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Writers and the Use of Social Media for Marketing

Updated on February 18, 2015

Let’s Begin with a Referral

I’m going to start by giving a shout out to a writer friend of mine….Iris Draak. She really is the inspiration for this article. She recently posted a wonderful article in her blog that discusses the basics of different social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. I strongly suggest you read her blog post and follow her. She really is that good. You can find that blog post by following this link.

I think it’s safe to state that social media is here to stay. As much as I miss receiving letters in the mail…as much as I long for the days of rotary phones and party lines….I think we can categorically state that the way we communicate has changed forever, and any writer who does not recognize that fact will quickly join the Dodo Bird on the extinction list.

On her blog post, Iris gives an excellent tutorial about those social media sites. She is correct in everything she says, so I’m going to use her blog post as a foundation and build upon it. I don’t think she will mind. In fact, I’m betting she will approve of what I’m about to say.

Back in the old days, people actually formed face-to-face relationships
Back in the old days, people actually formed face-to-face relationships | Source

Come with Me to the Old Days

Back in the Dark Ages (when I was a kid), writers would toil away for years in obscurity. Some would make it. Some would find a publisher, and that publishing house would take on their work, and most of the marketing was done by that publishing firm. The writer would be called upon to show up for book signings, and occasionally, if they really made it big, they would be interviewed by journalists and might even appear on public broadcasting. Point of sale displays of their book could be found in major bookstores, and the money would roll in and everyone was happy.

Those who didn’t find a publisher just kept writing. Book after book they created. Article after article they crafted. There was no self-publishing. The word “ebook” meant nothing back then. Without an agent or publisher you were going nowhere in the publishing world, and that’s just the way it was. Writers of considerable fame like Steinbeck, Hemingway, MacDonald, these writers literally lived in poverty for years while they honed their talents and waited for their big break.

If this book sells it will be because I promoted it
If this book sells it will be because I promoted it | Source

Fast Forward to Today

Well, it’s a different world, isn’t it? Today anyone can write a book and anyone can self-publish. Oh sure, there are still traditional publishing houses, but even those have changed. Today there are very few publishing houses that have the resources to really promote their writers. They will publish a book, and make sure it is placed in the major bookstores, but other than that, the bulk of promotion has to be done by the writer.

And of course, if you self-publish, all of the marketing is done by the writer.

So that brings us to social media and other methods of self-promotion.

Let me see the hands of writers reading this who enjoy self-promotion and marketing.

Chances are few of you raised your hand. For most writers, marketing is akin to being boiled alive….it’s just not too enjoyable. That’s why social media is so attractive to writers, because it requires very little personal interaction with real people. You set up a website, you post your stuff on Facebook, you tweet, you pin and then you go back to your writing where you feel safe. You pat yourself on the back for a job well-done and then you eat another Twinkie while you crank out another book.

Life is good!

NOT!

I have grown weary of Facebook. Let me tell you why. I can’t go on Facebook without being inundated by the latest article, the latest band gig, the latest painting, the latest sculpture, the latest…..and just when I think I can’t take it any longer, someone will tag me with some self-promotion, and by that time I absolutely refuse to look at any of it.

I had a friend who self-published a book last year. I don’t know if it’s any good because I refused to buy it. Would you like to know why? Because for a solid month all I heard about was that damned book. It went something like this….”good morning, buy my new book….good afternoon, you’ll love my new book….good evening, did I mention I have a new book….good morning, my new book and breakfast are the perfect way to start the day.”

Gag me with a spoon and call me fed up.

There’s got to be a better way.

The Better Way

I’ve mentioned this before so for those of you who have heard it, I apologize. Bear with me while I enlighten the unenlightened. I read somewhere awhile back (how’s that for vague?) that a writer needs to have one-hundred followers who will follow that writer into hell. Why? Because those one-hundred followers are so dedicated that they will not only purchase the writer’s book, but they will also tell everyone they know what a great writer that person is….and that kind of word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.

So, how do you find those one-hundred followers who are fanatical about your work?

You certainly won’t find them by beating them senseless with social media garbage.

You will find them, however, by becoming a real person to them.

