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Who do you #Follow ? Who follows You?

Fifteen years ago, the question “Who do you Follow?” would have seemed strange, slightly vague.

A crazy reader like me would have said, Toni Morrison, I try to read all her books, or Alice Munro, or Garcia Marquez. And the list would have gone on. A religious person would have said, I follow Jesus, or Allah or Buddha…who else is worth following?

And then came Social Media.

Following on Social media

Who do you Follow? Who follows You? Photograph by Anita Peppers

You can now follow people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blog, Youtube, and a gazillion other sites.

You may also have a Social media Strategy.

I don’t know if I have one. I began by muddling on Twitter and Blogging, and my Facebook mostly consists of people I have met, where I post random stuff, links, writing experiences. Nothing private, really. (But then, what is private these days?)

The continuous feed of the thousands of folks I follow on my Twitter and Blogs tire me out– I mostly pick what catches my eye and ignore the rest. I have a list of specific folks whose tweets and blog posts I enjoy, and I try interacting with them whenever I can. I enjoy chatting with folks online, just as much as offline. I’m thankful for those who follow me on my Blog and my Twitter, and I can only hope I don’t bore them out of their skulls or tire them out.

For now, I’m happy with where I am, though sometimes I do consider quitting all social media. Imagine how much I could get done in all that offline time!

(Rant Alert) I don’t know if I’ll take to hawking my books (if I ever publish any) on social media– because frankly, most author marketing pisses me off these days: I don’t want to know about yet another book reveal or giveaway or sale. I’m sure the books are all lovely, but that’s just too much information crowding my timeline. My fault, I guess, for following back every author who followed me. (Rant Over)

What about you? Do you participate in Social Media? Do you have a Social Media Strategy? Do you hawk stuff you’d like to sell on Social Media? Do you buy a book you read about on tweets? Who do you follow? Who follows you?


Blogs you must read!

Blogs I Recommend

I’ve been neglecting my duties as a member of the Blogging community, so here’s spreading some love. Bloggers I recommend visiting today:

C. Lee McKenzie : Fab author, awesome blog-friend. If you make one online friend this August, it should be her.

J. Gi. Federizo : But. Consider, please do consider making two blog friends this August. Meet the equally lovely J. Gi. She’s been one of my kindest visitors, and you’ll love her blog voice.

Bruce Goodman : I actually suggest you make three blog friends this month! I love Bruce’s stories, and you would, too. Besides, he leaves you the most awesome comments! What’s not to like? His blog is recommended reading.


Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Its what I really love about blogging-the opportunity to connect with others who lead rich, interesting and diverse lives from all over the world.If someone likes one of my posts I cant help but be curious about them and discover what was it about my post that sparked something in them. Being a traveller I do find a natural connecΓΎion with other travellers but sometimes I connect with others who are pursuing an inner journey.
    Once again a great topic

  • I wonder if there is a way round using social media while being anoymous….*scurries off to research.

  • whitelopezsm says:

    I have it all, and each of them is unique in is own way, I tend to follow those who have interesting things to share, I believe that we can all learn from each other.

  • Ankur Mithal says:

    Not having a strategy might be the smartest strategy for social media πŸ™‚

  • splitspeak says:

    I’m not sure I have much of a strategy in Social Media. I’m most comfortable with WordPress…tried out Twitter and go on and off, am overwhelmed by the complications of FB. Interesting points I have seen in your post.

    Love, Mehak

  • Hello! I started my blog and set up Twitter, Goodreads, Author and book Facebook pages…etc. because my publisher told me it was essential to build my author platform and sell books. Now, I truly enjoy interacting with readers, bloggers, and other writers. I love socializing, but I also have to promote my book from time to time. Otherwise, why am I investing all this time and energy for? I don’t condone spamming, but I promote my writing and I help other writers promote their writing too. Nowadays how else would you promote your book or blog? I guess you’ll understand when you have your own book to promote.

    • Damyanti says:

      Vashti, believe me, I do understand. I enjoy interacting with authors who write about stuff other than their books as well– and you seem to be doing that. Socialising is what Twitter is about. Of course, I might buy a book I read about on Twitter– in fact, I have bought books by twitter buddies.

      What I can’t stand is an author exclusively tweeting only about the reviews of their book, where it can be found and when it is on discount or free.

      That puts me off, to be honest.

      But I’ve hosted guest post from twitter buddies, bought books and promoted their books on my blog– as long as I’ve seen that they’re normal humans who can be friends, and not bots, simply hawking their wares.

      I hope I’ve been able to explain this well. My intention is never to offend, and as an author myself, I know that authors are expected to promote their work.

  • Anna Drake says:

    I’m a bit of a hermit, so I found social media daunting. I’m there, though. And I enjoy visiting with other authors. Then, I hurry back home to write. Still, it is nice not to locked inside our offices alone all the time. There’s a lot to be said for today’s interconnectivity.

  • What would catch my eye is how good the author writes.

  • lorellepage says:

    It’s all too much sometimes isn’t it? I’m only new to the game and already I can see that I’ve been going through my blog ‘reader’ less frequently, tweeting less and retweeting less . I know it takes ten minutes a day – morning and night for me, but I still get so stubborn about it. I guess when I’m trying to compel myself to write a book, I use up all my compelling energy and I have nothing more to give! I can be pretty stubborn lol . I’ll keep trying though πŸ™‚

  • What about you? Do you participate in Social Media? My blog has a Pinterest page and a Facebook page. Another writer just recommended that I get started on Twitter, too.

    Do you have a Social Media Strategy? A very light one. Every post that I write gets pinned, partially because I like the pictures so much. The Facebook page gets updated automatically when I post, and it also gets weird, cool stuff that I see on my personal page.

    Do you hawk stuff you’d like to sell on Social Media? Not all the time. I’ve published one book and announced it on both FB and Pinterest. If I sold it or it got a great review I would announce those too, but I don’t hawk them all the time.

    Do you buy a book you read about on tweets? Not the junk mail kind. If someone with similar tastes announced that they liked a book, I might check it out.

