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  1. Terrific post.

    Still hate social media, but I’m getting better at making myself do it. The blog class helped, as did the word cloud.

    Still trying to figure out Facebook without being consumed by it.

    1. As always insightful. I’d also add always try to convert to email your social media connections. Not to spam them, but social media isn’t forever. Look at Myspace!

      If we have email and internet we can still reach our peeps!

  2. Content (marketing) and social media seem to be two of the most searched phrases on Google and there are no shortage of “giving people” on Twitter that I see selling advice and services to help build your brand.

    I wanted to comment briefly, that I’ve never read another book that talked about social media (whether for authors or any other business), more helpful and easy to read than “Rise of the Machines.” Highly recommend this book (and Kristen’s blog) to everyone I meet. 🙂

    1. Intense “ditto”

  3. Great post, Kristen. I am so tired of hearing from the experts, telling us what we have to do, then ask for money. Piff! And overworked writers are good pickings – thanks for keeping the light on. Some services are good, we just need to discriminate and be vigilant.

    • Claire /Cindy on May 2, 2017 at 3:44 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Kristen,

    Perfect information for many of us. I receive tons of great ideas, from experts and not-so-much experts. Some, if I click on the site, say FREE TO YOU! and give us your credit card number for the program that is only 200 bucks! A class worth 2500 buckaroos!

    So, that being said, these show up in my email and facebook page, and… twitter. I check them out. Then if they say free, and want to charge, I usually come back with ‘how is that free?’

    Some famous authors purport to know all. They push ads on the TV, twitter, FB like they know everything. I have had friends drop a gazillion dollars to have a manuscript evaluation and rip apart. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some things must go. But when the voice, story is attacked and the author becomes disenchanted, that gives me ire.

    Have you read Strunk and White lately? That was written in 1919? Let’s kill creativity! Check out the Chicago Manual of Style. Great material to help ya nap. And then, wildly popular Stephen King … what? No adverbs? Posh. Okay, so he is published to pieces, and I do read his work. Yawn.

    I avoid that purple prose like crazy, but not all adverbs are evil. Maybe tired, overused and adverbs that don’t add… such as … “I ran really fast to win the race.” Huh. But what about something like … “Black-eye Susans, daisies and purple coneflowers popped at the same time, confused with the withering heat.”

    Heat works. But if you’ve ever lived in Palm Springs, the heat is not heat. It is withering heat. Heat to make the brain addle.

    So I avoid these schemes like a third-world ‘relative’ who promises three-million dollars… I also avoid writers who claim expertise without a single book written in 20+ years. Argh.


    • Claire /Cindy on May 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm
    • Reply


    I opened my email just now: “How to Write a Novel: Everything You Need to Know in 15 Simple Steps” Get Free Report! Click here to buy one!


  4. http://pred-ed.com used to be my go-to source to separate the good from the scam. Alas, the last time I went there to vet someone, this was (and still is) the message:
    P&E Seeks New Caretaker
    Unfortunately, much of the data on the P&E site has become stale and outdated, and needs a new caretaker with the time required to update the site. The listings are being removed until they can be updated by a new caretaker.

    • Lenore Brashear on May 2, 2017 at 5:16 pm
    • Reply

    I now have several “experts” cluttering my email. At least they think they are experts. Who are they and are they experts? Bookbaby, Tim Grahl (sp), somebody named Lelia, I think. I know what Lightning Source is and now they have, “everything you need as a newbie author”. Are any of them knowledgeable?
    Thanks, Lenore

  5. Experts. I’ve been reading historical fiction for a while now. Some authors seem such experts(Jack Whyte for instance) on details of people, places, things, and even everyday routines they seem to have lived in the place and time period in which they write. That is very impressive.

  6. Every time I feel weary and think why can’t I just pay someone to magically sell my books, I need to come back and read this post. Remind myself it’s part of the job.

  7. Dang, I missed out on Twitter glitter! I’m always late to the party. I like the line about Anne Rice. It’s so true. The “trick” is to find the outlet that appeals to you and you can have fun with.

    PS: Us Urban/Contemporary Fantasy authors are awesome too. (Not that the Romancers are great too)

    1. “aren’t” great too ?

  8. The problem with experts isn’t just limited to social media. There’s a lot of writing “experts” out there who don’t know what they’re talking about, but talk a good game and some who don’t.

  9. Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been seeing a number of people on Twitter mention in their bios that they are ‘social media experts’. I find these as tedious as the ‘buy my book’ tweets and ignore them. There seems to be so many ‘experts’ these days, it’s no wonder writers get confused.

    After regularly reading your blog for years, I had no hesitation in buying your book and taking your social media classes. I highly recommend these to any writer as your advice is one of the most helpful I’ve found. And by the way, I love that header picture Kristen. 😉

    • BC Boyer on May 2, 2017 at 9:00 pm
    • Reply

    I’m still working on my book and I’m doing research on social media. I’m so glad I came across your site. I look forward to using your advice when my book is finally ready.

