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Writing Platforms – Benefits and Pitfalls

With a sea of online platforms on the Internet to support, help, and promote authors and writers, it’s a wild and crazy challenge to choose which one or more than one is the best bet for success. Authors and writers differ in their affinity for one over the other. Some declare their secret weapon for success is not using any social media while others create content, have an online presence, and market their books and themselves on multiple platforms, hoping for likes, hearts, comments, and followers. Researching which ones might be worthy and advantageous for your work will take time and energy but it’s a must because every platform has both benefits and pitfalls.

Publishing traditionally may require potential authors to have an online presence, depending on the agency. Having a following on social media and creating regular content shows an agent they will be dealing with a serious writer. Social media is an important component for Indie authors to have in their wheelhouse as well. After all, followers are potential buyers of your book. Beyond the sales aspect, and getting your brand out there, sharing your work on Medium, posting poetry or snippets of chapters on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or displaying book cover reveals, and possible book titles can be beneficial in several ways. It’s a great avenue for beginners to learn and hone the craft as long as they can weed out trolls and accept constructive feedback. Putting your work out there in whatever form you desire is a great way to poll what’s working and what isn’t.


The good news is no one is locked into one or any platform. Writers and authors are in charge of what medium to choose and which ones to stick with. Choose one or several, it’s all up to you. Platforms are also a cool way to lead readers to your website. If you don’t have a website yet, don’t fret, you can make one when you’re ready.

Platforms for Writers and Authors Benefits and Pitfalls


Facebook author pages used to be a solid path for promoting books and getting an author’s name in front of readers, but according to the latest research, Facebook pages no longer produce those effective results. Facebook hosts so many groups, (some of which you may belong to because you were looking for others with your same interests,) that their algorithms shape who will see your posts. Sadly, only a small percentage of followers will see your posts regularly. The big, bad algorithm wolf unfortunately hides many posts. Yikes! It’s unfair and annoying but it’s reality.

Potential Prospects

Spotlight your work on Facebook with cool book covers, an aesthetic book display, images that detail the highlights of your book, giveaways, contests, and memes to teach and support other writers and aspiring authors. Posting on a dedicated Facebook page can point followers to your website where they can read full articles, morsels of your book, author interviews, poems, or short stories. Once readers land on an author’s website and they like what they see and read, they may be inclined to revisit that site over and over. In addition, if the website offers books to buy, readers may favor a purchase. You go, author! Promote that book.

Don’t Hold Back, Interact

Remember to respond to comments and questions posed by followers. They want to get to know you so be on your toes. Treat them to a taste of the personable person you are without revealing private details.

Relentless Scammers

Don’t be alarmed if your account gets jammed up with messages from Facebook grifters with dire warnings of violations and nonsense about infringing of proprietary rights. Facebook doesn’t send grim and urgent messages like that with demands for you to click on a link. To protect your account, stop communication with these trolls, ban them, then delete, delete, delete!

Ah, Instagram, that visual mistress of the cyberspace ether. I avoided it for a long time because I just didn’t understand the purpose. Once I drilled down on its significance, I gave it a whirl. I found that the platform can work for authors on the prowl for additional ways to draw attention to their work and promote their book. Through creative memes, short videos, and posts that allow personality and individual quirks to shine through authors can spotlight themselves.


Bring Your A-Game

With a visual platform like Instagram authors can highlight pieces of their WIP and receive feedback in real time. One can gage what has the wow factor, and what’s blah. It’s an opportunity to tweak the blah and keep the wow. Another groovy tool for indie authors is to showcase artistic book cover options and ask followers to vote on what they like best and why. This helps authors determine which book cover might attract the most readers. Other engagement possibilities include doing live videos, asking pertinent writing questions to drum up comments, executing interactive polls about your content or snippets of work, holding contests, and giveaways, and pulling back the author curtain to allow your audience to get to know you by posting tidbits of your author life and a few intimate details of your personal life.

Add to Your Page and Engage


Hashtags help catch the eye of others who find your topics and content appealing. Therefore, hashtags should match your content. If you’re’ posting about your soon-to-be-released book, your hashtags should reflect that with things like, #newbook #releasedate #debutauthor #booklaunch #savethedate #preorderyourcopy etc.


Please take note, when adding links on Instagram they will not be clickable. For example, if you add article links to a post to lead people to your website, you must include that your website link is in your bio. A simple line Link in Bio should suffice. This way readers have an easy way to access your website and find the article you’re referring to in your post.


Seek out and join groups and communities related to writing, reading, and authors. There are a plethora of these hamlets on social media. Connecting with other writers and the like gives newbies, aspiring, and established authors the chance to receive feedback on their work, as well as to promote their writing.


