One event on January 23, 2018 at 6:00pm
One event on January 30, 2018 at 6:00pm
One event on February 6, 2018 at 6:00pm
One event on February 20, 2018 at 6:00pm
One event on February 27, 2018 at 6:00pm
Instructor: Jane Friedman
$325 Members | $400 Nonmembers
Tuesdays, 1/16/17 – 2/27/18* | 6:00 PM – 8:15 PM**
*No class on Tuesday 2/13/18
**This class will meet at Indoor Biotechnologies, 700 Harris Street (across from WriterHouse)
Many authors have a love-hate relationship with social media, especially when it’s seen as a distraction from the writing work, with nothing but the noise of what people had for lunch (or worse). But authors who use it successfully have figured out the secret: you make the tools work for you and your personality, not the other way around.
This course studies the strategic and diverse ways that writers and other public figures use social media, and how to find the approach and strategy that works best for your unique voice and writing career. Our goal will be to build a consistent and sustainable practice that fits you—that adds energy and creativity to your writing life, rather than draining it. Over six weeks, we’ll explore the balance between using social media to build a readership or platform (without annoying others), while still retaining focus on other writing and marketing activities.
Because social media use is so individual and based on one’s own voice and privacy concerns, this course will be driven primarily by case study discussion and critiques of students’ own social media use. You’ll be asked to bring examples of other writers or figures you’ve observed on social media and wish to discuss—either for best practices or strategies to avoid. We’ll look at the diverse set of marketing and promotion strategies used by authors during book launches—both soft selling and hard selling—and how to decide what methods will work for you.
By the end of the six weeks, you will have less anxiety or confusion about social media strategy and daily use, plus have a strong handle on how to show up consistently and meaningfully so that you create a positive return on your efforts over many months and years.
For those who are beginners and seek technical tutorials: During the first 45 minutes of class (optional, only for students who need it) we will eliminate as much guesswork as possible in setting up and using your social media accounts. You should have a laptop you can bring to each session, so you can do hands-on work with the instructor. You’ll receive specific technical instruction and assistance to help get your accounts in order. It’s best if you’ve already created basic, personal accounts at Facebook and Twitter, and know how to login before you come to class. The primary goal during this time is to provide people with little or no experience with social media the basic setup and understanding they need to benefit from the case studies and critiques.
This class will cover:
• Case studies of authors who use social media effectively to build their platform and launch books
• The varied best practices of social media use, and how to approach social media in a productive and healthy way, as part of a larger career
• How to effectively and happily use Facebook personal profiles, official business pages, and/or groups
• The Twitter ecosystem: how to understand its unique language and manage the information firehouse, whether you plan to participate or just lurk and learn
• How to become savvy at visual and multimedia forms of social media, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube
• How to effectively integrate social media into your website and blog, if you have them
Also, students will have the opportunity to request guidance on specific social media sites they want to use.
About the Instructor: Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.
In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com (200,000 visits per month). She’s delivered keynotes on the digital era of authorship at the San Francisco Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, and Willamette Writers Conference, among many others. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.
Her essays have been published in anthologies by the University of Chicago Press, Seal Press, Milkweed Editions, and McPherson & Co. She has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).