What is a writer? This isn’t a trick question….what is a writer? The first thing a writer is…and probably the most important thing a writer is…is a human being. Writers communicate, as human beings, with other human beings. We establish a relationship with our readers. That’s what we do in the proverbial nutshell. Whether we are writing recipes or thousand-page epics, we are relating to others. Am I right or am I right?

If you want one-hundred fanatical, rabid followers, the very first thing you need to do is become real to your readers. And you do that by actually communicating with them…sharing a part of you with them…being real to them.

Do that and your job of marketing will be much easier.

Self-promotion at its finest
Self-promotion at its finest | Source

So Consider This Approach Instead

I have nothing against social media. I think it can be a very useful tool in a writer’s marketing campaign, but it is not the only tool, and if overused, it will become a tool that can hurt you.

By all means, follow Iris’s suggestions from her blog, but in addition begin working on other aspects of self-promotion, and the most important aspect of self-promotion is self. Who are you? Let others know who you are. Get out and meet people. Give readings. Hold book signings. Teach and attend workshops. Join writing groups. Become an active member of a writing community.

I honestly don’t know how many followers I have who would follow me into hell. I suspect the number is around fifty. Fifty die-hard followers who believe strongly in my work and will help me with promotion through word-of-mouth….I still have another fifty to find, and I’ll find them the same way I found the first fifty….by being human and allowing people to meet me and know me as a real live person.

How about you?

Show me who you are. Give me a reason to like you and then, and only then, will I follow you into hell.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Glimmer. I doubt seriously if you overdo it on social media. We all use it to some extent.

      It's always good to see you here.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Hello again my friend. While I may not like it that much (except Pinterest, I like Pinterest) I do try to advertise my articles on social media. More importantly, I share other people's work too. I think that is so very important and so easy to do, especially on a place like Pinterest. If I like an article, I usually give it a quick pin. I don't make a big deal about it either. But I agree, people shouldn't over promote their work. Now you've got me thinking about if I do that. Hope you are well. Doing another big "catch up" on commenting. I'm really getting bad about it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, vkwok, and thank you!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the words of wisdom, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Deb. I count on my followers to get the word out. Without all of you I'd be completely unknown.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      No truer words than this. Without word-of-mouth, you have to work a LOT harder.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again DDE. You are a constant presence here and I appreciate it greatly.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Helpful and I don't over promote my work. Well-advised!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, Linda. I have business cards too...and I lean towards the subtle approach. I make friends and then they know what I'm doing because they like me and are interested in finding out my latest.

    • LindaSarhan profile image

      L Sarhan 2 years ago

      I utilize social media a lot to promote not only my writing but the works of other writers. Although I do see a boost in earnings when I utilize social media, I also enjoy other avenues. I even have business cards that promote my website, which is a collection of links to my writing. So whether I am doing face-to-face networking, because I also do a lot of other promotional work, or just handing a new friend my contact information, I am always promoting my writing even if it is in subtle ways.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aesta, thank you again for buying my book, and for your kind words. Peace be with you today, my friend.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You are right about being real. Had I not known you here and the work you do, I would never have bought Resurrecting Tobias nor followed your writing. I was impressed with how you take seriously each one of the hubbers you follow. Thank you for the encouragement. It is worth more any social media share.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you SG.....I know you'll love Iris and her advice.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is all awesome advice and so true! Over promotion can ruin your reputation. I agree with everything you said here and plan on reading your friend's blog.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, I like the heaven suggestion much better than hell...let's do that for sure.

      Thank you for your thoughts. Obviously I agree with you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok. I always feel better when an experienced writer agrees with me. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      I just shut down my Facebook account after reading the following: Get your loved ones off of Facebook. Just Google that title and make your own decision. I did double check several of the accompanying links and decided that "Big Brother" i.e. FB has gone too far!

      I do use Pinterest and twitter to some extent.

      You share so much of your personal life in your writings that it is easy for people to feel as though they really know you as a person. You probably have more than 100 true followers. As to following you into hell...let's rather make it heaven. OK? Ha!

