Jennifer Laughran, an Agent at Andrea Brown Literary, has a fantastic blog post at her "Jennifer Represents..." blog that you need to read: The Fine Art of Zipping it, or XYZ PDQ. It's about what you should and probably shouldn't share in our new facebook/twitter/online world of social media. Go read it and pop back so we can chat about it.
Okay, now that you're back, let's do some self-examination. Jennifer writes,
"...the tone of my social media reflects the tone of my work."
What's the tone of your facebook posts? Your tweets? Your blog?
What about the photos you post on facebook and your profile pictures across social media? If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what does your profile pic say?
When I get a friend request from someone I don't know, if they're not wearing a shirt in their profile pic (guys or girls), I do not friend them back or accept the request. No offense meant, but clearly, they're not there for the same reasons I am.
(An extension of this is that in places where you can, send a message with your friending request, explaining the connection, and showing your professional intent. It's certainly something I appreciate.)
I'm online to be my public, professional self. To have and contribute to great discussions about kid lit and diversity and ending bullying and GLBTQ equality ...and to gather with like-minded tribe members - writers, illustrators, agents, editors, publishers, art directors, librarians, teachers, parents and teens.
Why are you online? Who's your audience?
As Jennifer writes with her inimitable wit,
...if you have a public account on which you are promoting your work for children, and you are friending/following readers, teachers, librarians and publishing professionals, use your dang noodle. And not THAT noodle, mister.
Think about it in terms of what Alexandra Penfold, Editor at Paula Wiseman Books at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, suggested in her panel at #NY12SCBWI:
"Google yourself and make sure it's what you want agents and editors to see with your submission."
Illustrate and Write On,