Writer: Turn Your Acceptance Letters Into Online Marketing Gold | Web Design Relief

If you’ve been making creative writing submissions and getting your fair share of rejections—an acceptance letter is cause for celebration! And while you’re doing your happy dance, tango on over to your computer keyboard to share the good news. The marketing experts at Web Design Relief explain how getting an acceptance letter offers you a golden opportunity for effective brand building and promotion!

Here’s How Writers Can Promote Their Acceptance Letters And Publications On The Web

Share your struggles. You may find that people are more eager to spread the word about one of your acceptances if they’ve shared the submission process with you. That means posting on social media about how you were up filling out submission manager forms until 2:00 AM. Or how you just got a new batch of rejection letters but are sharing a motivational quote that helps you stay positive.

Your online presence is an opportunity to tell the story of who you are as an aspiring writer. By letting followers see your authenticity and willingness to be vulnerable, they’ll be just as excited as you are about an acceptance and eager to spread the word. And your posts about successes won’t come across as bragging.

Post a screenshot of your acceptance letter. It may be a while before your accepted submission is published in the literary journal. In the meantime, share your acceptance letters! A photo or screenshot of key language in your letter is a great way to spread the word—especially on social media, where posting images increases interactions.

Think outside the letter. Apart from running in circles and gleefully jumping up and down in the privacy of your home office, how are you going to celebrate your acceptance? Go out to dinner? Reward yourself with a trip to the bookstore? Whatever you decide, document it on social media and let others celebrate vicariously with you.

Share works by other writers associated with your literary magazine/literary agent. Is your future literary agent supporting other writers you admire? Does the journal that accepted your work feature writing you love? Share this info on your social media pages. Not only can a “recommended read” post remind your followers that your published work is forthcoming, it can also be a great way of networking with other writers.

Post an excerpt on your website. Tease readers by featuring the first few lines of your poem or a paragraph or two from your short story or book on your author website. Then, if/when possible, link readers to the full piece. (Caveat: Read this before you publish anything online!)

Feature visuals or links when the piece comes out. Your publication date is cause for online celebrating! Be sure to link directly to your published work on your website announcements page or on your social media profiles. If the image that pops up from the URL doesn’t directly show your byline, post a screenshot that does.

And If You’re Feeling Squeamish About Self-Promotion…

Remember, spreading the good word about a fabulous literary magazine or a wonderful literary agent isn’t simply boasting: It’s a PSA offering helpful info to others. Include links, encourage support from fans, friends, and followers, and let editors and agents know what you are doing to help their cause. You may discover additional cross-promotion potential!


Question: How do you celebrate an acceptance letter?

Writers: How To Come Back From A Social Media Dry Spell | Web Design Relief

Life gets busy! And when you’re pressed for time, it’s natural to let some things go—like working on your next writing project, hitting the gym, getting Fido groomed, or posting regularly on social media. At Web Design Relief, our experts know that actively maintaining your social media platforms is vital to your success as a writer. If your dedicated followers don’t hear from you on a regular basis, you can easily be forgotten—and replaced.

Effects Of A Social Media Dry Spell On Your Accounts

There’s no avoiding it: Taking an extended break from social networking will have some deleterious effects for an author.

  • On Twitter, you may lose some followers as tweeters vet their lists to eliminate inactive accounts.
  • On Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Instagram, the algorithms for newsfeeds favor those whom you interact with regularly. So your ability to rise in your followers’ newsfeeds will be weakened.
  • In all cases, it’ll take some time to build up the impact of marketing and promotion efforts to where they were before you took a break.

Though your reach may have withered, here’s the good news: Many of your followers may not yet have noticed your absence. Social media is like a huge cocktail party where everyone is coming and going. Caught up in the onslaught of constant tweets, posts, and pins, even active followers may miss the fact that your author posts have dribbled to none.

So many of your followers are still right there, waiting for you!

Strategies For Reenergizing Your Social Media Output

Do Some Recon. If you had an active presence on several social media channels, it can be intimidating to return after a long break. There’s no shame in scooting from one old haunt to another to catch up on what’s been happening, and to check out other authors’ profile pages to see what they’re doing for promotion and marketing. Soon you’ll be liking, following, commenting, and writing engaging posts of your own.

Pick Up Right Where You Left Off. Some authors prefer to gloss over the fact that they’ve been away for a while, especially if the dry spell was due to personal issues. Jumping right in with your usual monthly promotion or giveaway, even though you haven’t had one in months, will get your followers engaged again.