  • Birgit says:

    I have no strategy at all-lol. I am not on twitter at all as i just don’t fell like doing selfies and writing that i am getting my hair washed. I love my blog and I love following what people are creating and writing about. I enjoy people’s pictures of their travels or animals and the general positivity from the blogging world. Maybe I am naive..yes let’s call it that and I shall remain that way. I remember 11 years ago when the power went out everywhere. people were on their verandas talking and laughing so I think more can be said if we did turn off all machiones that keep us in a zombie state

  • Carlos Cunha says:

    I am finding social media to be quite the time-sucker, as well. It’s is no where near the panacea it is made out to be.

  • W. K. Tucker says:

    I love social media, but it can be a real time-sucker. I’ve had to scale back to get any writing done.
    And I actually don’t mind people hawking their books, but I hate it when people ask for money so they can publish their book.

  • Kate Rauner says:

    I don’t think I have a “strategy” either. The Internet can suck your life away, so I try to limit my exposure. I also prepare training sessions for my volunteer fire department in Power Point – Power Point is another thing that can suck your life away! I often let those who follow or comment lead me. πŸ™‚

  • Rob Tobin says:

    Thanks for following my Blog – I hope you find the content stimulating enough to stay with it.
    I read your comments in awards and believe , like you, that the merit of posting a blog is a personal goal – now I’d accept a Pullitzer without a winge- but “likes” give me enough feed back to keep blogging – thanks again

  • Hi and thanks for following me. Glad you liked my most recent post – that’s a big pat on the back to me, a relative newbie to blogging!

  • Ashleigh says:

    What a great post! Like you, I have toyed with personally disconnecting from all social media channels. I then remember that wouldn’t be the most practical move for one making a living marketing social media for others. Sometimes we tire from seeing the same stuff our circles provide- in your case, hawking books. But like you say- that’s the downside to returning the love of all those authors in your circle. Take it as a study in what NOT to do right? Thanks for the recommendations of other bloggers, I’m headed to each one of their blogs now.

  • bowlingchef says:

    Very interesting read and alot of great points. Thanks for following me and hope you enjoy my blogs as I do yours.

  • I just recently deleted my IG and twitter and I have FB just for my business and i can say its been thee best. I havent been worried about pics and being updated with people whos lives I really don’t care about, and it’s so refreshing. If everyone came around to doing it they’d see just how great it is!

  • Social media is both a curse and a blessing. I really enjoy interacting with people both on and offline, but it is true that SM can devours lot s of time and energy. I have thought about quitting too, but who can really entirely do so these days? And thanks for the who to follow recommendations – I’m always looking for interesting poets and writers with whom to connect.

  • 18mitzvot says:

    (Rant Alert) – what a good idea!

  • Emma says:

    I love your viewpoints, your… Words often escape me but suffice to say you write what we’re thinking. And now I’m off to look at the people you have suggested.

  • Micah Kipfer says:

    I’ve been impressed for quite a while by the number of blogs you read. I try to explore a variety of WordPress sites, and you seem to have liked posts on most of the ones I’ve seen.

  • dweezer19 says:

    Ditto Damyanti. Of course I have always shied away from social media after a very brief and unpleasant experience with Facebook. I have an account now but it is pretty much unused but for a couple of “special” links and groups. I do have active accounts for the others that are listed on my blog posts but I honestly would never have time to keep up! It is the one thing that really causes me distress over trying to publish. I am no hawker and doubt I could do a good job of “selling myself” in the ways I have seen it done online. I do know some very wonderful people on g+ and must say that in no way do I regret my time in that venue. You can tailor your circles to those areas that interest you while still seeing a general feed of what is out there. For photography it is marvelous and people there do willingly share their knowledge, much like in most of the blogging world. I am weary of LinkedIn trying to up sell me all the time and when I try to comment to people in my network it often can’t post. To me it has become very stale. The most difficult thing about being a serious writer is finding the time to read all the other authors out there. I do make an effort to visit blogs, have purchased a few books for new authors, etc; but my mind is so consumed with my own writing sometimes I just can’t fit it all in! Thanks for another worthwhile and helpful discussion. I actually submitted some poetry to a publisher today. I feel like I accomplished something major. Keeping fingers crossed. :))

    • Damyanti says:

      Keeping fingers crossed for you too :). These days I find it hard to fit in everything in the hours of the day– I’m only getting down to reading all the comments and responding to them today. Keep us posted on how the submissions go!

  • My blog is my main social media outlet. I used to use twitter but it was hacked and when I thought about it I didn’t really like us as a social media tool. It’s restrictive and messy, I find but I have to admit I never really learned how to use it effectively. I try to follow blogs that interest me and keeping in touch with people via blogging is a great way to communicate about similar interests.

  • jdhoward says:

    I found myself being forced into using social media, just like my heels are dug in regarding texting. I never understood Facebook, and still don’t. The title alone scares me. I’m not one to put my personal self out there too much. I just can’t do it. I’m not of the young generation, so it doesn’t come with ease for me. My eyes widen when I hear or see some of the things people are willing to put online. However, I do see why it is enjoyable, I have communicated with very interesting people who share my interests. My jaw dropped at your number of followers. You’re doing something right!

  • mostly I follow person with the same interest, it can make me closer to them. . ..

  • Katie says:

    Oooh it appears I’ve stumbled upon a good one. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the tips and interesting read.

  • jennypughuk says:

    Thanks for posting! It’s tricky for me as I am my husband’s editor/publisher/publicist and because I don’t write the books myself, I can’t really get into conversations about how the characters came about, the book’s origins etc.

    I tend to use Facebook for my friends and family, and I use WordPress and Twitter for PR. I have learned so much about what puts readers and blogger/Twitter users off an author, so thank you for helping me πŸ™‚

  • literarylad says:

    I started blogging to promote my book – sorry! In my defence, I don’t ‘hawk’ the book. I aim to put out posts that are written well and are interesting, so that I am giving something worthwhile to those who visit my blog. My hope then is that if they like what I’ve written they will download one of my short stories for free, and if they like that, go on to buy the book.
    The blogosphere frightens me. It’s a mass of people, thoughts, ideas, opinions, information and marketing; it can swallow you up, extract all of your free time and then spit you out, exhausted!