      This information is undoubtedly very important for people writing books in this day and time. Will help by sharing++.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      The followers who will follow a writer to hell are most important as you have stated. Going on an overdrive on social media is not the way to go. Great hub, useful and interesting as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sandra! It sounds to me like you understand this quite well. My job is to establish relationships and not annoy people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish...LOL...that would definitely be the wrong tour bus for you. I would demand a refund. :) Thanks for the chuckle!

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Bill as always your advice is priceless. I have taken a great deal of classes on social media from various venues. I find a lot of good points and a lot of bad. I did go through one seminar that said Facebook itself will not put your post (if it's too promotional) in the newsfeed so a word to the wise FB can be detrimental to your writing. Thanks for all the great tips. I do believe you're exactly right making friends and getting to know people is the best way to go. thanks again and have a great weekend

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      If I end up in hell, I assume it'll be because I'm lost. And I'm going to be very upset at those in the handbasket with me who didn't at least ask a question along the way about where we were going.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, the feeling is mutual. Thank you!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      You are one hell of a writer and I would follow you anywhere1!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pinoy, I read that somewhere about the Philippines being #1. Very interesting statistic. Thanks for sharing that and for your thoughts.

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      Since I'm in the Philippines which is considered as the number one fan of Facebook, I'm using that social media site to promote my hubs. I still need to learn more about writing. It's also difficult for me to write in English because it's my second language. I love sharing ideas and I'm happy that some people are appreciating it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I haven't met too many writers who enjoy self-promotion. They are few and far between. Unfortunately, I don't know any other way for a writer to get discovered, and that makes it a tough road to travel. Thank you for your loyal support and friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, I think that's a valid point. There are a lot of struggling writers or writers who just don't have enough confidence yet, and to see others touting their latest work can be tough. Thank you for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, I can't thank you enough for your kind words. I limit my reading now to people I respect. I can't keep up with everyone else, so it's necessary to pick and choose between the "real people" and just names on the screen.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thank you for sharing your thoughts on social media. I agree with your approach. I can't keep up with all of my followers. I narrow it down not to the ones who reciprocate and that's about it. Otherwise I would do nothing but read hubs and comment.

      Get that fire fighter ppe ready my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catherine, I agree about Iris, and I love your last line...to make a friend, be a friend. Perfectly stated! Thank you!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I suspect that you have more than fifty followers who will follow you to hell. And for the record I have also tired of Facebook, and this whole concept of self promotion is so against my grain. But, it does seem to be a necessity. Great advice Bill.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi Bill, another thing seeing those promotions constantly on facebook apart from as you say, driving us nuts, is that it can make someone who is struggling to write a book feel totally inadequate! they have done it, here it is, wow, and so on, and the rest of us are like, oh whats the point, well thats how I feel somehow, wise words as always bill, nell

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I enjoyed reading this, especially about the Dark Ages and the Age of Social Media! I think being a real writer when in global competition is about having a personality and a character that shines through and makes people connect to you. I agree social media is total information overload - but eventually the noise becomes background noise and it's YOU who stands out. You are a writer with amazing personality and a great human touch. I know I'm one of your loyal fans! Great hub and voted useful x

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill, here I am at last. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping up with everyone's hubs lately but I get there eventually. Iris is a great writer and any advice she gives is worth taking notice of. Social media is here to stay and we have to embrace it even though it is frustrating. I share hubs on Twitter but I very rarely use it for anything else. You can't write enough words in a post to say anything meaningful. I joined Facebook mainly because my friends and family were all on there and to keep up with the "latest" breaking news. I hate being inundated with so much content that doesn't interest me and only check it a couple of times a day. My son says "how can you have 150 unread notifications?, "easy" I reply. I like Facebook groups like Hot Hubbers where we can share our hubs and Google+ is ok for that as well. I too am turned off when people constantly remind you about their latest book and that is the quickest way to ensure I don't buy it. Anyway if you are travelling to hell, let me know when your leaving and I'll just pull on my fire fighter ppe and follow you in :) take care.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I am a follower of Iris Draak's blog and I agree with you about her recent article. I urge people to find her and follow her. She used to write on HP, but has stopped to make more time for her other writing opportunities. I try not to bombard people on social media. I put my posts about my writing into a context--provide some news or tidbit and then I add a "by-the-way, I wrote about this here." You are absolutely right--no one wants to read or befriend a pop-up add. To make a friend, be a friend. Voting up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I'll stop on the outskirts of hell where it's not quite so warm. :) Thank you for checking out Iris...she is good people, as are you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, I appreciate you coming back to comment. I love Facebook for the socialization....that's where my friends are, there and on HP...so I suspect I'll always be on both of those sites.

