Is it hashtags for Facebook and links for Twitter? Reels on Tic-Tok and videos on Instagram? Heaven help us all!


I am writing this as I sit at my desk for the third week in a row, trying to get Facebook to undue my partial ban for an unknown offense. I am not in violation of community standards, I haven’t made any offensive comments, and I am not political unless I am arguing with my husband.

I am a picture-perfect social media user.

I even refuse to engage in conversations that are controversial.


Because anything and everything you say can be used against you in the courtroom of society. After 21 years in the military, I have learned a thing or two about personal opinions.

No one wants to hear them. Kinda of like how my husband doesn’t want to hear that he needs to fix the garbage disposal that’s been broken for a month.

So now, here I sit. Partially banned from a social media platform waiting for a representative to enter the chat room on Meta Business Support to try to figure out what can be done.

But since my banishment from the world of Facebook, I have learned something about social media.

It can be extremely helpful.

And it can be detrimental to your success.

So how do we navigate the world of being a self-published author, or small business owner that relies on social media AND still needs to produce the product that they are promoting?

Hell if I know!

But this is what I have learned…

Focus on one platform at a time.

Social media is aged base, regardless of what anyone says. Facebook is almost old-school now. It’s for us 80’s kids that remembers MySpace. A great way to stay in touch with family members, friends, and great-great aunts from your mother’s brother’s daughter-in-law’s side. It is also a very effective way to spy on your children.

However, it has a huge following of readers because we are at the age where 9 PM is late and books are family.

Then there is Twitter, which to be honest, I am not sure who uses it or why. I think it’s more like a news outlet. Maybe not? I am not sure. I do follow the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the local newspaper on it. But I haven’t broken the code on how to use it. I see a lot of promotions on it, but I have never gotten a click on my links to Amazon – so I am not sure if it’s great for promotions.

However, it’s always fun to read the next conspiracy theory on the Blue Checkmarks and what celebrity is walking the red carpet.

Instagram is for photos – but you can’t add links to posts. It’s an excellent way to watch reels and I have found some amazing artists on it. I just don’t know how to purchase any of their work. Which could be a good thing because I would be single handily supporting a lot of artists if I could. I know a lot of readers use Instagram to post their latest favorite books…. and I have found some great new books because of it.

Tumblr is something I just started trying out, but it’s linked to Twitter…. so I am not really sure how that works.

And then there is the famous Tic-Toky. An excellent outlet for social justice, pet videos, and music videos. A very easy way to kill the last hour at work, keep your spouse entertained while they are in the bathroom and keep up with the news. But it is videos. So, I am not willing to post anything until my husband lets me get Botox.

Let’s not forget the reels. To get higher on Instagram and Facebook algorithms, you need reels. They need to be between 5 and 30 seconds long. Have you ever tried to make a 30-second video for a book release? It can take up to 3 hours…

Lets not forget the platforms dedicated to just writers and readers- Goodreads, Reedy’s, AllAuthor, etc…. those all need to be updated periodically too.

But each one takes time and effort to keep social media engagement high and entertaining. When I was focused on Facebook (before the partial ban), I spent 40 minutes every morning responding to messages and comments. I would spend two hours every Sunday preplanning my posts, and then throughout the day, I would jump on to see what my friends were saying. And that was just my author’s page. Not my normal page.

Then there was my website/blog. That needed to be updated. Engaging posts are needed. Newsletters sent out. And the overall appearance tweaked at least once a month.

At one point, I engaged with all the different outlets, usually with the same posts…. but each one had to be written differently. Twitter can only have so many words and should have #’s. Facebook posts can be longer, but no #s. Instagram needs photos, not words, with #hashtags, but no links. In addition, the website posts should include photos and be at least 2-3 minutes long.

So here is my recommendation. Focus on one. At least at the beginning. Once you become a New York Best Seller and quit your job then you will have plenty of time to do all the promotions you want across every platform. But until then…. save yourself the gray hair and find the platform that brings you the most joy and stick to it.

Promotions are helpful, but not the end all be all.

When my first book came out… everything happened at once. I was editing and formatting my book. Trying to get the ISBNs correct. Trying to upload books, only to find that they weren’t large enough or small enough. And attempting to promote my book because I did all of this in a two-week period.

