5 Things a Writer Should Never Say on Social Media and 5 Things That They Should :)

If you use sites like Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools, as I do myself, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t say in public. Β This is my rather tongue in cheek list of Dos and Don’ts.


  1. Don’t ever say Buy My Book – yes I know I do this, but it’s boring and annoying and I am trying to give it up. Or at least be slightly more subtle.
  2. Don’t put up posts stating what a terribly hard and underpaid job writing is – no one wants to know that. As far as they’re concerned you are living the dream. At least have the grace to pretend you are!
  3. Don’t write posts confessing you’re just about to go into rehab or are being treated for depression – unless you’re writing the kind of book that is being inspiring about such things and offering solutions/cures. In which case, fill your boots.
  4. Don’t put up photographs of your aunt/uncle/second cousin’s funeral flowers. This may be OK if you use social media just for friends, but it’s not terribly professional if your posts are public. Or at least I don’t think it is. I have enough heartbreak of my own without anyone else’s. Is that harsh?
  5. Don’t put up shocking photos of battered animals or cruelly treated livestock with petitions attached. Please. For same reasons as number 4.


  1. Do talk about things other than writing. Pets, family, cakes, the weird man you saw on the way to the shop – all make excellent subject matter.
  2. Do take the mickey out of yourself as much as you like. This is always fun and quite entertaining. And fun is what most people expect from social media.
  3. Do put up entertaining/helpful quotes from other writers – or make some up yourself. Be upbeat and amusing.
  4. Do freely share writing help/advice you have come across or learned yourself from your writing experience.
  5. Do share any pictures/jokes/promos from other friends if you think they’re of interest to your followers..

The most helpful advice I ever received about writing was from a very experienced Mills & Boon author. Β “Never forget,” she said with a gracious smile, “that we are in the entertainment business.”

I think her advice was very pertinent for social media too.

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19 Responses to 5 Things a Writer Should Never Say on Social Media and 5 Things That They Should :)

  1. Tracy says:

    Excellent post Della. I want to know about the weird man you saw on the way to the shop though! I think I saw him too.

  2. I learned something new today through this post. Now I will use this as my guide of what are these things I’m gonna say and not say on social media. I thank you for this. My having stumbled upon your site has best served a purpose.

  3. Linda Sprott says:

    I think I saw the weird man on the bus too! What’s the story?

  4. Patsy says:

    I read somewhere that we should treat social media like a party. If we wouldn’t say it to a group of people we’ve just been introduced to, we shouldn’t say it to people we don’t really know on the internet.

    I don’t recall the piece saying how much wine we’d drunk at the party though. That might make a difference.

  5. Wendy Clarke says:

    Patsy’s comment made me laugh! I agree with most of the dos and don’ts… would love to have the chance to do the book selling part (you’ll have to remind me of that one – if it ever happens)

  6. D.J. Kirkby says:

    That weird man sat next to me on the bus! He gets about a bit, doesn’t he?

  7. Tina Jaray says:

    Wow, I saw the weird man walking through Worcester last week . Muttering away to himself he was – I couldn’t quite hear what he was saying. Next time I see him, I will ask him how he manages to travel round the country so much.

  8. Shelley says:

    Great Post Della! On twitter you see some authors who have a timeline full of ‘buy my book’ and nothing else, if you don’t interact with fellow ‘tweeps’ or ‘friends’ then how will your readers know if they like you? I love the reference to the entertainment industry, I get fan-girl moments all the time when an author replies to my comment or RT – that includes you! *squeals and holds a Go-Della-Go banner in the air*

    • Della Galton says:

      Ahhhh, Shelley, you are such a nice lady. Am having a warm squishy moment. I have met all sort of very nice people via social media – yourself being one of them πŸ™‚

  9. Susan Jones says:

    How odd, that man was at one of those gangy job interviews as well, and he adopted me. No wonder I didn’t get the job. I didn’t want it of course, I’m a successful writer:)) Fab post, and one to keep in mind as well.

  10. sc says:

    Very good advice, I agree with all of the above. One has to be subtle and affect just the right level of interest on social media platforms in order to get them to buy stuff; you have to neither gush nor be niggardly of feeling, nor to be either snobbish or crude. Of course, panhandling on Twitter and Facebook is scavenging for scraps, and Internet self-marketing is for writers who aren’t good enough to get with a decent publisher, but hey-ho … just keep smiling and churning out the content. Which, of course, is what this is all about.

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