Monday, 2 July 2012

Social Media Workshop - Sheryl Gwyther on Blogs and Facebook

SCBWI's roving reporter, Alison Peters sat in on ......
Sheryl Gwyther- Social Media Workshop- Blogging and Facebook

Some points from Sheryl's workshop:

Sheryl uses:
- Writer's blog via Wordpress
- Facebook 

 -       blog should be attractive
 -       it should be appealing
 -       consider how easy navigation around your blog is
 -       regular posting? Comment?
 -       Subscribe?
 -       Have you got something to say?
 -       Swap links to blogs by like minded bloggers
 -       be a regular blogger- don't set it up then leave it dormant
 -       respond to others
 -       follow useful and inspiring sites like:

 -       a forum to put talk about her passion for writing and art
 -       a way to connect with other writers
 -       she guest blogs with other writers/illustrators
 -       to show what her books are and their covers and where to buy them
 -       stuff about her writing life
 -       about writing for children in Australia
 -       writing tips for others interested in writing

An example of a successful blog: THE SAVING AUSSIE BOOKS BLOG site:

 - Sheryl Gwyther, Dee White and a small group of passionate authors and illustrators set up this blog for a specific purpose: as a support and information site during the fight against the lifting of restrictions against the Parallel Importation of Books into Australia (especially for children's picture books and novels)

 -       the site has had over 21,000 hits, and resulted in a sucessful collection of Petitions and letters to politicians etc by many concerned Australians from all walks of life.

-       this month, the SAVING AUSSIE BOOKS BLOG has just been selected to be included in the PANDORA archives, at the National Library of Australia for posterity.

FACEBOOK- Tool: to connect with friends/colleagues/other professionals and writing organisations

 -       Your personal (profile) FB page: Connecting with friends/fun/photos/ this can be a time-waster/or incredibly useful
-        Your author (fan) page: more professional/about work/gigs/book covers

 -       BE PROFESSIONAL. Social networking can be like quicksand! Put the wrong thing out there and it could end up in places you do not want it to go.
 -       Post photos VERY CAREFULLY
 -       Go beyond your friends to the publishing world- keep them up to date with what you are up to- if you are going to schools etc
 -       give your website address
 -       it's may not be as useful a great forum for readers and fans - but they can be directed to yourwebsite
Because Facebook mixes your personal and professional life, it requires more careful attention:

You might like  to  set up a separate book page for  your books but it all takes time and you may be better directing  outside (readers, librarian and teachers, people other than personal contacts to a webpage.

Dos and Don'ts

- Profile- depends on whether it's personal or professional.

- Use a good profile picture - bit hard to see who you are with only a photo of your cat as your profile picture

 - biography- don't put your birth year (for security reasons). Put your day and month but not year

 - check your default settings. FB changes them regularly and your status can be changes and these sites swap info

 - avoid bragging too much - a bit of a no-no with Australians.

 - be thoughtful about the content on your blog

 - spamming people on twitter and facebook is a no-no- choose the people you want to connect with.

 - watch your tone

 - never bad mouth anyone particularly professional contacts (common sense, but you'd be surprised...)


- A must have. Even if it is very simple.

- There are free sites that are simple to use but don't have all the features you might need



  1. Great advice, Sheryl. Thank you! I'm off to check my settings on Facebook.

  2. Hi
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