Dive In Boldly. Your fans want to connect with you on a personal level. If you’re comfortable sharing (while avoiding TMI) the reason why you’ve been lax in posting or tweeting, you may discover a huge leap in engagement due to your honesty. Beyond kick-starting your return, judiciously sharing your personal triumphs and sorrows will show you how many caring online friends you really have.

Get Back To Basics. After weeks (or months) of not posting or tweeting, you may be a little rusty when you restart your social media activity. Ensure that your posts are effective and engaging by keeping in mind the basics:

  • Post content that is appealing and relevant.
  • Offer value to those who connect with you for insider information, giveaways, contests, sneak peeks, and recommendations.
  • Ask questions, solicit advice, run polls, and find other creative ways to encourage engagement.
  • Use hashtags and visuals to boost post performance.
  • Post regularly according to the platform.
  • Respond to all comments, preferably in a way that will start a conversation.
  • Make sure to limit direct marketing and promotion to only one out of every ten posts.

Setting a calendar and scheduling posts in advance through Hootsuite or another social media management platform can help keep you on track.

When it comes to social networking, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But remember that social media isn’t just a powerful way to boost sales, strengthen your brand, and meet fellow book lovers: It’s also a wonderful way to gather a tribe of supportive online friends!


Question: If you’ve ever taken a break from social media and come back, how did you get back to regularly posting?

Your Secret Identity: 7 Ways To Safeguard Your Author Pen Name Online | Web Design Relief

Perhaps you’re a science fiction writer who also enjoys penning lighthearted chick lit, or a serious academic striving for university tenure who happens to spend summers plotting thrilling potboilers. To keep your worlds from colliding, you’d probably use a pen name. But aside from donning a pair of Clark Kent eyeglasses, how can you ensure your true identity will remain a secret?

Web Design Relief Explains Seven Ways To Keep Your Secret Identity Safe

Get A New Email

It seems so simple, but many people slip up and use their personal email when signing up for websites, copyright registration, etc., inadvertently revealing their true identity. Make sure the email you use for all your writing business represents your pen name.

Set Up Separate Social Media Profiles

You may already have an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account in your own name, but if you post anything about your literary accomplishments, then the jig is up. Instead, set up separate social media accounts in your pen name that are completely independent of your personal ones. As a further safeguard, make sure not to “friend” yourself or otherwise link your pen name accounts with your personal ones.

Purge Personal Photos 

On your author website, bio, and social media accounts, avoid using any photo that shows your face. A simple Google image search or a face recognition app could connect your author persona to your real identity. Many writers who use pseudonyms opt for a distant or obscured photo or their book cover as an option.

Soft-Focus Your Bio 

It goes without saying that you can’t list the date you graduated from your alma mater or your current workplace in your pen name bio. You’ll have to be vague about the details and tell your life story in soft-focus. But don’t get carried away and start making things up or claiming credentials you don’t have. If and when that information comes out, you’ll be discredited.

Consider Copyright Issues 

If you copyright your books using your legal name, then your true identity will be revealed within the first few pages of your book, right in the copyright clause. So much for anonymity!

However, if you copyright using your nom de plume (leaving your legal name off the copyright form), the length of copyright protection may be shorter. Also, without legal backup, it can become more difficult to prove you’re the owner should a claim arise in the future.

Check Out DBAs And FBNs

If you’re serious about separating your legal identity from your nom de plume, you may want to talk to a lawyer in your state or municipality about setting up a corporation or a limited liability company. You can then do business through that corporation, though you’ll still have to use your legal name for signing publishing contracts.

If you intend to receive payments, do any kind of banking, or get a credit card under your pen name, some states require that you fill out a “Doing Business As” or “Fictitious Business Name” form. With this in hand, you can register your domain name for your website, thus keeping the information about your identity masked from the publicly searchable domain name registry.

Limit Public Appearances

Keep in mind that even if you’re attending a conference far, far away from your hometown or office, it’s always possible you’ll bump into a colleague or old friend. You’ll also have to avoid being photographed, because there’s a risk those pictures will be posted on your fans’ social media pages. For every public appearance, weigh the risks and rewards carefully.

Though it’s not easy to hide your author persona in a world of rampant online interconnectivity, writers who are scrupulously careful about keeping their personal life separate from their writing life can continue publishing in happy anonymity.


QUESTION: Do you think pseudonyms are a good or bad idea for authors?

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