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Blogging and Social Media vs Writing a Book

Want people to know about your book? Get on Social Media

I went to a workshop on blogging today. I thought it was going to be about how to blog without embarrassing myself. Apparently not. It was about the importance of social media and blogging as a marketing too. It was about using social media to get oneself out there and advertising one’s books. I’m still old school. I wish the advertising of books was left solely to the publisher but this is not the case. One of my about-to-be-published writer friends said his publisher recommended he start a blog about his book. He was stymied, wondering how to start. Another about-to-be-published writer friend said he retired early to avoid the new technology coming into his workplace. He’s in his sixties and feels that doing what was recommended by the presenter, is a full time job and a job he wanted to avoid in the first place. He wants to write, not be on social media.

I have a hard enough time finishing my book without the extra work of social media. It still feels alien to me. I remember when cell phones first came out and people walked around with them talking loudly about work, feeling important, rich and cool. I thought even back then, “You’re a modern day slave. Your boss always knows where you are and what you are doing. He/she can always contact you. Creepy!” And now, it’s totally normal to advertise our every whereabout, private or otherwise. There’s still a part of me that rebels against this, that craves the privacy of being totally unreachable. (Until my friend, let’s call her Katrina, told me, “You have to have your phone on you and on all the time. You’re the emergency contact for my child. What use is it if you don’t charge it? Carry it? Know where to find it?)

But back to social media. It feels like I’m putting myself in the spotlight, bragging even. This comes so naturally to some and as loud as I am at work where I know my colleagues well and feel comfortable, it feels strange and awkward for me to be tweeting about books, putting images on Pinterest, blogging twice a week at least (or so I was told). The presenter, my new editor, was asked if she slept. “No,” she replied.

I, on the other hand, happen to love sleeping. And what about good old fashioned TV watching? Will there be any time to do anything else? What about the time to write my book? The presenter gave me my answer. Get used to social media because it works and it isn’t going anywhere. It’s how books and authors get recognized. So I’m going to be blogging once a week. But please don’t hold me to that. I can’t promise anything.