  • I found this article interesting and useful. Thanks.

  • Birgit says:

    I love rants:) Sometimes one just needs to rant. I am on Facebook but I don’t put much on there. I don’t think I will ever go on Twitter and I love my blog. I get to create cards and meet interesting people who are so creative with their cards, writing or musing. There are some books I want to get and read that I have seen here because they sound interesting. I want the actual book though as I don’t read any books via Kindle or such:) Keep up the rants!

  • To be honest, when it comes to social media, I have NO idea what I’m really doing. I’m operating by trial and error. There are also far too many social media sites – how do you do justice to each one? There’s just TOO much going on.
    Added to this is the mental health aspect – the architecture of our brain is being altered by non-stop internet usage, as we jump around from one platform to the next (but that’s a whole different discussion)

  • Thank you for following !

  • Hmm, I’m in the same zone. I started blogging for mixed reasons, and it has gained its own momentum – I do sometimes feel overwhelmed. Yet this morning I have read three articles, via a blog, that were funny, fascinating, moving and important. That must be good. I’m supposed to be trying to expose my writing, but I find almost anything else easier and more interesting to post about. So I muddle on, but I don’t really visit the Reader and concentrate mostly on reading and responding to the friends I have made online.

    • Damyanti says:

      I don’t really believe anyone is interested in us exposing our writing— they’re just interested in stuff, and they’ll read and comment if it catches their eye, or touched a chord somewhere. My blogging has become almost completely about listening to other speak on topics that intrigue me.

  • Thanks for following my blog…I guess I’m one of those people with a book to sell, but am trying to be slant about it and not bug people too much. I think we’re required to use social media to sell our books and I’ve seen how bloggers I follow have convinced me to buy some books.

    To be honest I published the book as an excuse to set up a website and blog and find my audience because I knew I wouldn’t do it otherwise. But I’m finding myself in a bottleneck of things to do in a short amount of time, so that’s not been easy.

    I hear you on how much time social media can take. I so hear you on that.

    • Damyanti says:

      I’ve bought books by fellow bloggers too, I continue to buy them and give them away. I’m not sure if that makes up for much of their sales though. I’m also not sure what an author should do to market their books, because most author marketing these days makes me want to run the other way.

      • katiewilda says:

        What kinds of things do authors do that make you run? I’d like to avoid that if I can….

        A friend gave away 10,000 ebooks and I wasn’t sure that was a good idea if his writing supports him. He sounds desperate now…

        At any rate I’d love to hear what you think…what makes you run? What might make you buy?

        • Damyanti says:

          Tweeting the book 18 times a day makes me run, no matter how good the book is– I just get sick of the noise. On twitter, I like authors who engage with their audience, and have something interesting to say, related, or unrelated to the book. I’m tired of being told why I should grab that book now now now.

          I’m happy to see books on blogs, but if the premise and the book cover aren’t interesting enough, I’ll never click to the link. I’ll leave a polite comment for the blogger, and wish the author all the best, but that’s all.

          I buy books by those bloggers who I consider my friends online– people who take the time to visit my blog regularly and interact. So far, I see that I value relationships, and marketing from a stranger makes me sick.

          I’ll only respond to such marketing if it comes with a brilliant, moving excerpt, but most authors either put excerpts that aren’t well-written or have something ho-hum happening which don’t make me want to read the rest.

          I don’t like author interviews much, unless it talks about the writing life in a new or interesting way.

          I guess I’m just over-saturated by all the blog-marketing… and possibly just a cranky author. πŸ™‚

          Everything I say above might be just me being a geeky/ reclusive reader/ writer. πŸ™‚

          • katiewilda says:

            This is very helpful and insightful. Thank you for the long, thorough answer.

            Maybe I’ll try the excerpt thing as there are some bloggers I want to pitch that I haven’t gotten to know yet, though I’m starting to read their blogs.

            It’s all very overwhelming. I like what someone said about social media sucking up your life and spitting you out into exhaustion. Though I have found what it’s like to have an audience through it.

            At any rate, thank you.

  • I know what you mean about social media. It can be such a time-such, but I’ve met some amazing people through it, people I wouldn’t let go of for the world. I guess it really just comes down to balance, eh?

  • Don’t ‘follow’ and don’t use Social Media — find it too predictable and a bit phoney. I blog for personal enjoyment and check out others, on occasion. Time is limiting. Appreciate readers and comments — in particular the descent, thought-out …. non cursing ones. I mean, really, do people talk like that to their Mother. geeez

  • lexacain says:

    For some reason, I thought I’d already commented on this post but wasn’t sure, so I looked over the comments – OMG – you get a LOT of people commenting! lol Anyhow, I like social media, but only for the social part. Like you, I’m sick of book advertising, but without it, I know I’d have sold no books – so I can’t really complain about others doing the same thing.

    • Damyanti says:

      Lexa, I’m just lucky that people comment. I try to vist back as much as I can. I know what you’re saying about selling books, and who knows maybe one day I’ll be hawking my books from dawn to dusk as well :). I don’t see you overwhelming your audience with your book though. You have a nice balance.

  • Bikramjit says:

    I am not there on any social media and yes it has saved me tons of hours of time .. i think we inadvertently spend too much time , i mean people survived before the social media came so no harm in going back to it πŸ™‚ just my thoughts

    and thanks for introducing three more boggers πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti says:

      I agree with you on Social Media. Most of my social media time is during commutes where I can’t get a-hold of a book. I hope you’ll enjoy these three bloggers as much as I do.

  • matinee11 says:

    I loved this and so very true! I have only just begun the ‘writing journey’ myself, although it is not fiction, it is an account of my Mom’s life and our families struggles with Alzheimer’s. It has been difficult to find others who are writing non-fiction here but have learned so much in reading other’s fiction and passions. Thank you once again for your thoughts and lovely written blog!

  • Krishna says:

    Good one and some good comments as well. For me Social media is just a tool. I use different social media channels for different purposes. I have Facebook account where all my friends and family is. I use Twitter and LinkedIn for professional networking. I use Instagram for my family and friends. So it depends on person to person on how he actually see’s the benefits of these social media accounts.