      hugs from Oly

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Kim, and I love HP because of that. I once loved Facebook, but that is fallen from favor for me of late.

      Thanks as always for the visit and your thoughts

      bill

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I'm following and please don't go to hell. Thanks for the introduction to Iris Draak.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Hi Bill! So you know, I was on this page yesterday but just didn't get the chance to leave a comment. So, I came back...

      Social media is an "on & off" thing for me but I'm certainly using it for all the good vibes in the world. Besides, I don't want to be left behind and so I have to keep up. :)

      Love from the sky~

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      I do not know how to be anyone else but me. The problem is there are lots of me. One thing that is rather beautiful (for me anyway) is that I find I have these connections with people from all over the world--even though, our only contact is via social media aka HP.

      : )Kim

      : )

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, our first number was four digits, and I still remember it...1536. Weird how some memories never leave us, but we can't remember what we had for lunch yesterday. LOL

      Thanks for being here buddy. Stay warm and Happy Thursday to you.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill... enjoyable read and yes I recall getting mail the old fashioned way. I can laugh now as I still recall the first phone as being 3 numbers. That should place me back far enough to the dirt era, just before grass was invented. How times have changed in the age we find ourselves today.

      Hugs and Blessings from very sunny Alberta

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sweet, Linda! Over halfway there. I think I'll take the day off now since a majority of my work is done. :)

      NOT!

      Thank you dear friend.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, if you want a show of hands, with me you are up to 51 and counting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I always enjoy your perspective. It's a tough decision, how much to market online as opposed to person-to-person. Many a writer has fallen by the wayside by making the wrong choices in marketing.

      The book is coming along. That's the best I can say. :) Thanks for asking.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. I always appreciate your loyal following.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Frank, and I wouldn't blame you if you did a U-turn at the gates. I'm appreciative for the company no matter how far you go. :) Thanks, buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Twin! Any business, boiled down to its basics, is just a person to person relationship. I try to always remember that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, being boiled alive might be preferable. :) Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I thank you, and by your definition, I'm already successful, so anything additional is gravy for this boy.

      Blessings to you on this fine Thursday.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      This hub was of special interest to me as I do wonder about social media and the impact on ACTUAL sales. I do agree when someone's book is constantly on the writers pen with promotions I am also turned off. The bottom line..want to know how the book will benefit me in terms of either learning or entertaining. I personally thought when I first marketed my book in the 90s..writing letters and making calls. Of course the number of writers has grown enormously. And with EBooks how easy to write and wait to see what happens. I am going to check out the link and thanks for bringing this out...How is the book coming along?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      One more inspiring advice to writers. I agree with all your feelings and arguments. Thanks for sharing them.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      hmm.. i dont know about following anyone to hell.. they say it's hot down there.. and heat botches my skin... maybe ill follow them to the gates of hell and then wish them well..:) joking.. once again informative and smart ... always teaching.. always showing and helping Frank

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Billy-I found myself clenching my teeth as I read about the over promotion from people on facebook. There is nothing more annoying than jamming your writing down people's throats. I so agree that the best way to get people to read your work and stick with you is by being authentic. Thanks for another great article for writers.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I reckon you read my mail: "For most writers, marketing is akin to being boiled alive….it’s just not too enjoyable"

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Bill, being that many of us have already been to hell and back on this sometimes brutal road we call life, I will say I will happily go along with you down that road where light shines brilliantly, called Hope, for a better tomorrow. If we don't not have hope in this lifetime, then we are not living. I have faith in your writing abilities and know you will experience much success. You know I view success much differently than others in their world view ... as long as you LOVE writing and you are able to express yourself via your writing, then, in my mind, you are successful!