Consider teaming up with other writers, bloggers, or authors by interviewing them and promoting the interview on your page, collaborating on a blog post, or joining forces to coauthor a book. The sky is the limit. Think outside the writing box. Create a video together or pool your experience and produce a podcast. If you've already started a podcast, ask them to be a guest. If they have a podcast, ask if they’d be interested in having you on as a guest. Establishing these types of connections offers cross-promoting of work and the likelihood of gaining new followers.

Fun Facts About Me Post

After launching your new Instagram page, introduce yourself and periodically check in with new followers who may not know you yet. Think of a creative and entertaining way to dish about yourself with fun facts, quirks, and somewhat personal trivia not necessarily related to writing. Do you tap dance? Know karate? Are you an animal lover? Comic book collector? Do you own a prized collection of antique books? Are you wild about gardening? A coffee lover? Exercise enthusiast? Amateur chef? You get the picture!

Consistency is Key

Remember, consistency in posting and maintaining a cohesive aesthetic can help build a strong brand presence.

Follow Loops

Another way to grow your audience is to join a follow loop as a host, admin, or follower. Instagram is loaded with follow loops. Make it simple for yourself by liking the post then following the hosts and admins. Some will follow you back and some won’t. I suggest keeping a list of those you follow so if they don’t follow you back after week or so, you can unfollow them.

Instagram Jail

What fresh hell is this? Follower beware! Unfortunately, if you follow too many accounts in one day, you may get a notice that you’ve reached your limit. When that happens, Instagram will not allow you to follow any other pages for at least three days. The platform has been known to go overboard too and you may land in Instagram jail. In that case, not only will you not be allowed to follow other pages, you also won’t be allowed to like posts, even your own. This is frustrating and irritating as hell. It happened to me, and I was in Insta Jail for a full week. I don’t understand how the platform expects you to grow your brand when you're essentially grounded.


Bookstagram on Instagram

A kinship of people who love books and reading, but they are not necessarily authors. Think bookworms, (their word, not mine,) on steroids. Bookstagrammers post about books they’ve reviewed, read, or intend to read. Many have a rating system for the books they read and review, and many are geared toward a certain genre. Following them and grabbing their attention with your clever content, so they follow you back, can come in handy when you’re ready to launch your book. The promotion of your book on their page can help with your book sales. Now imagine you have many Bookstagrammers following you and they each rate your book highly. There’s no telling how that could increase the sale of your book.


Okay, so following Bookstagrammers can be beneficial for authors but becoming one, not so much. Remember, these pages celebrate reading, not writing. Posts consist of artistically displayed photos or videos of book covers and books. Stacks of, to be read books, single title books, and books from a series are often exhibited. Some accounts present the photo of a book with complimentary tidbits, and some create a short video of characters. The possibilities are endless.

Medium is an open blogging platform for writers where they can share articles, stories, and ideas on a vast array of topics. Since anyone can create an account and publish their work to the platform, it’s great for beginners and undiscovered voices, but it also features tales from established authors and other recognized publications. Whatever is important to the writer can be spun into an interesting narrative and shared with the world. In the words of Medium, they are “the Youtube of writing.” Readers will find a range of subject matter from trending issues to human experiences and everything in between.


It's easy to create a free account and start writing insightful passages, stories, or articles right away. Members can write as much or as little as they choose. Medium is an amazing way for newbies to get their feet wet and build an audience. The platform also allows writers to add images and links to their posts.

Make Some Dough

Enrolling as a Medium Partner allows writers to earn revenue which is based on the engagement their posts generate from Medium members.

A Medium Fiasco

When writing about Medium, I enlisted the help of Medium member, Lynn L. Alexander, who views the platform as a lifeline and something she looks forward to participating in every day. She shared her story with me about being suspended by the platform. She unfortunately got caught up in a Medium debacle where numerous accounts were kicked off the platform. All her hard work “disappeared into thin air.” She shared with me how devastating her experience was. “I was dumbstruck. It said I was in violation of Medium rules, and my account was under investigation. As far as I knew, I didn’t violate any of their rules.”


Her account was “flagged for coordinating to falsely increase earning on Medium,” which she adamantly denies. She was shocked and discouraged but fought to have her account reinstated. I’m happy to report that Lynn’s Medium account was finally reinstated.

Goodreads is a social media platform designed for readers and authors and books. Oh, my! In no time, you can set up an author profile and voilà, you’re ready to interact with readers, book reviewers, and bloggers. To get others to notice you, your book, and your brand, you can join discussions, take part in giveaways, and share short passages of your book.

Hand in Hand

Goodreads, as the name implies, recommends good books to read. Most successful authors are also avid readers. So, read, read, and read again. Reading and writing are a marriage made in heaven.



Uh-oh, there are spamming demons on Goodreads that the platform hasn’t quite been able to vanquish. While all platforms have their share of trolls, others do a better job at weeding out fake accounts, bots, and extortionists. Yes, these tricksters threaten bad reviews and intimidate by claiming they’ll out you as a racist or worse if you don’t pay up.


