Reported by Alison Weatherby
According to Michael Bourret, social networking is a tool writers can use to create a voice online and develop a community around their books, ideas, and more. Your first job as a writer is to write good books; it is important not to waste time on social networking if it interferes with your writing. That said, there are two things to consider when exploring social networking: How does this build my brand, and who am I reaching?
Start networking as soon as possible. At minimum, start with a website (professionally created to be sleek, not slick) and make sure that your website has rotating content on the home page.
After that, explore the various social networking tools by seeing what your favorite authors are doing on Twitter, MySpace, or Facebook, and reading what others are saying. You don’t have to be everywhere, just make sure that you’re creating a positive brand and identity online.
If you blog, post regularly and re-post links to create community. Most important, always consider your audience and be professional. Agents will explore writers/illustrators with no presence on the web; they will not explore people with a negative presence on the web.