7 Rules to Avoid Author Self-Sabotage — Don’t Be a WikiLeaks Moment!

As the political season enters the final month, we have all been overloaded with accusations, innuendos and a variety of interesting and inventive side steps and blatant untruths. Some of you are appalled by it; some of you have been amused by it; some of you have been mesmerized by it; some of you are sick of it; and some of it you have chosen to just ignore it.  Why am I bringing this up? Because …


Inappropriate words can sink an author’s reputation

What you say … what you write … what you say that you think is private … what you say kiddingly … what you say when you put your mouth or words out there before your brain has the opportunity to kick start … can come back to haunt you. And there isn’t one of us who hasn’t said something or put it in writing and post sending/saying, and regretted doing so.

It’s that simple … and that important.

I have told my Book Shepherd clients to tone down anything to do with politics, celebrities and scandals on their social media pages. Guaranteed, many can immediately be ticked off. For this season, I cautioned them about posting positions/thoughts about Trump or Clinton. Do I have opinions about either? Yes, I do, but they aren’t on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Facebook. Have I wanted to post or respond at times? Oh yes, but I don’t. I’ve shared with friends in person—but on social media? Nope. In fact, after observing a vomiting of posts pro and con for each, I took a stand and posted:

Note to all … if there are any political or what I deem offensive postings, I will delete and in some cases, unfriend you or disconnect. My pages are about author, publishing, and personal success. Thanks.

And I had my virtual assistant start go through and deleting posts and in some cases, disconnecting. I don’t want to read it and I don’t want my social media to be clutter with it. I’m about author success. Now, do I follow politics? Yes—I read two newspapers a day; do a catch up with a couple of hours a week with various media shows that I follow.

Judith’s 7 Rules

1. Do not … do not … do not say or do anything that can land you in the media and tarnish you or your book. The old rule that any media—good or bad—is good media. I don’t believe it.

2. Do not … do not … do not send an email that you could possibly regret. Once sent, it’s fair game to land in the wrong place. I know, I know, it doesn’t seem right, but that’s what can happen … and does. And did you know that any email that is forwarded can simply be edited with what you wrote by the forwarded that could even alter what you originally wrote?

3. If you are upset about something … do not … do not … do not leave a voice mail. Your name and call back number is best if you don’t connect live. With Caller ID on my phones, it’s difficult to hide from a completed call.

4. If you feel a tirade coming on … don’t. It’s best to have an outburst pal to get it off your chest vs. spell it out in emails or social media channels. Or keep it within the walls of your home or office.

5. Don’t post things that could offend or tick off potential SuperFans. Nurture them instead—it’s what will grow you and your author success. Your Fans will hunt you down … they want to know about you. Are they going to get a surprise when they find posts, interviews that may be contrary to what you are positioning yourself as?

6. If you are a Facebook user—remember FB favors the family/friends approach … lots of pics, trips, chatty personal stuff. Not business. Authoring and publishing is a business—understand that. If you are a Twitter devotee and you get on a rant, don’t be surprised if you get a boatload of unfollows.

7. Think of your beloved Gramma listening in or reading what you wrote. What would she think? What would she say? If it’s not, “Wonderful” or “Others need to hear this” or a variation, take a pass.

Solid reputations take time to build and only seconds to take down. Think before you put your mouth or words in gear. If you have “old stuff” in your midst within your social media channels, I strongly suggest your start doing a cleanup. You definitely don’t want to be Wikileaks latest trending topic.



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Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing signature-full TRNabout and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen

One Comment on 7 Rules to Avoid Author Self-Sabotage — Don’t Be a WikiLeaks Moment!

  1. Great advice, Judith. I’m astonished at how many political rants I see on LinkedIn, the world’s #1 social media site for business. I see authors and “experts” using the F-bomb, and sharing disgusting photos and videos. Sharing your political views, or worse, might make you feel good after you’ve done it, but it can haunt you forever. And it can lose you book sales, consulting assignments and speaking engagements.

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