Introducing Author 101

Do you ever have that experience where you don't realize you know that much about something until you start talking about it, and then all of sudden you think: Hey, actually I do know a lot about this compared to someone who knows nothing. Neat! Given that we have about a century of publishing experience here at Girl Friday (Combined! We’re not that old, yeesh) this happens to us a lot. So we thought we would go ahead and share some of that knowledge with you. Welcome to our new feature, Author 101 (Every Friday! See what we did there?)

We're going to be starting with some social media questions. Oh, social media. So buzzy! So vast! So confusing! We understand why you might be reluctant, dear author, to jump into the pool. Here is an imagined conversation between you and us. (Preferably over vodka gimlets).

Reluctant Author: So, social media. Do I have to?

Girl Friday: No! Of course not. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. This is America. In fact, you don't really have to write that book to begin with. I mean, writing a book is hard, there are so many pages. We don't blame you at all if you want to take a nap instead. There are kind of a lot of books around these days; does the world really need any more?

RA: I probably didn’t need that much sarcasm.

GF: Sorry for the tough love, should we have waited for you to finish the second gimlet? Honestly though, yes. You really ought to be doing something on social media to promote your work, whether you're being traditionally published or you're self-publishing, stoking up marketing efforts with an online presence has become pretty much de rigueur. (That’s French for all the cool kids are doing it.)

RA: But doesn't everyone have a blog these days? I mean, my Uncle Randy has a blog where he talks about canning and squirrel taxidermy…

GF: It's true, there are many blogs out there. But there are also many people who would rather spend their time reading them than filling out those quarterly reports. It's up to you to bring your blog, and hence your book, to the people using tools like Twitter and Goodreads. Also, we think your Uncle Randy sounds awesome.

RA: This sounds like it could be a huge time suck. Thinking about it makes me want to give up before I start.

GF: That's why you need not just knowledge but strategy. It sounds like Uncle Randy has other hobbies and he fits it in! You need to know how to use which tools, how much and when. And guess what? That’s what we’re here for!

Did we convince you yet? Not quite? Well, keep checking back in every Friday and we'll work on it. In the meantime, if you have a topic idea or question for Author 101, email us at and we'll read it, just as soon as we tear ourselves away from

Next week we’ll be covering Goodreads. Want to get a jump? Sign up at and friend us