    • Damyanti says:

      it depends on person to person on how he actually see’s the benefits of these social media accounts.

      So true. And thank you for stopping by to comment. It is the comments that have wisdom in this blog, not the posts. The posts just ask questions.

  • Being a socially awkward person, I follow people but people tend not to follow me. πŸ˜› no social strategies

    • Damyanti says:

      Building up a following takes time– don’t give up. Be yourself, and do what you’re comfortable with πŸ˜€

  • I follow just a bunch of people. On Twitter there are many that I follow, but I am usually concerned about few special ones like you. This is a great post and should I also say Thanks, I have managed to pick something from this. I will let you know what I’ve picked from this one when its the right time.

    • Damyanti says:

      Sharukh, you’re welcome. I’m just grateful you found something of use in my post. Like I said in my last comment, most of the wisdom in my blog is in the comments, not the posts.

  • Peter Nena says:

    I do follow, and I follow everybody who follows me. If I want to buy a book, I look for reviews. The Tweeted ads truly are bothersome. They are rather disingenuous. I still wonder why books get 5/5-star ratings. That’s like a perfectly written perfect story. Strange. When I see 5/5 review, I tell myself it’s only an advertisement. Like you, I have considered quitting social media entirely, but there are some good friends you make here and cannot afford to lose. So I stay.

    • Damyanti says:

      Peter, I agree with each word. I haven’t forgotten your suggestion of a post on 5* reviews. I’m just playing with the right words to post it, because I try to avoid flame wars on this blog :).

  • rumadak says:

    Interesting indeed!!
    I do use social media, so much that I can feel like calling myself a power user, just cos of things we can do there, find there etc. etc.
    You are right that nothing is quite hidden these days!
    I use it to look for audience for my blog, to read tons of interesting things others are writing. For me, my wordpress Reader and explorer are much used πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti says:

      Love that you’re a voracious reader. You and me must be part of a dying breed, because I don’t meet that many. I’ve yet to meet a voracious reader I don’t like, or at least find fascinating! πŸ˜€

  • fenster020 says:

    I admit it! I am way to involved with social media in many of its incarnations. I love Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Tumblr is fun and scary at the same time. I try to share different things on the various formats. I guess that counts as a strategy. I share my blog posts on both Facebook and twitter, so that is the exception to the rule.

    Rant-I dislike when I follow someone on various sites and they share the exact same stuff on each location. It feels lazy to me. In that situation, I usually dump the various sites, picking one to follow.

    I tend to follow musicians and authors. I like the quick access I have to concert dates, book tours, and new material. I have bought music from those who hawk their wares, but I haven’t bought books from writers…at least not because of them pushing their work. As for who follows me-I’m betting on spam bots and porn sites.

  • Reblogged this on New Author -Carole Parkes and commented:
    I think this most authors can relate to this post, and there are some interesting comments too.

    • This is a great post about the capacity of social media to influence us-and vice versa! I have a love/hate relationship with facebook, not on twitter, tumbler or pinterest. Is social media a vehicle or promoter of original thought or a suppressor? The jury is out

  • I just wrote on this same subject – the idea of planting too many flags, and being overwhelmed by the flags of others. So I pared it all down to a main site (now WordPress) with two links (my shop and my newsletter), which has helped immensely.

  • Julia Lund says:

    Still no idea what I’m doing with tis blogging/tweeting/facebook (does that need a capital ‘F’ -I don’t even know that …). I’m on holiday and shouldn’t be doing this … How many words have I got left? (Or is it #characters?) Followers? Following? Strategy? Promoting books? Got to write the next one yet πŸ˜€

  • I’m much like you Damyanti. I have seriously considered (and still am) not blogging and spending that time working on my book or doing serious reading and research. I think that we have become like an over stimulated child with too much around – often ending up shutting down or not accomplishing much at the day’s end. Much pause for thought. ~Karen~

  • jr cline says:

    I’m on several social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Instagram, and WordPress. Yes I have a strategy that I am in the process of refining.

  • Denise says:

    I think I’m like you and a lot of blogs I’ll only stop by if something catches my eye (like this!) Otherwise there just isn’t enough. I do have some closer blogging “friends” and I always enjoy keeping up with them and know that they do with me. That’s a strange phenomenon, isn’t it?

    Even with the 30 something people I follow on Twitter it seems to be a lot of information. I don’t know how people manage accounts of thousands.

  • Ben says:

    I was surprised to see your irritation at author’s promoting their books via social media. Social media has leveled the field of discourse and is the perfect forum for authors to promote their work. (If anything I resent the use of social media by larger institutions, governments, and corporations. Why would anybody “Friend” or Follow Coca Cola?)

    • I agree with you, but I think you have to be careful — what’s annoying is the constant “I’m proud to announce that…” stream. There has to be more creative ways to share that sentiment.

    • Damyanti says:

      I’m fine with authors promoting their books on social media. What irritates me is the continuous hawking.

      If you go to a marketplace, how much hawking can you stand before you begin to feel just a little pressure and annoyed?

      Twitter is not a marketplace, it is an internet version of a watering hole, where people come and talk about whatever.

      If the only thing you have to say is “Buy my book! It is cheap! It is good! So and so say so! Buy it now!!!” how much conversation can you expect to have, and just how many friends will you make? How many books do you expect to sell?

      There are authors who remember that they are storytellers above all, and they tell stories, even on twitter. They gain the followers, they also make sales.

      Marketing your book on twitter is an art, and not many know how to do it well.

  • I totally get what you mean about it being exhausting and taking a lot of time to keep up on blogs and social media… It’s tempting to just throw it all away but then I realize it’s a central part of my career now… Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Take care!

    • Damyanti says:

      Yep, I’m not quitting on social media yet either…on it, I get to meet folks like you, and I can’t give up on that! Thanks for stopping by every so often.

  • It is exhausting, Damyanti. I pretty much am reactive. I reach back if someone reaches out, though–like you–I have a tight group of people I just enjoy being around so seek them out.

  • Topaz says:

    I only dabble in WordPress and Twitter, haha πŸ˜‰ I tried Facebook and hated it, so now I just stick to what I know works for me!

