How to share the heart of your book 35 ways in Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin each!


Sometimes you write a book or some copy that lends itself to being edited into <140-character snippets that could (and should) be widely shared and used. So that's what I did, prodded by an article about social media. It worked great, despite the fact that I'm not very social and I know even less about its media. On the other hand, when I write something, I love to extract a mile of yardage out of its 50 inches of prose. If somebody else benefits, that's a grand way to start 2014. So let me share a process that I put to the test yesterday afternoon, one day into this New Year. If the process interests you too, try it. It begins with my book How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days, and a go-ahead from a short query, to write a brief blog for BookBaby. That first appeared on December 13, and it was just rerun as the featured blog in the current BookBaby blog. It’s titled “How to Write Your Book’s First Draft Like a Professional.” But I think of it as seven steps to use to write a first draft by using the professional tricks and shortcuts that zip veterans and newcomers through the three-draft writing process in about a third of the time. It explains how to put the needed steps in the right order and forget the rest, like spelling, punctuation, and hot research until you have a mound of prose in draft #1 from which you can then edit and craft a dandy novel or nonfiction winner. (See a copy of that blog here.)

I had read an article (I have no idea where) that said you should carve out the best ideas and fit them into 140-character gems to use simultaneously in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and others, with a link back to the starter book or your website so the curious will be drawn into your devious web. I’m an old newspaper guy, very old, and that sounded like fun.

So let me explain the process so you can do the same. I should add that I use to send the same cuttings to many social networks simultaneously. HootSuite is almost free and a huge timesaver once you figure out its workings.

I combed the front half of How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days where I explain in simple terms how to write a book like a professional. That’s where I drew the seven steps for BookBaby. Then I took those steps and extracted 35 key elements that a book writer would benefit from knowing (and doing).

The mystery article I mentioned suggested setting up a schedule for each snippet to appear about three times (maybe I invented three as the limit so I don’t drive both of my friends mad) in the chosen social web outlets. I decided to separate the three postings of each Tweet about 20 days apart, one in the US morning, one in the afternoon, and one while we sleep but the farthest world cavorts, like 3 a.m. here. And I figured that I would keep this going until I expired or the snippets did. (You can see these Tweets at their respective magic dates and times below.)

First I looked at the seven steps and pulled out the main points that each suggested, trying to keep them under 200 or so characters. Then I took each and I rewrote it so the message and the coded link (see HootSuite for a link shrinker) would fit in the 140-character limit. Finally, I called up the scheduler and told it which was to go on what day (only one a day) and at what time. So it works, I hope, while I play, I hope.

What follows are the first 10 and the days they will appear, each followed by the same link taking the curious to the BookBaby blog site. (I will use my own landing page for my book on about half of the items in this series.)

The first release appeared yesterday at 1:30 on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. The item following number 1. was my original prose and, by chance, it was only 108 characters long (including white spaces). I had to clean up the punctuation a bit, and I saw an opportunity to add a very important point, that you can almost never have too much dialog in a book, particularly in a novel. What I actually posted follows the word “used.” Below that I listed the date and time when it will be posted. (It goes to all three services simultaneously.) The OK means that they were in fact scheduled as listed.

If you look through the ten samples, you will see that each is at least tightened up, and that most are slightly (some remarkably) rewritten to say the most in the least amount of space.


1. When editing your book be ruthless. Get rid of most adjectives, ly words, dribble, most clichés.

Used. When editing your book, be ruthless. Get rid of most adjectives, ly words, dribble, most clichés. Add dialog.

POSTED: 1/3, 1:30 pm; 1/23, 12:25 am; 2/13, 10:15 am OK

2. The most important of seven tips for getting your book in print (while you breathe) is to write your first draft as quickly as possible.

Used. The most important tip of 7 to get your book in print (while you breathe), write your first draft as quickly as possible.

POSTED: 1/4, 11:15 am; 1/24, 4:25 pm; 2/14, 1:15 am OK

3. Writers in print know that many, maybe most, of their first words will never see light—nor should they. The first draft must be patched together, mercilessly edited, then lovingly shined.

Used: Veteran book writers know that lots of their words in draft #1 won’t see print. So they write fast first, then edit later.

POSTED: 1/5, 12:10 pm; 1/25, 4:30 pm; 2/15, 2:20 am OK

4. If it takes you more than about 10 words to tell what your book is about, something has to go.

Used. If it takes you more than about 10 words to tell what your new book is about, prune something before you start.

POSTED: 1/6, 1:10 pm; 1/26, 6:30 pm; 2/16, 3:20 am OK

5. Published veteran writers gather pounds of first draft words so there will be enough gold in the final edit to deserve publication.

Used. Published writers use pounds of first draft words so there will be enough gold in the final edit to deserve publication.

POSTED: 1/7, 2:15 pm; 1/27, 7: pm; 2/17, 4:20 am OK

6. Tape your book’s purpose statement to your monitor, find the current chapter title and info, and just start typing where you quit yesterday.

Used. Read your book’s purpose statement, reread the chapter title and notes, and just start typing where you quit yesterday.

POSTED: 1/8, 2:30 pm; 1/28, 7:30 pm; 2/18, 5:20 am OK

7. New book writers are offended that anybody, even themselves, would dare change a word of what they have created—or chiseled—in their first draft.

Used. New book writers are profoundly offended that they, preferably, should rewrite most of their sweat-dripping first draft.

POSTED: 1/9, 2:30 pm; 1/29, 7:30 pm; 2/19, 5:20 am OK

8. “The dawn sun crept up Mount Tall and peaked at Inhambupe.” Or is it Wee Mountain? Or the palm oasis? Write “over {what?]” and research it later, if it’s still important.

Used. “The dawn sun crept up and over Mount ___ “ Who cares in draft #1? Fill the blank in draft #2, if it’s still important.

POSTED: 1/10, 2:30 pm; 1/30, 7:30 pm; 2/20, 5:20 am OK

9. Don’t edit anything in your book’s first draft. Just get stuff down and keep going. You’ll rewrite 50% of the first draft or throw it away. Edit the third draft.

Used. Edit nothing in your first draft except ain’t. You’ll rewrite most of the book later. Write in draft 1, add in 2, edit in 3.

POSTED: 1/11, 2:30 pm; 1/31, 7:30 pm; 2/20, 5:20 am OK

10. What makes most book writers boring is that their best friends and ideas are living in the first draft. You are a distraction when they are writing.

Used. Most book writers at work have their best friends and ideas still alive in the first draft. Just feed them and go away.

POSTED: 1/12, 2:30 pm; 2/1, 7:30 pm; 2/21, 5:20 am OK

That’s it. The extracting and writing, for me, is the fun. But the posting and the rest is tedious. I will post all 35 this way as a test to see if anything happens from the additional exposure. In the meantime I will use a lot of the extractions in other promotional means. It’s good to have a trove of measured copy when you try to sell ideas and a book.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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