Home » Social Media » Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Social Media Tips for Authors

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Social Media Tips for Authors

21 February 2013

From PBS MediaShift:

Life is full of mysteries, and whether you’re working with a traditional publisher or you are an artisanal publisher (a.k.a., “self-publisher”), the potency of your marketing platform can determine your success.

There is no scenario under which thousands of social-media followers is not a good thing, so here are 10 social-media tips for authors of any kind.

. . . .


There are five social-media services to choose from. You need not use them all, but each serves a different purpose. I call this the five Ps of social media: Facebook is for people — people who you went to high school or college with and your family. Twitter is for perceptions — perceptions such as “I feel an earthquake and I’m in Chile.” Google+ is for passions — passions such as photography that you cannot share with your Facebook people. Pinterest is for pinning — pinning pictures with little interaction. LinkedIn is for pimping — as in making business connections or finding a job. You can use each of these to build a platform, but your relationships on them are apt to differ.

. . . .


Social-media sites are busy places, so people don’t notice all-text posts or posts with small pictures. Every post should include a picture that’s at least 400 to 500 pixels wide or an embedded video from YouTube or Vimeo. Eye candy counts in the constant contest for attention — if you’re old enough to remember, it’s like the difference between a Yellow Pages ad and a Yellow Pages listing. Check my posts on Google+ to see what I mean. (See image at right.)

Link to the rest at PBS MediaShift

Social Media

12 Comments to “Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Social Media Tips for Authors”

  1. Waste of time if you’re not a celebrity. Also, people don’t want the online version of junk mail. If you bombard your few Facebook friends and Twitter followers with incessant plugs, you’ll turn them off fast.

    Guy Kawasaki’s tips, in general, are good for celebrities whose fans are eager to hear everything they have to say. Not so good for Joe and Jane Author.

  2. Pictures and video and flashy moving things – I hate them all.

    They take forever to download – I have an old Mac – and some of them sit there at the edge of my peripheral vision field and MOVE.

    I keep thinking there’s a limits to the methods of breaking up attention spans into tinier and tinier pieces – but they haven’t reached it yet.

    I block, turn them off – and STILL some of them come through – like zombies.

    I was glad when I read research showing that Stanford undergrads who thought they were great at multitasking really weren’t.

    Human brains haven’t evolved that much. Phew.

    Give me a thoughtful image, and good text, and I’m quite happy. THIS website works just fine.

    Thanks, PG, for your tasteful site and restraint.

  3. Kawasaki says there’s no scenario under which thousands of social network followers is a bad thing.
    Oh yes there is: all the hours and hours you’ve spent GETTING those followers–instead of writing your next novel. Maybe 50 out of every thousand of your followers will buy your book–at best. Is that worth the time and effort? I don’t think so. Better to spend your time writing and publishing as many GOOD books as you can.

    • “all the hours and hours you’ve spent GETTING those followers–instead of writing your next novel.”

      Serious question here, what are you doing with those hours and hours you’re spending getting followers? Spamming other author pages? Message Boards? That is never going to be a productive use of anyone’s time.

      Isn’t the best way to get followers through your work? I only follow a handful of writers, musicians, etc on facebook or twitter. In every case I followed them because I enjoyed their work and not because they went out and actively spent hours and hours on social networks soliciting followers.

      • I think that was the point. Those authors wasted no time soliciting you and other fans to follow them. They wrote good books. You found them.

  4. I refuse to be called an artisanal publisher. Who made that up and thought it a good name?

  5. How many novels has Guy Kawasaki written and published? Yeah, exactly.

  6. I write non-fiction and use Facebook quite a lot. It gets me a lot of traffic to my classes, private sessions, and other offerings.

    I have to disagree with the idea that you should always have a video or image. FB changes it’s algorithms all the time. Some weeks images get more traction, sometimes it’s status updates with links, sometimes it’s status updates with no links.

    I try to have a photo with quote, a quote from a book with a link, a quote with no link, and a quote with a link to my shopping cart (nearly) everyday.

    That’s one benefit to being non-fiction; I have lots of short quotes that are good for FB.

    It’s working well for me as more and more people are sharing and liking my posts.

    I still maintain that fiction authors should let their characters “take over” their FB pages. I would love to read FB posts from some of my favorite characters.

    Let your lead character read the news and comment. That would be entertaining. Do it enough and you have enough material for a “quotes from lead character” book, an app, blurbs for your website, etc.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.