We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media
By Kristen Lamb (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, Kristen Lamb shares from her own experience how writers can master social media, using it to build their platform. While much has been written about social media, this generic information, she asserts, is not helpful to writers and is often counter-productive.
We Are Not Alone (which Kristen affectionately refers to by its acronym, WANA) is presented in three acts. Act one is “The Big Picture,” effectively introducing the topic. It is a social media primer, providing the basics and presenting a compelling argument as to why writers need to embrace it.
The second act, the meat of the book, covers the practical aspect of building a social media platform; it’s subdivided into two stages. The first part offers instructions on understanding and gathering content, while the second section addresses the technology and websites that can be tapped to share this information.
The final act is the shortest of the three; it addresses time management. Succinctly, social media can be a huge time suck, as well as a distraction from the more important job of actually writing. Kristen shares her strategy to address this, encouraging readers to do the same.
We Are Not Alone was written in 2010 and with social media rapidly changing, some parts are already out of date (thought happily most of the book is still nicely applicable). For example, not too many people are on My Space any more, but Kristen advocates it as an essential part of a writer’s social media presence. While her argument is strong, I wonder if she still advises that today.
Regardless, the underlying basis of We Are Not Alone remains useful. I recommend the book as a basic tutorial for any writer not using social media and for those just starting to use it, as well as writers already socially active who desire to use it more effectively.
[We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, by Kristen Lamb. Published by Who Dares Wins Publishing, 2010; ISBN: 978-1-935712-17-6; 197 pages.]