Tonya D. Price holds an MBA from Cornell University. She has worked in the Internet industry for over 15 years in online marketing and project management. She is the author of the popular Business Books for Writers series including The Writer's Business Plan and The Profitable Writer. She started the series to share her knowledge of entrepreneurial business skills with indie publishers because writing is serious business.

Tonya enjoys sharing her knowledge on her website where she posts helpful information and business resources for writers. She points authors to the latest blog posts on entrepreneurship and business conferences for writers in the free Writing Entrepreneur newsletter.

Tonya is also a full-time fiction writer and writing entrepreneur who has published a number of short stories in magazines and fiction anthologies. Her Fiction River story, "Payback," originally published in Hard Choices, was selected for The Best American Mystery Stories 2019.

A Writer's Introduction to Social Media Marketing by Tonya D. Price, MBA

Have you tried sending tweet after tweet on Twitter and never seen an increase in your book sales? Have you spent time posting your book cover on every social media platform you can find, and your book sales remain stagnant? The problem isn't that social media doesn't work as an effective marketing tool. You are trying to use social media as a sales tool, and there is a difference.

A Writer's Introduction to Social Media Marketingshows you how to use social media marketing to define and find your ideal reader who will buy everything you write. Starting with your author brand, you will learn step by step how to become part of a social media community. You will discover how to write posts without spending hours of what could be writing time.

Do yourself a favor, spend this weekend withA Writer's Introduction to Social Media Marketingand learn how connecting with your ideal readers will increase your book sales.


Everyone tells writers to expand their social media presence. Even traditional publishers force their writers to go on social media. But there's a good way to be on social media and a bad way. Tonya knows the best way to have a social media presence and she shares it here. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch





This book is for writers with little experience using social media marketing as a business tool. The goal of this book is to teach you the skills needed to use social media to accomplish the marketing goals you have established for your writing business.

If you have been tweeting and sharing Facebook photos with your friends and family; have been posting vacation photos on Instagram, or have been sending out images of your latest epic fantasy novel while wondering why no one interacts with your tweets or why your fiction sales haven't gone up - you need this book.

Learn the right way to do social media marketing.

"Social media is a waste of time." Every one of the books in the Business Books for Writers series began with me asking fellow authors what they would like to see in the next book. The series started at a writers' workshop breakfast table. One of the professional authors turned to me and said, "Tonya, you have an MBA. Can you tell me how to create a business plan? I want to write full-time, and to do that, I realize I need to treat my writing as a business."

I had just began writing full-time. As expected, my first task upon returning home from the workshop was to write a business plan for my new self-publishing company: Magnolia Lane Press. (As a hybrid author, I'm selling to traditional publishers and I'm self-publishing. This provides me with two income streams, reducing my risk should one or the other publishing option face an industry downturn.) I had started two successful businesses, and upon starting each new venture, I had always written a business plan. Writing a business plan forces me to identify my short and long-term goals for the business and creates a plan to reach those goals.

Why am I telling you this in a book about social media marketing for writers? There are two reasons. First, unlike the other books in the series, this book did not start with fiction writers asking me to write a book about a specific topic. I decided to write an introductory book on social media marketing after sitting at a banquet table at a writer's conference when another author said, "Social media is a waste of time for a writer." Everyone nodded their head in agreement. I listened to story after story of how authors had spent months or years trying to sell books on social media without success.

Then, I asked if any of the writers had a social media plan. None did. They didn't have a strategy, nor had they set any social media goals to measure their posts' success. About half of the writers had created a Twitter or Facebook account where they posted requests for other writers to buy their book or chatted about their cats. Some had paid other people to put up images of their book covers with a link to an online retailer and then they wondered why they didn't see an increase in their book sales.

These writers didn't understand the purpose of the social media platforms - to become part of the community. They broke the central rules of social media: they didn't have a strategy or a content plan. Moreover, they neither tracked nor understand how to measure the value they provided the community.

They didn't understand you don't post on social media to sell books. Instead, you post on social media to get to know the reading community while giving them the chance to know you.

Secondly, by telling you the history of how the Business Books for Writers began, I intend to share the fundamental key to success regarding using social media. That is, to use social media to better understand the people buying your books. Post questions to discover what your potential readers want to read, while also finding out what they have read. Find out where they learn of the books like yours and most importantly, where do they buy their books.

A word about the Business Books for Writers series

A Writer's Introduction to Social Media Marketing is the sixth book in the Business Books for Writers series. The books are designed to be read over a weekend because writers are busy people. You will find additional information on the Business Books for Writers series on the website (

Every book in the series has a dedicated page. See for this book's page where you will find any corrections (in case any slippery typos sneak past me, my first and second editors, and proofreader. It happens, but we try hard to make sure it doesn't. If you find one, email me at [email protected]. I'll send you a reward for your eagle eye.)

Worksheets will help you create your social media marketing plan.

It is nice to finish a book and have something concrete to use that helps your writing business succeed. For this reason, you can download worksheets to create a personalized social media marketing plan. With this plan you will document your social media goals, your social media strategy, your content strategy and plan and other important information you will need in your marketing efforts.

Unlike other authors who require you to purchase a separate workbook, these worksheets are downloadable from the Business Books For Writers website at They are accessible to ebook and print purchasers alike at no extra cost. If you lose your worksheet or want to update one, you can always go back and download them again. A document titled "Social Media Marketing Checklist" is also in the folder. Use this once you begin to implement your social media marketing plan.

You will find tips, warnings, and hint boxes throughout the book - all of which highlight information you may want to find quickly in the future.

There are links throughout the book to blog posts, online articles, and a list of recommended books on social media. These will allow you to continue learning about social media marketing in as much depth as you desire after you complete this book.

A resource page on the Business Books for Writers website ( also includes additional books on social media marketing, social media marketing apps, and tools to make your marketing easier as your readership grows.

Social media platforms are not challenging to use. Unfortunately, they are easy to misuse.

So, let's find out how social media marketing helps you increase your sales even though you may never sell a novel on social media!