    • maspring37 says:

      I feel the same. I didn’t know how to write private messages on Facebook so when a young relation decided that he would like to ‘connect ‘ with me even though he had recently got married didn’t want me there ( he told my son this) , So I wrote back sarcastically. I , promptly had a message from another young girl that I was out of order in putting it on his public page. I stick to WordPress and Twitter and , fingers crossed, have never had anything nasty said to me on these sites.

      • Damyanti says:

        Social media sites can be tricky– loads of etiquette, which no one bothers to teach. I think schools should consider a social media module πŸ™‚

        • maspring37 says:

          I was born just before the 2nd World War so I am grateful I can get to use these wonderful ways of communicating to people all over the world. My sister went to live in America in 1959 . When my son was born we had to book a phone call to tell her. The line was very crackly and we were only given five minutes to chat. We thought it was magical. Now when we speak , it is as if she is in the same room. Ain’t life grand. Nice to ‘talk’ to you.

  • ccyager says:

    Hi, Damyanti! I reluctantly waded into the social media ocean in 2007 when I began my Anatomy of Perceval blog. In 2009, I joined Facebook where I friend only people I’m related to or I know in person. I enjoy Facebook for the re-connecting I’ve done there. It’s been good for me and my life. When I began my Eyes on Life blog, I reluctantly joined Twitter and have only recently begun participating more there. That has increased my traffic at my blogs! I’m on LinkedIn for professional connections (I do not use my personal Facebook page for business). And when I published “Perceval’s Secret,” I joined GoodReads.

    Following? On Twitter and GoodReads, I follow whoever follows me, usually. I gravitate toward people in the arts. I do not follow anything that looks like a sexual come-on. Most follow me back if they’re not already following me. GoodReads is more for book promotion. I actually follow very few people with blogs. I don’t have the time, and I think following blogs demands some time to at least read the posts.

    What I’m learning is that I don’t have time for social media on a daily basis. I’m trying to figure out some sort of rotation so that I can cover it fairly regularly. Facebook and my blogs are the only things I have on a regular schedule right now. Twitter drives me a little batty, actually. It’s like standing in a crowd of people who are talking all at the same time. I don’t like crowds in real life.


  • Interesting post!

    I have my blog here and I have a Twitter account linked to my blog (though, I admit, I don’t think I actually understand Twitter! I don’t hashtag anything!). I do have a personal Facebook account, but only for games and keeping in touch with family!

    I wouldn’t say that I have a strategy. I post when I have something to say, or when I reblog something I find interesting. I tend to follow anyone who I think looks interesting, or people that have taken the time to chat with me on my blog. I only Tweet my posts because when I post book reviews, some authors promote on there.

    Also, I like to know that people have books, as I like hearing about new books, but if it gets overbearing, I ignore it! I get that people have to promote, but it can get too much sometimes!

  • suecoletta says:

    We would get SO much more done if we quit social media. BUT, is it really a choice anymore? If you don’t immerse yourself in social media an agent won’t touch you, and then all that time you spent writing will be wasted. Or, if you’re Indie, you also must make connections to sell books. I get between 50-70 email notifications each and every morning when I first open my computer. It’s exhausting! But what can you do? You have to play the game. Believe me, I share your pain.

  • I am either arrogant or ambivalent, possibly both, about the social media thing. I feel a desire to write, not all the time but when I do it is good to say goodbye to those thoughts by pressing a button, regardless of whether they are read by anyone else or not – this you will find is very true because my followers are few in numbers (and my likers even fewer). This arrogance and ambivalence extends to the act of following, where I only follow those who follow or like my stuff – and maybe it’s also a kind of cyber-shyness that I don’t enjoy pushing in on someone’s private space. But having said all that, it is nice to engage with people like Damyanti, and Erik Conover (whom I cyber-met today for the first time).

    And I agree with your thoughts on hawking books on social media – it’s certainly tempting to do so as it seems that so many people do it, but it seems a little crass, and rude to be shoving stuff down people’s throats (not to say that I haven’t done that during the first few months of getting to grips with social media, but it becomes tiresome and doesn’t leave me feeling like a worthwhile human being). And most of the platforms require way more effort than I’m prepared to give, which is off-putting, and the spread of platforms is wearisome – Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Digg, Triberr, Tumblr, Pinterest, WordPress (of course) and the platforms keep growing…

    btw: I like your little section at the end, giving the names of bloggers you like – you do seem to be a much more generous user of social media than I, and you are to be applauded for that.



  • I participate in social media. My social media strategy is slowly building – though I am heart-broken by 1 retweet & 6 likes for my fabulous posts :-(.

    One thing I observed though – pictures sell – be it Facebook, or blogs. People relate to pictures so much, and those posts are liked.

    To me, on second thoughts, likes and retweets are not important, but “Call to action” is. I always include a “Action poll” where people can volunteer to take action and help out with society issues that I write about – no response, but that’s fine. I don’t want to settle with just likes and retweets. Anyone can do that, but there’s no commitment in it, even to start with.

    Thanks for asking :-).

  • I use WordPress, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr for professional endeavors, as my up to date LinkedIn profile isn’t so useful in my view. I enjoy the different platforms, but I am always careful to only pick platforms I enjoy/am comfortable with (even when I have to learn them as with everything!). I don’t want to just crosspost but be able to engage with other people. The one thing I keep totally separate and locked (as much as possible) is my Facebook. That’s only for people I know and my private circle.

  • Thanks alot ! Damyanti..todays my first day in this blogging world..happened to accidentally come across ur blog..this topic is eye catching and guiding radar for novice lads in this oceanic blogging world ! Wud love to read more on such topic πŸ™‚

  • Great post! Though, I won’t lie, social media and the strategy that goes into it when releasing a novel is stressful. But it does make me think: how did indie and small press authors manage to sell copies of their work in an age before this one? Social media has become such a powerful tool and although it’s a tad overwhelming, it makes me feel fortunate that I’m able to be a small press/indie author when so many marketing and promotional tools are available to me through the internet and social media πŸ™‚ I can’t imagine being an indie author without them.

