COVID-19, What's It Mean for Writers and Their Social Media?

The world is in a crisis with the COVID-19 virus and everyone is beginning to feel its effects.
The South by Southwest conference was cancelled.
March Madness won’t happen.
Even NYC’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has been shelved.
At least the participants in these events had prior notice.
Pity the poor participants who arrived in San Diego this week for the Left Coast Crime 2020, an annual mystery/thriller writers conference only to have it closed down around them by order of San Diego County!
Yes, the world definitely seems to be falling apart at the moment.
Especially for writers who are launching or promoting their books, this is a very challenging time.
What’s a writer to do?
To badly paraphrase Rhett Butler, from Gone with the Wind, “Most people don’t realize that you can make just as much money when the world’s going to Hell, as you can when things are going well!”
Let’s talk about this!
First, let me say that I’m not trivializing the global pandemic.
This is serious, people are dying and more will as well.
There will be serious financial consequences for many who survive and who don’t even fall ill.
Through all of this, people have to continue to make a living.
For writers, who are seeing their readings being cancelled, conferences shut down, book store appearances not happening, and all the other human things they do to promote their books, this is a very unsettling time.
The only writers I know who are unaffected by all this are the ones in the midst of writing books presently and had locked themselves away before all this began.
I’m here to tell you, the writing class, that all is not lost!
Your social media will save you!
You may not have noticed as your writing career appeared to be crumbling before your eyes that while the world may be going home under lockdown orders, it’s also going online.
Humans are social animals and they’re not going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in their way when it comes to their socializing.
So, what’s a writer to do to promote her books and stay in touch with her readers?
What follows are some suggestions that you can use to make sure that for ever long this crisis may last that you’ll be able to promote yourself and stay in contact with your readers.
Be warned, I’m talking about social media here!
My suggestions are:

  1. If you haven’t been updating your social media profiles lately, now’s the time to do this. Let your communities know that you’re still alive and what you’ve been doing since you last updated them. (I don’t want to hear that it’s been so long since you’ve done anything on social media that it’s too late now. It’s never too late!)
  2. Keep your communities informed as to how you’re getting along in the pandemic. Ask them how they’re doing. Share relevant content that may either help or amuse them. (We’d better keep our sense of humor!)
  3. Reach out to the places (e.g., bookstores, libraries, bookclubs, etc.) and groups that you would have visited if there had never been a pandemic. If they have online groups, especially Facebook, join and participate.
  4. Do a virtual tour of the world online. Find locations and groups in other countries that are interested in your books and connect with them. Someday, this pandemic is going to be over and these people will remember you and welcome you when you come to visit. Not to mention buying your books in the interim.
  5. Conduct a blog tour. Become a guest blogger on blogs related to either your work or your interests. Promote these blogposts on your social media. How do you become a guest blogger? Simple, you ask the owners/admins of the blogs. They’re always looking for good content. (I know I am!)
  6. Be active on Goodreads. Trust me, folks are going to be reading a lot more books over the next few months and they’re going to be talking about them on Goodreads. Be there!
  7. Finally, as I’ve always preached on this blog, engage with your communities; and create and share content. You can never do enough of these! Let your communities know that you’re still alive and what you’re up to!

The next several months will be challenging for everyone.
But, we’re going to come out of this at the end eventually.
How much our world will have changed and will we ever be able to go back to the way things were, remains to be seen.
One thing I do know is that people will continue to read books and want to hear from their favorite writers.
By staying out there and being with your readers during these trying times ahead you will only strengthen your bonds with them.
I’ll be writing about social media for writers during the pandemic.
So, if you find this article helpful then please share it with your friends and come back for more!
That’s it for now!
Please check-out my 8 step approach for developing a social media program to get some more ideas on how to use social media.
Also, never forget to reach out to either ask questions or to ask for help from someone like myself!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
And, remember!
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!

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