      Hugs and much love and blessings to you and yours always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! So Farmville was the death of you, eh? Well I can certainly understand that. What has really gotten my goat of late is people posting things on my site that they think are important. It's my site and I'll determine what is important, thank you very much. :) Thanks for being here, as you always are.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I once was an avid facebook fan until I got sick of all the personal tidbits, really some things should remain personal. I think what really made me close my account was the farm game, people were requesting corn, hogs, chickens etc. and I wasn't playing the game, go figure? The only reason I'm on Twitter is to share great hubs.. Another good one Bill...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, my elbow is tired and it's time to stop writing today. I'm sure your evening is slowly coming to a close, so I'll leave you for now. Thanks for making me feel "not alone" with regards to Twitter.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kalinin, you are very welcome. It is a tough balancing act for sure, and one I take great care with. I think we just learn as we go along...or at least I hope we do. :) Thank you and best wishes on that book of yours.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I felt that I should try twitter at least but I've come to the conclusion that if something's not comfortable, it's not right for me. It's almost like teenage peer pressure!

      I feel better knowing that you can exist without it!! Yes, writers write. We communicate and, apart from talking to people from the page, we talk to them face to face. That I am comfortable with! More power to our collective elbows, bill!

      Ann :))

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      Social media is a bit tricky for me because I am an introvert, and I had to teach myself to be 'social' on social media. And now that the book I co-authored is getting published, there's a lot of promotion that needs to be done and like you said, I don't want to beat my FB friends over the head with it, but I do have to put it out there. Even inviting people to like the books page, I feel a bit awkward. I've never done this before. But I think you're absolutely right, the key is making personal connections. Thanks for another great (and timely) article Bill :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I always like it when I make sense. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, how can I fail with you and Mary among my fifty? The answer: I can't.

      Thank you dear friend. I don't do Twitter at all. I admit I don't understand it, but I also don't have the time for it...writers write! That's as simple as I can state it. If I'm good enough I'll be discovered, but my success does not hinge on Twitter but rather on my talent and work ethic.

      Happy Wednesday evening to you as well

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you hohewriter, and I appreciate your input about self-publishing. I always listen to the voice of experience.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you had me laughing at that image. Okay, I promise to lead you out again. LOL Nice memories of how it once was. I remember that clearly. i had an aunt who self-published that way...tedious work but a work of love for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Cristen, for taking time from a hectic personal life to read and comment. You are good people, Cristen, and I'm proud to be your friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is very useful advice that makes a lot of sense, Bill. Thanks for sharing it.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I don't like social media much either. I don't touch Facebook with a barge pole and I only have a twitter account because I was trying to find someone whose photos arrived with me by mistake! The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook also persuaded me to follow various people/companies on twitter. I feel uncomfortable with it and it takes up far too much time - I already spend an anti-social amount of time on my laptop!

      So I'm cancelling both twitter accounts and I'm going to email lots of people, talk to lots of people and, hopefully, make lots of friends!

      By the way, I'm definitely one of the 50 (like Mary, maybe not to hell but very nearly!).

      I will read Iris' blog because I respect her and her writing.

      Great advice, bill.

      Enjoy Wednesday evening!

      Ann

    • yohewriter profile image

      Timothy Yohe 2 years ago from St. Louis

      Nice job, billybuc, on another well-crafted article. I too remember the "olden" days when publishing was far different than it is today. You are correct when you mention folks becoming obsessed of promoting themselves to annoyance. It is a trap in the social media world to be avoided.

      I will say just one thing about self-publishing.... It has taken a while to grow on me, but if you present yourself authentically, you are able to make a very personal connection with your audience that could never be achieved just through the big publishing house.

      Thank you for sharing, voted up! :)

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      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Thanks for this good sense advice. The online writers whom I eagerly follow are those whose writing is both well-crafted and heartfelt. It is the touch of themselves in their posts that makes the most varied topics interesting -- and is what makes me interested in them and inclined to read their books. As you put it, human to human relationship is the key factor after writing quality.