  • cricketmuse says:

    WordPress only. I only have so much time for distractions and WP bloggers I follow–like yours–have something worthwhile to say about my interests: books and writing. I have a separate page people can click on about my writing. If something new comes out I share in a post, but I don’t believe in being boorish in the details. Building a platform should be inviting not boring.

  • Cristina says:

    I created lists on twitter, and engage mostly there. You’re right, most of twitter, is a blur of “look at me, look at this”. My eyes ALWAYS get wider when I’m on that platform. I stopped following back every author that followed me, I now only follow those whose niche I am interested in. That way, when my eyes are peeled back, at least I’ll maybe like what I see?

  • I do so hope that you blog about it when you do publish your book because I want to be first in line to buy it.

  • macjam47 says:

    Social media takes up a lot of time that I suppose I could put to other use, but I love it (most days). On Twitter I follow mostly authors and other bloggers. Facebook is a mix of authors, bloggers, and of course, family and friends. Then there is WP, Google+, bloglovin, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Instagram to keep me busy reading and messaging. I follow a lot of bloggers and authors on these. Pinterest is unique in that I follow a lot of people based on shared interests in a variety of things. It’s sometimes hard to find a balance between the cyber world and my “real world”. Add to that my own blog and reading the books to blog about. They said the computer would streamline our lives, but in fact, with the internet, it has done quite the opposite, Would I give it up? Absolutely not!

  • Finley Jayne says:

    I do very limited social media. I have a FB page set up to keep in touch with mostly out of state relatives (my friends list is under 50 people). My husband actually just suggested we combine our accounts, and have one family FB account, and I think we’ll be doing this soon.

    I don’t have a twitter account or a blog specific FB account. I do follow a lot of book blogs on bloglovin, but I don’t read all of them every day (maybe 10-15 a day, out of over 300 blogs).

    My life is busy enough, without adding more time wasters into the mix πŸ™‚

  • atempleton says:

    You have expressed a lot of what I feel. I scroll through my Twitter feed for the couple of people I actually interact with. I ignore authors’ book promotions, but, as you said, what will I do about my book? Promote it in the same way? I enjoy your posts particularly because you address a wide range of subjects; it’s not all me, me, me….thank you for that.

  • Dan Antion says:

    I’ve written before about who I follow and why. It’s a little random but it seems to work for me. I don’t know if you would call organic growth and following my interests a “strategy” but it’s all I have time for. Blogging is the one area where I focus my attention a bit. I follow too many bloggers to read on a regular basis so I am selective as to the ones I move from the WordPress Reader to my inbox. Sometimes I feel bad that there isn’t enough time to read everything, but there is only so much time. I love Twitter but I rely on a “Daily” list of people I want to follow. I move people in and out of that list frequently. If they keep it interesting, I keep them on-board. If they drift into “marketing mode” I abandon them to the broader feed. Thanks for the thought provoking post. You remain on all my daily lists πŸ™‚

  • jeanryan1 says:

    Once again, a thought-provoking post that struck a chord–just yesterday I began seriously considering withdrawing, at least for a while, from social media. Same old story: TMI, especially Facebook, where my newsfeed goes on for days. Many of the posts are inspirational, and while I admire these words of wisdom, I cannot absorb the multitudes of them. Some of the posts are funny, some are not, some are tragic, some come with pictures I wish I’d never seen; there are always too many selfies, too many photos of food. I dutifully like, comment, share when something stirs my interest, but lately my FB experience feels like ground hog day, a never-ending loop. My FB author page is not productive, perhaps because I largely ignore it in favor of my blog; I likewise tend to ignore Twitter, an annoyingly restrictive forum I’ve never gotten the hang of. Every day one or two new strangers follow me on Twitter, god knows why or how they find me. I have a few blog followers, and I follow a few myself, but how attentive can we be? The more people we follow, the less time we have to give them. And then there are the followers who don’t actually follow, who simple want follow-backs. As for the marketing value of social media, well I am in awe of those whose voices can be heard above the roar–like yours. You are definitely doing something right. Thank you for the questions you raise, for crafting a blog that matters.

  • A blogger and writer who helps writers get social media in perspective is Kristen Lamb. She’s very much about writers building relationships with readers and NOT spamming once an hour on Twitter about their books being on sale. Before i follow anyone on Twitter, I check their previous tweets. If it looks like hourly, mechanical spam, I don’t follow.

  • At first, I felt I couldn’t relate to your question because I’m not a published author and I’m not selling anything to make money. I’m also new to the whole follower/following thing. But then I realized that though I’m not selling a product, I often use social media to help sell an idea. I once quit all social media (went two years without a drop) but restarted to campaign for a position in student government at my university. Since then I’ve used social media for many different reasons. Though at the heart of it, I use social media because I want the ideas and the causes I believe in to be heard.

  • Well I have a few celebs and plenty of authors who follow me. Generally it’s a help me help you kind of strategy in my circle and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Couldn’t grow a crowd on fb but I’m pretty decent on twitter

    So far I’m at 40,000 followers check me out @antoniowestleu

  • Ranju says:

    Oh there were many times when I too wanted to quit all these social media stuff. Hope I will do it someday. πŸ™‚

  • Rasma R says:

    I started out on Blogger and had no idea what I was actually doing. From there I went to Buzzle and feel sorry I haven’t written on the site in such a long time. My journey took me to HubPages where I got so many wonderful online friends who today are practically like family and they all moved me over to Facebook from there to Twitter to Google + to Linkedin and now I feel as if I’m part of this huge Internet world where at any moment anyone can step right into my living room. Oh, yes and of course WordPress where I am delighted that people like what I write and share. Guess what? I almost forgot to mention my latest where I have been for just over a year now Bubblews. What do you think? How am I doing?

  • Great post. I struggle with social media, too. I guess it’s the introverted “starving artist in a garret syndrome.” It’s almost painful for me to do it. Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy those I’ve met and follow and those who follow me. I’ll just never be good at marketing–if I ever figure out what’s best for me.

  • WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ where the lovely Damyanti regularly +1s my links. Much appreciated. Sue

  • I’m very active on social media, but I wish I didn’t need to use it for my career. I don’t like splitting my identity into personal and professional halves in order to appear hirable.

