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 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–keep your mouth shut. 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. Create a separate Business page to support your book and your expertise. 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 Wikileak’s latest trending topic.




Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and author of 37 multi-award books. She’s guided over 1,000 authors in creating their books, earned in excess of $3,000,000 in speaking fees based on her books and gathered over $2,000,000 in onsite book sales at her speaking gigs. Her book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech flips a difficult topic into a simple and easily comprehensible plan. If you want to get into speaking, this is the guide that will be the game-changer to success. And, if you want to know more about Judith’s life, her book of “hope” is When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present. You can get it HERE

Listen to The Book Shepherd’s weekly podcast: AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing.

Check the Events tab on The Book Shepherd for Judith’s annual Speaking Unplugged, Book Publishing Unplugged, and Book Marketing Unplugged