I didn’t pre-plan and because of that, I uploaded promotions and links every day, sometimes twice. And I only rotated three different ones. It wasn’t engaging. There were no videos. The photos were boring.

Everything you should do to gain followers and interest.

I am three weeks from my next book being released and created a month-long calendar to stir up excitement. Of course, the partial ban derailed my plans, but I think it would have worked out perfectly.


I started making photos, videos, and posts months ago. I spent time checking through each one to make sure they flowed well, were engaging, and every word was spelled correctly, and I preplanned how far they would be spaced out between the different social media platforms. I would not post the same thing every day on every platform. I wanted to shake it up. Make people want to engage with my posts because it’s always different.

So, my recommendation is this…. the first time you write The End, start planning your social media posts. So, while you are editing, you don’t have to worry about it as much. And only do 2-3 a week. People want to support you when they know you as a person not just as someone trying to sell them something.

Just a recommendation.

Websites are not required but are recommended.

Let me explain why I recommend a website.

I was told I needed one.

In my case, I have been blogging for years, so I already had a decent website. But on my journey to find a publishing company (before I opened my own), everyone wanted a website. Every time I submitted my book to a competition, a website was required. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and every other place you can sell a book- they want an author’s profile, and you needed to have a website.

Websites can be expensive – I agree. BUT, you can create your own. For a decent price. As long as you are willing to learn and take the time to build it. Will it give you gray hair? Maybe. There are YouTube videos and articles for everything, however. I use WordPress and spent hours reading their free tutorial to create mine.

Have I made mistakes? Oh absolutely. But they have a chat feature that I am good at using. Besides, it’s fun writing blogs about everything you have done wrong.

It takes time to build a following.

When I started my website/blog three years ago, I assumed that within weeks I would have at least a strong following and numerous comments on each of my blogs.


I thought that when I started my author’s page, my coffee memes would be so engaging that I would have hundreds of followers within weeks.


I tweeted funny jokes and hashtagged until my fingers bled.

Still haven’t gotten a following.

I thought that if I followed every author, small business owner, and cousin’s brother’s dog… I would get a following.

I wish.

I made a mistake. I didn’t engage. It wasn’t personal. I wasn’t celebrating wins and comforting fails. I wasn’t an ideal friend.

That’s the thing about social media… it’s going to take a while to get a following because YOU need to prove you are someone to follow. Not everyone is someone you should follow. Stop pushing follow because you want your numbers to increase.

Push the Follow button to gain friends. These are the people who will support you. They are the ones that will share your posts and links.

Don’t forget why you’re doing this.

I am guilty of this. I got so caught up in the various different platforms and being engaging that I forgot to write.


A writer who wasn’t writing.

I WAS promoting book 2… with only two chapters written and no idea what was going to happen in the book. But I had coffee memes for days.

Social media can be a lot like World of WarCraft…. the world of influencers and drama can suck you in until you forget that there was something that you were supposed to be doing.

Since my partial ban, which I found out I can still do everything, but just in a different way… I have scaled back on my posts. I have put more time into my blog and book. I started really reading what I wrote and fine-tuned it. I remembered why I started writing/blogging in the first place and tapped back into my passion.

I have recreated my calendar and this week I will spend some time creating promotional videos and posts….but not as much as I was. I feel free. I feel in charge.

That’s not true.

But, I assume I will feel that way soon.

Final thoughts….

Hustling is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Its takes patience, a strong backbone, and the willingness to laugh at yourself.

You are a hustler my friend. That’s not always a bad thing. You have a passion and you want to share it with the world. That is the key term… you want to SHARE. You writing a book is a great start. You editing the book is hitting the first hurtle. But there is so much more to the game.

You need to bring the readers to your book or to your business. You need to decide what your voice is going to be. Is it funny? Or maybe inspirational? Will you post pictures of your fur babies and celebrate everyday success? Or are you going to start a fantasy food bracket where people can vote between mint chocolate chip or cookie dough ice cream?

Whatever you decide – own it. The success and wins and the failures.

Good luck my friends! I am rooting for you!

Last pitch- because promotions are a thing! If you haven’t guessed… I am an author. The Writer and the Librarian is available for purchase, and you can pre-order The Myth and the Monster which is scheduled for release on June 15th. Just click here!

What are your thoughts?

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