      Back in my father's time and my youth, self-publishing meant taking a manuscript to a print shop and paying to have it typeset (or otherwise prepared for printing) and printed at so much per hundred copies and then paying a bindery to put on covers and then taking lots of boxes of books home to sell or give. When my father died in 1976, he left behind lots of boxes of his self-published books of poetry.

      I will follow you into hell if you promise that, when we have each written a My Life in Hell ebook, you will lead me out again.

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      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill, I'm so glad you added what you did. And I will add to your add (actually I think you may have said it before some time). We have to be our #1 rabid fan. We have to believe so much in what we do that we are willing to promote ourselves (properly). If we aren't willing to do it for ourselves no one else will.

      we must be leaders and demonstrate to our fans and followers how to do what we're asking them to (or hoping they will) do.

      Thank you for being my fan. The feeling is mutual.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I love that description...perfect...bird dogs indeed! Thank you my friend and Happy Wednesday to you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes we do, Kailey, and that passion shines through in your writing. Don't lose that! It's a huge part of who you are.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I'm sending you warm thought. My God, I don't miss temperatures like that. If I never experience below zero readings it will be too soon.

      You are right, of course. I'm still trying to get the hang of it all. There are ways to use social media to our advantage without being annoying.

      Thanks my chilly friend. Have a cup of hot chocolate for me.

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      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      So true about the 100 people who will follow you anywhere. I had a marketing instructor who called them "bird dogs" and raving fans.

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      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      This is so true! An ex of mine used to drive me nuts with his self-promotion on Facebook. His behavior made me feel embarrassed as a fellow writer because it makes us all look like sales people! I really like what you say about actually communicating with readers because that's what it's about! We don't write just because it could make us money; we write because we're passionate!

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      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Following you into hell sounds pretty good today, considering it was -9 this morning...I will bring the marshmallows!

      I totally agree that many writers overuse and abuse the social media tools trying to sell, sell, sell. It completely turns me off. But, there are also amazingly creative (go figure, writers being creative) ways to use the new social media tools to engage (not annoy) and connect with fans/readers. I won't claim to be an expert on any of those methods, but I really find it fascinating to watch how these new tools help us connect with people we never meet in person.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, thank you. Thank goodness for people like you, too. Let's stop just short of hell, just close enough to feel the heat and know we don't want to go any further. :)

      Have a superb Wednesday

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Manatita. I can always use some love and light in my life. This is a lesson writers must learn, and the sooner the better. We can't live behind locked doors, pounding out words, hoping that others will one day read them. Marketing is not fun, but it is much easier to do when you have followers who can relate to you as a human being.

      Peace be with you, my friend.

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      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Well Bill I guess I am one of those fifty since I have been almost invisible for a few weeks on HP's but showed up today and only searched for your new articles. I have a few that I follow and I believe that is very important as they are the ones that will guide you on your journey as well. I really enjoyed Iris's blog last week and all the wonderful messages. I have found that Facebook is not my favorite social media site either. I would have to say that my stats here on HP's would say that Pinterest brings me a lot of traffic especially on health and beauty topics. I have to admit that I am a Twitter fan since it can be very interactive and fast. I would have to agree that making those connections and getting out and meeting people has been the way to go with business in general and so I can't see why it wouldn't work for writers. We need those face to face contacts since our material will drown out there in cyberspace without the word of mouth and community. Thanks for all that you do here.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      I recall your once saying that you had family members who either had never read your books or were not interested in reading your writing. Well suffice is to say I have family all over the world and friends who I know read my writing( I can see that they come regularly from my Google Stats) but not once have they offered up a comment, either good or bad. All I can say is, thank goodness for people like you.

      I am not so sure that hell is the place I want to be.

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      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Excellent, Bill.

      While we're at it, I have certainly mentioned you to a few people here and in questions and answers, etc. It is very likely that some others have, too. I've seen one or two. This is only to support one of your statements, actually.

      I'm with you on a lot of this, and I do not do well with marketing or Facebook. Too busy, perhaps, but then again they are time-consuming. I'll think again in retirement, because as you so rightly said, we are literally living in a different writing age.

