"It's impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say." Sinclair Lewis

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Social Networking—Phooey!

by Bill Corbett

My publisher and many of my writer friends tell me I need to come into the 21st century and start social networking, because when it comes to marketing our books, that’s where it’s at. If anyone is capable of creating chaos working on the Internet, it’s me, but I decided to give in and sign up for one of the social networking websites, anyway.

I signed up for this social network and after I had the account set up they said: “Congratulations, conclude the following two easy steps, and you’ll soon be networking on ********with all your friends”. The second step after setting up the account was “find friends.” At least I interpreted it as the second step. It would have made more sense to me to have made this the third step after completing the profile page.

There was a list of possible friends that they suggested. Where they got them I don’t know; some of them I recognized so I said: “Okay, I can do this,” and I clicked on that button thinking I could friend the ones I wanted, one by one. Not so. All hell broke loose. The blasted thing sent out friend requests to everyone on the list, all at the same time. There were many I didn’t know from Adam’s off ox, and really didn’t want to friend. Apparently they all didn’t want to friend me either, because not long after these requests went out I got a note from this company that said I was sending friend requests to people that I didn’t know. “We don’t want you to do that,” they said.

No joke. Anyway, after much frustration, I finally found a button I could click on that would friend these people (the ones I knew, and who knew me) one at a time. I proceeded to do so. Then I got a note from the networking company saying that I had been blocked for seven days because I was still friending people that I didn’t know, or who didn’t know me!

That’s when I said to **** with it. I searched and finally found a button that would permanently deactivate my account. I’m through with social networking. From here on out, I’ll hire someone to do it for me.

Bill Corbett is a two time AP award winning columnist. He is also the author of a national award winning book, Buddy…His Trials and Treasures, and has numerous awards for his contributions to IDAHO magazine. He is also a contributing writer for IDAHO magazine.


  1. I wish we writers didn't have to deal with the publicity end of our business, but for now it seems to be the trend. However, just as blogging has gone out of vogue, many of the other social networking forums might follow. Who knows, someday we might actually get to spend more time writing again and less time "tweeting." Wouldn't that be grand? For now, though, despite the headaches involved, there are advantages. I would encourage you to find areas where you are comfortable and pursue those. Like writing itself: never give up.


    1. I'm not really giving up. Like I said in my blog post, this social networking is beyond my level of understanding and is not really my cup of tea. I receive a newsletter that talks about all the things we authors need to be doing to market our books. I'll hire someone who knows what they're doing to do the social networking for me. There are people out there who enjoy it.I don't have the patience for it. I'll supply the ideas and let them incorporate them.


  2. I'm not happy with the social networking or the e-book thing. I want to write books, not upload my story.And I want to go to books stores for signings the old fashioned way. It looks like we're headed for e-books entirely as more and more book stores and traditional publishers go out of business. Now Barnes and Noble is down-sizing. So sad. Give me the good old days.

    I enjoyed your comments Bill.


  3. No man is an island. That applies to using social networking for promotion as well as figuring out the technology. A writers group may have talented individuals who'll share their social networking expertise. My other strong source of support is my grandkids! They delight in helping explain to me the how-to's of computers, i-phones and social networking. And the only price for their help is a little lovable teasing. I'd give the learning curve another go because with a little patience social networking can be fun.