  10. I’m looking forward to hearing you talk social media at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference in August. Keeping attendees is not a federal offence because we’re not a federation, but it is still illegal. Sorry.

  11. I was in the class in Indiana and it was awesome. I may have made a similar ‘joke’ about kidnapping but it was aimed at Kristen;0) It was awesome and if anyone has the chance to see her speak, you should jump on it. In addition to being super smart, she’s wicked funny.

  12. I’m on facebook and Instagram, and my blog is being built, but I haven’t bitten the Twitter bullet, as yet. I don’t know why exactly. I keep thinking it’ll die soon. LOL I wish it would die soon. Yeah, totally wishful thinking there. sigh.

    I pretty much hate the hashtag world. I hate the way the conversation *looks* if it even becomes a conversation. It’s ugly! And if it doesn’t become a conversation, it’s ugly and seems like yelling into the void.

    Clearly I have a bad attitude about Twitter. At least on Instagram, you’re seeing pretty or interesting pictures. But with Twitter… yeah, a little birdie doesn’t make it cute, or remotely aesthetically pleasing to my eye.

    My name is Cathy, and I have a Pretty-problem.

    • Mary M. Bauer on May 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    • Reply

    Great info, as always. Your blog is my must-read. Thanks! As a side note, the shot of the creepy clown in the hillside was taken a few miles from my home in WI. We are a friendly Midwestern bunch. LOL

  13. Thanks Kristin. I am so tired of experts sending us to other experts (from whom they obviously get a kickback) who promise the moon, take two hours to wear us down, and then hit us with “their” promo package. It’s like the “1 funny trick to reduce your belly” ads.

  14. What I’ve learned from you has always been solid and given me a standard by which to measure others. I think the main thing to remember is that every “expert” has their own biases for pet platform-building techniques and one must judge that expert’s experience against your own ability and schedule. It also helps if they allow that you may have a different favourite SM platform than they do.

    You teach “principle” over specifics, and that is what I look for in other teachers, too. A great teacher gives you the blueprint and lets you choose the tools that work best for each aspect of the project, not just hands you a hammer and insists you use it for everything. Cheers.

    • Boushra on May 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    • Reply

    Hello Kristen! I’m fairly new to your blog, even though I am not a writer yet but more of a reader, I do enjoy the information and expertise you have to offer. I was wondering about something not necessarily related to this post.
    I have noticed from my own behavior that I am more inclined in general to read posts by authors (and others)and follow them on Medium platform rather than their own websites. Could you possibly give us your thoughts on how useful that could be; its relation to having a blog; to gaining readers, etc.

  15. Kristen, sharing this post as part of my presentation on blogging for Jackson WordCamp. Great example.

  16. My social media rule of thumb is “Did I get excited reading this and I know others will too? Then SHARE”. Be present, be yourself, and be interesting. Luckily it applies to offline life too!

  17. Excellent advice. I’m terrible when it comes to social media, which I suppose limits my success (duh????). I’ve taken courses on social media from reputable vendors (Writer’s Digest mostly), but my approach is SO haphazard, it’s amazing I get anything out of it. Really like your blog posts. They are witty and helpful, a winning combination.

  18. Hi, Kristen! Great post, as always.

    As an author (5 books) and book marketer myself, I do offer services to authors (though I never refer to myself as a guru — no sitar playing up in here) — mostly, to help them learn how to do it all themselves. In fact, my tagline is ‘helping authors help their damn selves since 2011″ lol. With 30 years of marketing experience, it’s helpful for me to share what I’ve learned in my blog posts so authors don’t have to make my mistakes (I’m my own guinea pig), saving them time and money.

    Practical advice is always helpful. If we can’t put specific, actionable steps in place with easy to follow instructions, why bother? That’s just annoying.

    That’s also why I started my weekly #BookMarketingChat on Twitter — and would still love to have you as a guest if any of your Wednesdays at 6pm pst free up! Any of your readers are welcome to join — I share my own experiences and bring on tons of expert guests. All free, and all designed to help boost writers’ knowledge. No strings, no ads, no promos. 🙂

    Thanks for being such a great voice of reason. xx

  1. […] Social Media for Authors—Beware of Experts […]

  2. […] Tip #1: Everyone’s an Expert […]

  3. […] Kristen Lamb […]

  4. […] Two posts this week as a reminder, one from Tara Sparling (via Anne R. Allen) and one from Kristen Lamb. I’m going to blog more about this soon. Amazon told Publishers Lunch (subscription link) […]

  5. […] Social Media for Authors—Beware of Experts […]

  6. […] Two posts this week as a reminder, one from Tara Sparling (via Anne R. Allen) and one from Kristen Lamb. I’m going to blog more about this soon. Amazon told Publishers Lunch (subscription link) […]

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