Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Leo Babauta

Is #SocialMedia Really Good for #BookPromotion?

I’ve certainly gone out of my way over the last 5 years to figure out what might be called “Rational-Book-Promotion”

If I’d done every technique that’s been touted to give me millions of paying customers, I’d be dead from overwork—and I may not have any more sales than I do now

Plus, I’m a firm believer in giving my book away—many are the folk who can get on-line but not buy stuff

One of the most rational posts I’ve done about advice for writers is Bad Advice for Writers = Most Advice for Writers.

And, one of the most honest posts I’ve done about book promotion is Authentic Book Promotion ~ Does It Sell?

Here’s an excerpt from that post:

“There are many things an author can do to increase the likelihood that their book will sell.

“None of those actions will guarantee sales…

“Some writers think landing a traditional publishing deal will assure book sales.

“Not so…

“Perhaps, if you’re an extremely famous person, your book will sell—perhaps…”

And, one of the most penetrating posts I’ve done about authors and social media is Selling Your Soul With Social Media.

I quote a writer named Leo Babauta:

“Converting visitors into buyers is a soul-less use of your creative energy. Reject it, out of hand.”

“I find more value in creating something of value. I find influence a better metric than sales or traffic or reader numbers.”

“When everyone yells ‘Look at me!’, become quiet.”

“When others try to pull visitors to their sites, let people find you themselves.”

“When others brag of their success, let others laud you instead.”

Advice like that may take longer to “work” but the results will be solid and sound, you will still be yourself, and your conscience will be clear

Plus, concerning social media, it may not have the impact so many “experts” claim it does.

Here’s an article that deals with a study by Columbia University and the French National Institute.

The study is about sharing links to news stories; but, personally, I feel, if a user shares news links without reading what’s linked to; and, the practice is widespread; we might be able to get a hint about what folks who share writer’s links are doing, too

So, one finding from the study is that:

“…only two out of five people will click through and read the story from links on social media.

“The other three will share the story to their friends and followers without having ever read the story.”

One of the study’s co-authors said:

“This is typical of modern information consumption. People form an opinion based on a summary, or summary of summaries, without making the effort to go deeper.”

So, if this study was well-conducted with a significant base of data; and, if we can assume the activities portrayed actually do apply to social media links from writers, what kind of method is there for writers to generate a following (that doesn’t cost more than an internet connection and some time) that can be done rationally, sanely, and productively?

If you’re really serious about “getting the word out”, go read all my posts about Wattpad; then, give it an honest try—I’d say, about 5 months should show you what I’m talking about………

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Oh, No! Not More Advice About How To Write!!

I’ve read very few books about how to write.


Image courtesy of sanja gjenero ~

But, I have read tons of books that were well-written—they taught me how to write.

Plus, writing stuff till it “sounded right” helped.

Then, there was that find you own writing voice period

And, I’ve blogged about writing advice and the dangers of accepting most of it.

Perhaps, my most useful post, so far, is Bad Advice for Writers = Most Advice for Writers.

Then there are the other 42 posts I’ve done about writing advice >>> this post will show up at the top of that list since I tagged it with “writing advice”—just scroll down for more :-)

So, there’s this guy called Leo Babauta—“blogger, journalist, and published author”—used to write about productivity then switched to writing about minimalism

He has a blog called ZenHabits and wrote an article called, What I’ve Learned as a Writer.

Do go to that link and read what he wrote—I’ll list his main points here and give my opinions:

“Write every damn day.”

O.K., not bad advice; but, please don’t feel bad if you skip one or four or seven.

“Create a blog if you don’t have one.”

Leo mentions something I also think about blogs—they might help you write every day; but, if you get a readership and don’t stick to some schedule, you may lose those readers…

“Write plainly.

Well Let’s say write as plainly as the topic demands. Some themes and plots demand something a bit above “plain”.

“Don’t write just to hear yourself talk.

Perhaps Unless hearing yourself talk is important for knowing what you need to write about.

“Nearly everything can be shortened.


“Fear stops most potential writers.

Again, yep.

“Read regularly for inspiration.

Three yeps in a row.

“Procrastination is your friend.

Considering that the etymology of procrastination has a root that means “belonging to tomorrow—forward”, it sure seems that some of my writing did belong to my mind and heart after they lived through a day or so more

“Have people expect your writing.

This might give you the motivation to keep writing; or, it may scare your wits to a frazzle.

“Email is an excuse.


“Writing tools don’t matter.

Well, most of them don’t matter; except, perhaps:

A good text editor like Jarte (free).

A decent word processor like LibreOffice (which is also free).

And, the Writing Tool of all writing tools, Scrivener (free trial and cheap at any price).

“Jealousy is idiotic.

Yeah, a writer should be creating their own gig, not worrying that they can’t write like someone else.

“Writing can change lives.

I agree and end the post with Leo’s comment on that last topic:

one thing I’ve learned, above all, is this: the life that my writing has changed more than any other is my own.”
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Selling Your Soul With Social Media

I’m no expert. But I love sharing my considered opinions.

If you follow most of the advice about how to gain “Influence” that’s gushing from the Internet, you may win the “Attention Lotto” but your long-term traction will evaporate.

Consider these two ideas:

“Converting visitors into buyers is a soul-less use of your creative energy. Reject it, out of hand.”

“I find more value in creating something of value. I find influence a better metric than sales or traffic or reader numbers.”

Those ideas come from Leo Babauta‘s blog post, The Quiet Theory of Influence. He speaks more broadly than addressing only social media but his ideas are particularly cogent if you want to use social platforms to “gain attention”.

To me, the folks who use the over-hyped methods of gaining Internet Attention  have very little of what I want to hear.

Some of them may be making tons of money–from books, lectures, or a plethora of other products; but, I find their products sterile, of no lasting value.

Does this mean a person with something of Value can’t make money from it?

No, but it may take longer and involve some of the other ideas Mr. Babauta gives:

“When everyone yells ‘Look at me!’, become quiet.”

“When others try to pull visitors to their sites, let people find you themselves.”

“When others brag of their success, let others laud you instead.”

If those seem like impossible attitudes you may be ready to take the turn on Life’s roads that leads to enduring joyfulness–you may be ripe for internal changes that can reap a life of satisfaction unending

One last quote from Mr. Babauta:

“Imagine owning a muffin shop. If the muffins are commonplace, you’ll have to advertise and do some ‘guerilla marketing’ to get customers. But if your muffins make people roll their eyes in ecstasy, they will tell the world of your deliciousness, and the world will pound on your muffin-scented door.”

Read Leo’s post for other valuable ideas
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