  • The problem this bookworm has had with social media and even blogging has been my not always having anything clever or interesting to say. And as much as I love, love, love my books and know how important it is to get my work out there, I’m not a saleswoman and don’t want to spend all my time telling folks to buy my stuff. I’ve heard that sharing quotes in one’s feed is a good strategy, and I might do more of that from the books I read (since I don’t trust that quotes from β€œquote mills” or whatnot on the Internet are always accurate or accurately attributed πŸ˜€ ).

    The biggest turnaround on my blog was when I recently reevaluated the main reason I started a blog and got on social media in the first place: literature. I then had the idea to start sharing my love for books in general on my blog and to start looking for other book lovers. (Confession: I was SUPER late in discovering that WP has a Reader where you can find other people’s blogs. Go figure!) I’ve also been finding more fellow readers and writers in Facebook and Google+ groups, and though I still haven’t quite gotten into a comfortable social media rhythm, I at least like my blog a whole lot better. I might start including films, since I love them as much as I do books.

  • neelkanth says:

    I find your recommendations are worth being followed. Nice photographs.

  • chinarush says:

    Hey nice article!

    I think I understand how you feel about blogging and social media. To be honest I used to use twitter and instagram along with facebook than it’s like what’s the point of all this stuff and I only used facebook from now on. In terms of updating a blog or strategy, I feel like bloggers should just write what interests them instead of trying to push x y z onto people because 1) it is not enjoyable for you as the blogger 2) people know and see that you’re only doing it for the money and not producing content people want to see.

  • Doobster418 says:

    Social media strategy? Yeah, sure. I post to my blog almost daily and I have no Twitter account at all and no Facebook account associated with my blog. So I suppose my social media strategy is minimalistic at best.

  • davidprosser says:

    I confess to having an advert tweeted once a day for each of my 3 first books.It’s the only advertising I get to do for myself. Usually I’m tweeting for other authors or bloggers. That can be for a very large part of the day and yes, I’ve thought of giving up. The writing has already gone except for my weekly blog. I love the interaction with others but would never cope if I started adding other avenues like Instagram, Wattpad and all the other NKOTB.
    I’m grateful for all the friends from all over the world that blogging has brought me,
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Damyanti says:

      I know you’ve been a great friend of this blog, David, and I enjoy reading your posts. You tweet my posts each time, and I’m grateful for that. I read your tweets and posts, and enjoy them both.

  • disperser says:

    I follow them I deem interesting. There’s some slop in that, but generally smarts and humor are pre-requisites. I don’t follow people who share personal problems, have a relationship with imaginary beings or think the universe deeply cares about them. I don’t follow people who are obviously trying to sell me something.

    If I follow someone in WordPress, I read everything they post. Any more I seldom comment unless I can make a joke or (as in this case) I can express my opinion about something that occupies part of my thinking process.

    If I follow anyone in any of the other platforms, I will read whatever they have written when i happen to be on (seldom). Facebook much less than WordPress, Google+ less than Facebook, and Twitter much much less than any of the other three (I’m usually on twitter a few minutes each week – I learned early that people are too busy tweeting to actually read what others tweet, and even then, only within their clique. Facebook is not as bad, but basically the same).

    I ask that people know what they are getting into if they follow me. If they do follow, I expect them to do so because they really are interested in what I do, otherwise I’d prefer they move along (I have 550+ followers but rarely top 30 views on posts, and of those I have a few – about five – who are regular commenters).

    WordPress and Facebook are the main ones. Google+ is gaining a bit. Twitter is too nuts, and mostly seems geared toward people who are well known in their fields and the fans of those people. As best as I can tell, most personalities have fans who hang on their words as if written on stone tablets. They are not going to notice individual tweets.

    I figure anyone that has a thousand followers will have little time to interact, and that’s fine.

    . . . plus, notice the length of my comment . . . I know I lost 99% of the readers about six lines from the top. Another reason I don’t get many interactions.

    • Damyanti says:

      They say that the internet has shortened attention spans, but I can tell you that there would always be readers for good, long articles. Never give up. I appreciate your comments whenever you stop by. I haven’t been so good with my visits lately with everything going on in my life, but I intend to change that this month.

      • disperser says:

        Don’t worry about it; other than the occasional brilliant short story, there’s not much on writing at my blog.

  • Andrew says:

    I have a vague strategy; it’s just ill-defined. Mostly, it’s about not trying to push stuff on people, because I hate that. So I don’t do “it” right, because I’m not promoting one of my books every third tweet or post or whatever. Maybe, I’d sell more if I did, but I wouldn’t want to follow me if I did, so what would be the point?

    • Damyanti says:

      I think you’re doing it exactly right. Folks who sell their ware to the exclusion of all else are irritating. I’m on the brink of unfollowing some authors who follow me, purely for this reason.

  • Social Media can be an overwhelming experience to some. On the contrary, it can be used as a powerful tool to reach out for more audience. Personally, I’ve been using Facebook, Tumblr for a long time and I don’t have a Twitterβ€”yet. I publicize some of my posts on Facebook. But, I just got started on my blog at WordPress very recently anyway, so I still have to learn a lot around here and there before I start publicizing and utilizing social media, adequately. Good post!

  • Mark Murata says:

    The advice I’ve been given is do the social media that you like. If you don’t see the point of Facebook and try to keep posting there, your posts will become boring and not win a following. So do the forms of social media that best fit you, and see if you can win a following there

  • Boeta says:

    Nice post, spend most time on WP, and mostly follow what we like with a few odd ones here and there for color. Got into the rest more to figure out whats what, as we have a 14 month boy, who will grow up with it and we need to know something about it as parents. I do find something interesting every now and then, but mainly lots of selling, retweets and other, not catching my fancy.

  • Here on WordPress, I follow anyone who follows me, and will only stop following if I find I’m flooded with uninteresting content. On Twitter I follow people who make humorous tweets, some are famous, some I only know through Twitter. Google and Pinterest I just use for promoting my blog here. Facebook is usually my first port of call when I log in (WordPress is second) Facebook is a somewhat confusing mix of people I know and people I have met on various forums. Facebook can suck valuable time from more productive activities and I have considered having Facebook-free weeks….

