Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book Review: We Are Not Alone--The Writer's Guide to Social Media

Most writers admit they're nerdy introverts.  However, the explosion of internet usage and the implosion of the US economy, created a push-me/pull-you effect, which has shoved/dragged writers outside their comfort zones.  The marketing budgets of publishing houses, writers use to rely on to launch media blitzes, have shrivelled. 

So now, authors can no longer live a J.D. Salinger-esque life and must be their own publicists.  The problem is:  Right-brain, creative types usually don't possess enough business savvy to be financially successful.  (This is a polite way of saying we're inept at marketing ourselves).

Fortunately, social media sites like Facebook and Myspace, provide the medium where authors can harness the power of word-of-mouth and increase their book sales.  The trick, though, is to harness social media effectively. Not everyone has the skills to fly solo into cyberspace.  (See my parenthetical comment above).

This is where Kristen Lamb's book, We Are Not Alone--The Writer's Guide to Social Media, comes in.  Kristen is one of a handful of pioneer gals, blazing a trail in the new cyberfrontier. 

"WANA," as Kristen abbreviates it, is a step-by-step guide for writers, on how to establish, maintain and most importantly, expand, their presence on social media sites--without detracting from their primary task of writing for publication.

I stumbled across Kristen's blog several months ago, before buying her book.  Her outrageous sense of humor and breezy conversational style makes her a joy to read.  Although her humor was a tad subdued in WANA, I found her book just as helpful as the other 14 reviewers on, who gave it a 5-star rating.  WANA's lowest score comes from a single, 4-star rater.  This reviewer, though, did make a couple of valid points.  WANA, as I mentioned above, is an introductory guide and may be too basic for any experienced cyber-ninja.  Another point is, WANA does contain some grammar and syntax errors.  However, these should be fixed in later editions.

Despite such minor detractions, this is an indespensable reference for getting established and effectively operating on all the current social media sites.  (And improving my blog--but that's another topic).  My rating adds a 15th 5-star to Kristen's constellation on Amazon.'s link to WANA:

Keep up with Kristen (ha! as if you can!), on her blog:

Kristen's new book, Are You There Blog?  It's Me Writer, was released a couple of months ago:

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