Stories.
Spiral Out - novella
The Migrant - novella
Black Cradle - novel

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shadowwalker
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Re: How Do Authors Manage Social Media Input?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:21 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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