    • Damyanti says:

      My story sounds similar to yours. I’m wondering if I do need a conscious social media strategy, purely because on some days it becomes a giant time-suck-hole.

  • Nice one. Like Heller once said, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”… out here that’s a good thing, I guess.

  • I love social media, but at times it can be overwhelming, especially with so many platforms to cover.

    I try to place most focus on one platform, and divide my remaining time on a few others.

  • arlene says:

    Thanks for liking some of my posts. I enjoyed reading this. Some people would consider FB personal but it is so noisy out there so my timeline is only for my friends to see and some photos are just for family.

  • Ruchi Chopra says:

    I have active Publicize via WP on all social platforms mainly Twitter,Tumblr & G+,i have left FB from this list as it’s more personal platform for me with all known faces, so I want to keep it like that, rest I did get blog visitors from Twitter & G+.

    • Damyanti says:

      I do publicize my posts too, but I only post twice a week max, so hopefully I’m not flooding any timelines πŸ™‚

      • Ruchi Chopra says:

        Since I use FB more for personal, I am comfy with flooding “Tweets” & sharing on Google plus πŸ˜€
        I post daily LOL
        In the end, Social Media is just a tool for reaching out, how to harness its potential for advertising & for Blog traffic etc just a click away. I also started this routine few weeks back, earlier I was just plain WP πŸ˜€

  • lancequadras says:

    Nice post. I did write a post similar to these lines few weeks ago. Its nice to have people read your blog and comment. πŸ™‚

  • I don’t necessarily think of quitting social media but the idea is kind of tempting. I only have a blog and that takes up a lot of time away from my writing. I must admit that I’ve met a lot of really neat and talented people on line and would not give them up because of the richness they provide me. I do empathize with you, however, .

  • Thank you for the recommendation – it is a thrill and a privilege. Thanks for the “rant” above and the posting too. It rang all sorts of bells. I’m 6 months ahead in my daily blogs, so I can take a break!!!

    • Damyanti says:

      Bruce, your blog is absolutely worth recommending. Thanks for being such an awesome commenter on my blog– and yeah, take a break if you like…we’ll still be here when you get back πŸ™‚

  • I’m on Facebook and Twitter along with my blog because I am trying to build a readership and platform. If I get my book published I will mention it on all three because marketing my work is my job and my job alone.

    • Damyanti says:

      Mentioning it is one thing, and I suppose that’s a good way of letting your audience know you have a book. I’m talking about authors whose entire food is tweets like “Buy my book etc etc”. If you’re marketing, you’ve got to be careful it is actually effective. I’d rather follow authors who have interesting things to say, get to know a bit about what they like, and buy their book if I like what they have to say.

      • Agreed! I love to tweet inspirational and funny sayings. I prefer to keep talk about my writing to if they actually talk to me.

  • words4jp says:

    I am WP – and I have Tumblr, which I am enjoying. I do have Facebook, but do not use it. Have twitter, but rarely if ever use it. It’s all too much. I do not have the thine and I find I spend more time on WP than I should sometimes;)

  • eclecticalli says:

    I struggle with some of the social media, because — as you mentioned — time… time is tricky. I find myself not following everyone back on twitter that follows me (I know it’s good etiquette to follow back but….) I want to keep my feed manageable and meaningful. I want to be following people who I interact with, and who will interact with me — or at least people who entertain me. Endless spamming of book promotion gets tiring, and I find I end up un-following those people.
    Thanks for the blog-suggests too… More to read! So much to read… it’s no longer just “so many books so little time” now it’s “so many blogs…”

  • Though I participate in social media, I haven’t been consistent in it


  • belsbror says:

    Never the choosy type, I follow those who follow me. I think that’s fair enough. πŸ™‚
    Social media time? WordPress 95 percent, Facebook 1 percent, Twitter 0.5 percent, Others 3.5 percernt

  • Basically, my social media participation is limited to my WP and FB. I have a Twitter that I hardly log in to anyway. I am thinking of opening a WattPad account but hasn’t gotten around to that and haven’t really explored it. My second most recent post, incidentally, has a lot to do with social media and the sort of dangers they can cause if one is not careful.

  • I’m on social media but don’t use it much.

  • Sorry, I do feature other books and stuff in my Ninja News. Just trying to show the support I’ve received.

    • Damyanti says:

      That’s the difference, Alex. You support others and others love you for it. I don’t remmeber seing you tooting your own horn from dawn to dusk.
      I support other authors, too, but only when I like the work and I have a good online relationship with the author.

  • “I don’t know if I’ll take to hawking my books (if I ever publish any) on social media– because frankly, most author marketing pisses me off these days: I don’t want to know about yet another book reveal or giveaway or sale.”

    Amen, Sister!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

    Personally, I never did understand the appeal of Twitter, and I pretty much think the rise of social media marks the beginning of the end of humanity. “We watched cat videos” will be our epitaph, right alongside “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.”

    • Damyanti says:

      I agree on the cat photo bit, guilty as charged! I switch off FB and twitter when I’m working or I’d never get anything done.

  • Erik Conover says:

    Ps love that Forbes article. I highly recommend reading ” crush it ” and “jab jab jab right hook” by Gary vaynerchuk. Those two books are the reason I got on social media two months ago, the numbers and engagements speak for themselves. Hope this feedback helps

  • I follow whom ever catches my eye, i have a twitter account but seem baffled by the randomness of it.

  • LindaGHill says:

    I’m afraid that when I do publish it will be like adding a raindrop to a lake… Lake Superior in particular. πŸ˜› But I’ll probably do it with hopes of greatness and expectations of a dollar or two in profits.
    Excellent post. Thank you for this. πŸ™‚

  • Erik Conover says:

    Social media is amazing. There is a lot out there, content overload, but never has there ever been a better time to be a writer. It’s all about learning how to leverage each individual platform, not play candy crush and post pet pictures

  • I just have Facebook and WordPress. I’ve tried Twitter I think 2-3 times and I just didn’t feel it. But, Facebook helps me stay connected. Well, that and text messaging :p

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