What to say, where?

I think it’s become more and more confusing in the age of social media to distinguish among the many options for professional communication. There are probably people out there writing graduate theses about this even as we speak, but here are just a few words about how I personally think of things.

(1) Publisher’s Website:  This is usually a great place to GET information. And it should be one of the things that comes up when you use a search engine to find out, say, how to submit something.  Mine is http://www.arthuralevinebooks.  It’s pretty rudimentary but it does communicate the basics.  Now, if you’re someone who’d like to SUBMIT something, this is a good place to go as it tells you our professional process and guides you through it.

(2) Facebook:  Again, my imprint, Arthur A. Levine Books, has a lovely Facebook page and that’s a great place to get a visual sense of our taste and to keep up with news.  It’s not the best place for one-on-one conversation.  Messages can’t be “forwarded” on Facebook. It isn’t checked many times a day. Etc. Communication with this page is probably best left to “likes” and “shares” and comments responding to what’s posted.

(3) Facebook B: I have a PERSONAL page on Facebook.  I enjoy Facebook as a great way to interact with friends and writers and others in the various communities to which I belong.  I prefer to keep communications on this page SOCIAL rather than strictly business.  So, for example, this too is not a good place to pitch me a book.  (See problems with forwarding messages, etc.)  If you need information about my imprint there are better places to get it (see web page, etc.)

(4) My Blog: This is something I use as a public way to air my thoughts.  I welcome any comments that respond to something I’ve said!  This too is not a good place to ask me logistical questions about my job as an editor/publisher.  (See website)

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…!  🙂

3 thoughts on “What to say, where?

  1. Your words accurately reflect the blur of boundaries that has occurred in all phases of society, enhanced by social media. In this world of image over substance, your words construct a fine foundation for what you seek and expect as a writer and publisher. Thanks you.
    Gerald Gurka

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with your words:
    “I think it’s become more and more confusing in the age of social media to distinguish among the many options for professional communication. There are probably people out there writing graduate theses about this even as we speak.”

    Social media has really changed not only how people communicate with each other but the content of what people will say in different settings. I believe this is especially true with younger generations. For those generations who have grown up with electronic communication at their fingertips from the day they could tap on a keyboard (virtual or otherwise), there often seems to be a disconnect with what they are typing and who their actual audience is vs their perceived audience. I frequently have this discussion with my 12 year old daughter and her friends/peers. For individuals whose first electronic communications with other human beings is through text messaging on a cell phone, these messages are relatively private (although they can be saved, forwarded, and have screen shots taken of them -a ramification that many people often don’t consider). As they progress to other forms of social media, such as snap chat, instagram, Facebook, many of them still have a sense that what they are posting remains relatively private, particularly given that most of these outlets require “friend requests.” They forget how easy it is for anyone on their friend list to copy, paste, forward, save, screen shot… and soon, what felt like a private post/communication is suddenly no longer private. To add to the complexity, many individuals enjoy requesting and adding “friends” to their lists that consist of people they have never met and know nothing about, completely eliminating any real privacy despite the fact that those who are posting still often feel like they are communicating with people who are their friends.

    These complexities increase greatly when it comes to posting a comment, question, photograph, or other communication on a public forum of some kind (vs a personal page), such as a Facebook page for a publisher, a blog, or some other type of business website. Again, many individuals seem to forget who their real audience is vs their intended audience, feeling like they are speaking directly and privately with a particular individual instead of (potentially) thousands of individuals. Thus, while very few individuals would feel comfortable pitching their work to an editor in front of an audience of thousands, when we forget to consider the forum in which we are communicating and the audience that forum reaches, we risk committing a social faux pas that can sometimes result in unintended consequences, particularly if the audience we reach isn’t gracious, kind, or understanding. As the world becomes more and more complex, there’s an ever increasing body of knowledge for humans to absorb, process, and understand. In this day of expanding technology and ever-increasing opportunities for social media, educating the generations about using them wisely will become an increasingly important issue.

    I appreciate you taking the time to blog on this increasingly important topic. Wise readers will recognize that the wisdom that you offer in this blog applies not only to aspiring writers seeking publication, but to anyone making a post on social media. As with individuals who are seeking publication, it’s always important to consider your audience when posting content on social media 🙂

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