      A well-thought out and excellent article. Lots of good wishes today. In Love and Light.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you My Bell. I am very conscious of the fact that I can easily become a nuisance on Facebook if all I ever talk about is my writing. I want friends first and followers second. That way, if my books don't sell, I still have friends, and that's a win any old way you look at it.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Diva! Thanks for weighing in. One of these days, Bev and I are going on a roadtrip, and maybe we'll drive through Yountville. Have some tea ready, please. :)

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      Marcelle Bell 2 years ago

      This is super advice! I haven't yet read the article by Iris you linked to but plan to sit down and take it in today. I use social media to promote but I'm always a bit wary that it's too much. In our world today, there is so much information being pushed right in front of us and it begins to look like clutter. I will take your words to heart about forming those relationships with my readers that keeps them coming back because they enjoy my writing and find it useful in their lives. I like your ideas about getting out there and giving talks, classes, etc. Great hub, Bill!

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Good morning, Bill! Writers and artists, we have the same plight, don't we? I'm with you as far as Facebook. Unfortunately, a few friends there, but unbelievable what's in my face when opening the page. I'm alone, but sometimes feel a little more lonely with the social media route replacing the old fashioned way of things, also. Maybe that's my age showing. Now that I read your article, I guess I'll finish mine from the artist's perspective.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's okay, Mary. i think you mentioned that about your husband once before....a fact that amazes me....but I know other writers who receive very little support at home, so maybe I need to get over my amazement and just concentrate on how lucky I am.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I always feel better when you agree with me. :)

      Stay warm...way too cold for these old bones. I don't know how you people do it every year. I would be depressed by October. LOL

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, it takes time, as you well know. Time and work....I find relationships are more work than writing for sure, and since success depends greatly on relationships, I don't think the work ever ends. :) But I'm sure glad to have you in my corner. Thank you!

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Sorry for misinterpreation. I have lots of immediate family, its just that my hubbie has no use for my writing. My kids will occasionally find time to read it.

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Totally agree, of course! When I talk about using social media, I usually recommend the 10% solution: 10% of your posts, tweets, etc. are self-promotion and 90% should be genuine, useful content or resources.

      Nice to give a shout out to our friend Iris. She is awesome.

      Happy Wednesday from the Ch-Ch-Chilly Ch-Ch-Chicago! Hey I'm just glad we're up to 6 degrees. (But we'll only have a high of 3 tomorrow. Yow!)

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm one of your 50, Bill. I've bought and read both of your novels and will buy Shadows Kill when it's published.

      I honestly don't know how many people would follow me to hell (or at least the book store!), but I'm sure I can probably count them on both hands and perhaps a few toes.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I do know, and I thank you so very much.

      Knock them dead today, my writer friend

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, thanks for your thoughts. In truth I use very little social media for my writing career....I just believe strongly in face-to-face promotion, and I think far too many writers are using social media for a crutch and patting themselves on the back for a job well done when in truth, they have done very little.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I do know that, and I think you know I'd do the same for you, and those kinds of friendships are invaluable. Thank you dear friend.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      You know where I stand, Bill.

      'nuff said.

      DJ.

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      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      Interesting hub, but social media is not for me.

      What little privacy that the government has not already taken away, many businesses have commandeered in the name of marketing. The built in GPS on your cell phone is on unless you take the batter out, and then I am not sure about that?

      All the loyalty cards, log in date, time and every single item that you purchase. Then every website that you visit is also out there trying to gain your infornation.

      Now, here comes social media where people voluntarily give away any of what could be left of their privacy. My disdain for social media and cyber tracking has nothing to do with anything I would try to hide, it is the principle of privacy.

      Twitter is the worst of the bunch as it gives people trying to make one hundred and sixty characters meaningful, while divulging minute pieces of their life.

      There are as many bad things about social media as there are good things, and in that I am being generous to social media.

      It is for the sheep, and that is only an opinion of mine. Now, you say that I am using social media with hp, but I might as well be using messages in a bottle, which is fine. I have something to say, it really doesn't matter how many people know it. I have gotten it out of my system.

      Like the message in the bottle, the cyber seas will carry it forever. Maybe someday there will be cyber archaeology.