Forcefield of Good Reviews

Do your best to obtain positive reviews and lots of them. If your book lives in a sea of good reviews the better protected, you will be.

Authors may think of LinkedIn as a platform for business professionals but it’s an awesome way to connect with other authors, editors, proofreaders, literary agents, and publishers. It’s a place to share your personal writing journey and post links to articles you’ve written. Utilize the site to help aspiring authors with writing tips and tricks, catch up on what’s trending in the publishing industry, and earn creds within the writing community

“Wait, what? YouTube for writers?” You say. “Yeppers,” I say. Hear me out while I think outside the writer’s box for a minute. So, you’re a writer or author who is used to the written word on paper, in a book, or on your laptop, but what if you could translate some of that into video content? Writers can create content like author videos, podcasts, discussions about writing whether it’s the mechanics of writing or promoting your book or the books of others. How about creating a cool book trailer for the book you’ve worked so hard on? You can do it!


I Got You

Stick with me here, there are plenty of authors on YouTube engaging in meaningful book, grammar, and writing tip discussions. YouTube provides a platform for authors to connect with their audience and increase their book sales by gathering new readers. What fan wouldn’t want their favorite author to share a few personal tidbits or explain the ins and outs of their book? Another avenue for authors is to craft short videos about their book themes and characters. Give it a try y’all.

TikTok is famous for its short and sometimes zany videos and of course its popularity among teens. It’s different from other social media platforms because it’s not necessarily based on those you follow. It’s all about allowing the TikTok algorithm to discover content tailored just for you. Woo-hoo! Right? Well, maybe not so much because, according to research this can invite social media addiction. In addition, becoming a TikTok influencer is not as easy as it sounds, my darlings. The platform is geared toward attractive youngins. Can those over 30ish succeed? Anything is possible, but one would need a tremendous amount of time and energy to create and edit videos on a regular basis.

Okay, Enough Doom and Gloom. Let’s Talk About BookTok

BookTok is a phenomenon within TikTok made up of a large and growing group of readers, book lovers, and some savvy authors. The beauty of BookTok is that BookTokers create videos to review and chit-chat about books they love and recommend. This promotes those books and, in some cases, breathes new life into underrepresented books, thrusting them into the limelight. Cha-ching! This can send book sales soaring. The best part is that authors don’t need to make videos themselves, they can send their book to a BookToker. Publishers also send books to Booktokers. It’s a win-win!

X – Formerly Known as Twitter

Decisions, decisions. Is X worth it for authors? Is it a significant marketing avenue? Those sound like loaded questions but it boils down to something simple. There is definitely a community of writers, authors, editors, and publishers on X. It’s a place where each can engage with the other and forge beneficial connections. Dive in and check out the opportunities for authors. The usual must-dos apply here: use relevant hashtags, engage with others, post interesting content, collaborate with influences, if possible, create and promote events, do giveaways and host contests, and most of all tweet regularly.

What the Heck Is It? 

Substack is fairly new, having made its digital debut in 2017. It boasts a newsletter format and allows authors to keep in touch with their subscribers by allowing them to send out regular emails directly from the platform. It’s a more visible platform than your average web-based newsletter which makes it an easy avenue for distributing your writing and an advantageous one for developing a village of readers.


Are There Perks?

A bonus feature to interacting on this network is that others can recommend and share each other’s Substacks. This offers the possibility of giving your work a boost and can grow your list of subscribers.


How Do You Climb the Substack Ladder to Success?

The answer is easy-peasy, but the execution is a bit tricky. One must know their target audience, generate attention-grabbing headlines, and provide groovy and eye-opening content. Sounds simple but all that is time-consuming. For fiction authors, time might be better spent concentrating on your WIP rather than focusing energy in the Substack arena.

Writing Platform Takeaways

Building an audience takes time and patience. You must decide which formats are worth your time and energy. No matter which writing platform you choose, the important thing is to engage regularly. Up your game with new and better content. Interact as much as possible with followers and other users of the platforms you choose. As a rule, if creating content and keeping up with too many social media sites takes you away from your goal of becoming a published author, you’re better served directing your energy on completing your WIP and slowly building one or two platforms at a time.


Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.



Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.


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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

I've gained a lot of tips and tidings on my writing journey and want to share what I know.

Besides my passion for writing, I'm a fitness enthusiast, and I love coffee, chocolate, and animals. I'm mom to two amazing young men, and I live on Long Island with my husband, four zany cats, and the sweetest dog ever.

Whether you're new to writing, ready to query, or about to submit your manuscript,  welcome, you've come to the right place.

About Me


Alyssa is Wordy's website administrator and tech guru. She holds a degree in Communication and has always enjoyed writing and marketing, both of which are highly useful skills for aspiring authors. 

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