Don’t Write Alone | Interviews

“You don’t have to do social media if you hate it”: A Q&A with Marketing Director Rachel Fershleiser

As part of our Social Media Week series, Rachel Fershleiser debunks the myths of marketing and social media and shares tips for how to build an authentic online presence.

A number of myths surround the relationship between publishing and social media: that self-promotion is somehow embarrassing (it’s not!); that writers must have a certain number of followers before they can sell their book to a press (they don’t!); or that a writer has to be on social media at all (be free!). As part of our Social Media Week series, the editorial team wanted to debunk some of these misconceptions and explore the role that an online presence—if you have one—can play in building literary platforms and community.


Tajja Isen: I want to start by asking you about your own relationship with social media, because you have such a robust and vibrant presence online. Did that evolve separately from your work in publishing, or did they grow up together?

Six-Word Memoir ProjectHousing Works Bookstore

written up on Huffington Poststory

TI: I the bookstore beef. As someone who now works with writers, when you’re starting to work with an author, what do you look for or love to see in terms of a social presence?


TI: How unique is that kind of flexibility? Sometimes I feel like it’s quite prevalent in publishing to expect that the writer will have started building their platform even if it’s not relevant to the content of the work.

why should readers care? why should readers carewhy should readers carewhy should readers carea she’s on Twitter She’s friends with all these incredible writers and she’s going to get blurbs from all these successful people

TI: That’s a great point. Its roots have gotten so much deeper now.

TI: Taking a look at the other side, how does your job change when you’re working with an author who’s not on social at all?

TI: Ah, yes, the “friends and family” email.

pleaseoh no, I’m gonna tweet about my book, I’m so sorry

TI: I know this is something that so many writers are facing now, at a time when there are so many terrible things happening in the world and it’s like, why read my book now? Do you have any sort of counsel for writers in that situation?


TI: I’ll wrap up with one more—we touched on this earlier, but are there any other myths or misconceptions about what authors should be doing about their work that you really want to debunk?

PublishI wrote the book, my job is done, you guys market it