Publisher Simon & Schuster Says Authors Should Blog and Social Network

Mega-publisher Simon & Schuster have recently relaunched their website. It has loads of interesting things for authors and readers, but what is particularly of note to me is the Author Resources section.

Under the sub-section of Online Tips and Tools, they promote the use of blogs, social media, book sites and video for authors who want to market themselves and their books. This is essentially the Author 2.0 Model where you have a central hub site with lots of ‘spokes’ linking to it and bringing you people, traffic and sales from around the net.

The need for an author platform has been talked about for a few years now, but it seems the mainstream publishers are now actively encouraging it, even for established authors. I don’t think the tools S&S list are well researched or easy to use, so here are some other resources you can use to get started.


I frequently get questions about how to set up a blog, how I manage this one and what people can do to get more traffic, so here are some links to resources and articles. [Many of the links are affiliate links and I stand behind all of them. I only recommend what I use myself].

Social Networking and Book Sites


What else do you want to know in order to build your online platform?

Multimedia short course “Blogging for Authors and Writers” now available. Click here for more information.

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    • says

      Hi Pam, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      yes, you can use on your blog as the site is Creative Commons as long as you attribute the original post and me as the author. Thanks.

  1. says

    All of these are great ideas especially the ones about video. More than 60% of all internet traffic is video, so it offers a great opportunity to do two things that writers need.

    First, you can develop a intimate relationship with your audience at a distance. Sounds like a contradiction, but if you do spontaneous videos with a hand-held camera you can talk right from your heart to your reader’s hearts.

    Second, you can use video to establish social proof for you, your ideas, and your books. Get testimonials from raving fans and put them up where your audience can see them. Your greatest fans love being sold over and over and your new fans will appreciate the affirmation of their interest.

    To see examples of this in action see the website of my mentor, Joel Bauer, at

    Again, great article!

  2. says

    I had a good laugh at the idea that mainstream publishers are just now getting into this. I think the common misconception that people can commercially publish their manuscript and let the publisher do all the marketing is still prevalent. I am surprised by how many self-published authors I come across who say, “I hope an agent will pick up my book so it’ll finally sell.” Maybe seeing the commercial publishers having these suggestions on their websites will give them a clue. :-)

  3. says

    Nice post, Joanna, thanks for all the good links to your terrific resources. Interesting to hear you are updating your Author 2.0, I have often recommended it. Look forward to your new thoughts on the ever-changing book marketing scene.

  4. says

    Great resources! However, how do you fully utilize all this information, research and marketing material. Very little, if any, of it is available at the retail point of sale, reviewers blog posts or fan websites and ‘pulling’ readers to multiple sources is a guaranteed way to loose a customer, fan and brand.

    What about a book marketing platform that can aggregate the external Internet marketing material (Twitter, YouTube, blog posts, etc), combine it with internal marketing material (i.e., chapter samples, author bio, news/appearance updates, etc.), organize it and push it to all distribution points (retail pos, blog postings, fan websites, viral distributions, etc.). This provides readers with the information they want, where they want it and when they want it (permission marketing). Also, purchase options allow for instant sales wherever the book is featured (i.e., blog post, fan website, author’s website, etc.).

    Chris Glennon
    SmartSymbols Book Marketing Platform

  5. Jodykat says

    Thanks again Joanna! Have Retweeted your article just now @jodykat. We’re currently in the ‘build’ stage of the marketing / online presence for our book launching next Spring… and you and your site are proving to be an absolute goldmine of information. I really appreciate your wisdom & generosity – thank you x

  6. Naomi Davis says

    Joanna, I’ve nearly finished a memoir crossover business book and only now realize the importance of a platform. I’m overwhelmed and frankly don’t know where to start. I’m the introverted type and social networking is difficult for me.
    I opened a Facebook page yesterday. Sounds like a little, but it was a hurdle. Now what? Should I acquire a collaborator, give her half the credit and gain a ready made platform?
    Where do I blog and about what? My book is about workplace abuse. I haven’t written a proposal yet. Without a platform, what good would it do?
    Thanks for reading my rant. Naomi

  7. says

    Hi Joanna,
    I find your information and blog every so wise and helpful. I’ve been blogging regularly since Nov. 2010. My in-progress memoir focuses on my parents’ relationship and how our sprawling rooming house, my dad’s extensive travel, my mother’s crazy mother, who lived with us, and eventual racial change and riots in our neighborhood undermined their once great love. I started my blog as a family history blog — creating mini stories through the letters and diaries my family saved that span the past hundred years. I will NEVER have thousands of followers on this blog–many love it, but it’s too niche. So the answer to “platform” is more than just “blogging.” Clearly your blog meets a need –you give lots of advice and help writers find their way to publication. So…I’m thinking of creating a Memoir advice blog — people will only follow what they find helpful — or funny. What advice would you give for finding the right KIND of blog. I’ve posted regularly, tweeted, am on Facebook, etc. but my following is limited. I know need to reach out in a more social way that will BENEFIT others. Any thoughts on how to find the right kind of blog to create?

    • says

      Hi Linda,
      Blogging is definitely rewarding but it is hard to find your niche. This is my 3rd blog and the first two went by the wayside. It took a while to find my own brand. Writing for memoir writers is a good niche – it’s definitely something that people are interested in.
      Consider your audience but also consider what you want longterm but it all takes a while to grow.
      I have a LOT of information about blogging on the site, but it is all contained here if you want to take it further. Thanks. Joanna


  1. […] to Simon and Schuster saying authors should blog and use social networks, Joanna Penn posted a great collection of tools to use to help set up an author (or any) platform. Very useful info, […]

  2. […] Blogging has changed my life both personally and professionally and I consider it an integral part of who I am now. It is also a critical part of an author’s online platform these days, even advocated by huge publishers like Simon & Schuster. […]

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