Purple Prose + social networking

Beware What You Say!

©Stina Lindenblatt

Facebook, Twitter, and blogging (along with other social media sites) are great ways to connect with writers, readers, agents, and editors. We know that we need to filter what we say so we don’t damage our reputation and books sales. But what about the private groups we join, where we’re supposed to be able to chat or ask questions about the publishing industry? How open can we be there?

Not long ago, members from one author group became upset when it was accidentally discovered that an author in the group was also a popular agent. Members of the group felt betrayed, because they were saying things that they didn’t necessarily want someone directly involved in the publishing industry to hear.

A similar incident happened to me. I was going to share something with a group I’m in, but then changed my mind at the last moment. And good thing I did. What I didn’t know at the time was that there was someone in the group I didn’t want to share my news with—for good reason.

With more and more agents and editors becoming authors, we have to be careful what we say. The person you might be complaining to could end up being the agent or editor you wanted to query, and you’re just turned them off. Or you might announce something prematurely, not realizing you’ve just announced your news to the “wrong” person.

Do you monitor what you say in private groups when sharing your news and concerns regarding the industry? Do you think that industry professionals should make it clear that they are agents or editors (I’m not referring to freelance editors) when they’re in a private group with other writers?

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Beware What You Say! + social networking