Social Media Bliss with Jane Friedman

This class is now over and is unavailable for purchase. Sign up to receive announcements about upcoming classes.

How you can engage with meaning and without losing your mind

Just about every writer has a love-hate relationship with social media, and for some it’s a distraction from important writing work.

The good news: Social media use is not mandatory to grow or establish your career. It’s feasible, if not recommended, to go without it.

The bad news: It will be a significant challenge for your career, your relationships, and your long-term marketing efforts if you exclude it entirely from your arsenal of tools—or if you participate with a cynical attitude or sour mood.

There is a path that, with a little creativity and imagination, will allow you to derive the benefits you likely want from social media while reducing its ill effects.

This class focuses on how to take a holistic and fits-for-you approach to social media that’s based on long-term reader engagement and sound principles of online marketing. You won’t find gimmicks or short-term approaches here. Rather, the basic philosophy is that (1) your work—your writing—is always central, and (2) you have to enjoy what you’re doing on social media for it to be sustainable and to become a meaningful part of your overall platform and online presence.

A big challenge for every author is figuring out what social media use will be effective in cutting through the noise, without consuming huge amounts of time. This class doesn’t offer a cookie-cutter answer that works for everyone, but it will show you the questions you need to ask to uncover the best solution for you. We’ll eliminate as much guesswork as possible, and focus on how to retain an authentic approach regardless of what social media site you use.

In this 75-minute live class on December 30, Jane Friedman will teach you:

  • The most important question to start with (which has nothing to do with social media)
  • How social media fits into your overall author platform
  • How to use social media as a creative tool that adds to your writing practice
  • Specific ways to build relationships with readers as well as influencers
  • Examples of authors who have used social media as both a creative tool and as a marketing and publishing tool
  • How to write a proper bio for social media
  • The use of hashtags to reach specific communities
  • The basics of good etiquette—or how to avoid being that annoying person that people mute or block
  • How to create effective visuals
  • How and when social media can work as a hard sales channel
  • Social media tools that can help you manage your time efficiently

Because of their size and popularity in the publishing community, this class will discuss and use examples primarily from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But the principles you learn can be applied to just about any social media or community-based site. Understanding these principles will help you more intuitively approach and use any social media platform.

Who should take this class

  • Unpublished writers who want to build their online presence, but don’t know how social media fits into the bigger picture, or where to start
  • Authors who want to build their network and relationships in the writing and publishing community
  • Authors who want to use social media more effectively
  • Authors who believe social media is mostly a waste of their time, but also feel like they can’t afford to ignore it

Who should NOT take take this class

  • People who need to build up their numbers fast (in weeks or months) to land a book deal
  • People who plan to drive engagement through advertising or paid promotion
  • People who want to learn the hottest new trends on TikTok (or any social media site)
  • People who want to become an Instagram influencer and get paid the big bucks

How do I know if this webinar is worth the cost?

This is an important question, and it’s a tough one to answer—especially since so much online education is available free of charge. Furthermore, every student is different, and a valuable webinar for one person can end up being a disappointment to another. For this reason, we offer full refunds if you register, attend the entire class, and fail to get the information you’re looking for. Please email us directly to request a refund.

Do I have to attend the live class?

No. Everyone who registers will get access to the recording. However, if you’d like to attend live, keep reading.

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology. You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 10 minutes of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Wednesday, December 30, 2020
  • Time: 1 p.m.–2:15 p.m. Eastern Time / 10 a.m. Pacific Time
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided for the live class. We use Rev’s closed caption service, powered by AI, which is about 80%+ accurate. Keep in mind there is a time delay; transcription speed varies based on how fast the Internet hamsters run that day.

Jane Friedman 2020

About the instructor

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Her own platform includes:

  • An email subscriber base of nearly 50,000
  • A website and blog that attract 100,000 visitors every month
  • More than 10 years of experience using Twitter, where she has more than 200,000 followers
  • Nearly 15 years of Facebook activity, where she maintains a personal profile, a business page, and a group
  • Daily posts on Instagram, with more than 5,000 followers
  • Mentions in mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Publishers Weekly, and much more.

Jane frequently speaks on the publishing industry at major events (BookExpo, Digital Book World, London Book Fair) and is a professor with The Great Courses. She’s taught numerous conference workshops and online classes on author platform—going back to 2010!—so her lectures and curriculum anticipate your questions and address the most common challenges that authors face.

I’m just starting out as a blogger (after years of percolating) and Jane’s webinar answered all my most pressing questions. She even answered questions I hadn’t articulated yet, things that were just kind of swirling around and keeping me frozen.

Denise Berger


We feel like we’ve been stumbling around in the dark for too long and your advice feels like someone turned on a light in the distance to give us a direction to walk.

Warren & Betsy Talbot


Thank you for a well-presented and enlightening webinar on publishing. I have taken twelve-sessions-long university courses that did not cover that much material. As well, thank you for answering all questions, including mine, after the session was closed.

Lise Lévesque


You’ll receive the following

  • Access to the 75-minute interactive class. After 60 minutes, Jane will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 75 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Additional answers to questions, if needed. If there isn’t time for Jane to answer all the questions during the live event, she will answer them in writing afterward. All participants will receive the answers with the follow-up recording.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.

System Requirements to Join the Webinar

We will be using Zoom webinar technology.

You’ll need:

  • An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers: built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth

Recommended bandwidth:

  • 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
  • If you connect through audio only: 60-80kbps (down)

Supported operating systems:

Supported tablet and mobile devices:

  • Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1
  • iOS and Android devices
  • Blackberry devices

Supported browsers:

  • Windows: IE 11+,  Edge 12+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Linux: Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+

For a detailed listing of system requirements, check Zoom’s site.