There are between 600,000 and one million books published every year in the US. On average, each book sells 250 copies. It's a necessary but sadly insufficient task to simply write a good book. You have to be able to sell it and to sell it, to have to connect with readers. If you're lucky or well known, you may get a book review in a magazine or a newspaper. A spot on the radio or TV helps a lot. Book stores, book groups, and fan conferences are great ways to meet readers, my favorites, in fact. But if I'm going to sell more than 250 books, I have to meet a lot of people. And the way to do that, to raise myself above the scribbling crowd, is through social media. Which social media you ask? That depends on a lot of things I don't understand, like algorithms, those obscure formulas that supposedly predict what makes how many people do something at a certain time of day to give some writers bragging rights about being a best seller. All of which makes getting connected and staying that way both simpler and more complicated than say, putting a message in a bottle or sending it out by carrier pigeon. There are things called "analytics" that reportedly tell me how many people read my posts or click through, where they live, and what they eat for breakfast. It all sounds like gobbledegook to me. (Anyone who knows what gobbledegook is probably doesn't understand social media either.) Why it is that some people respond to some of my posts and not others has no discernible pattern. If it did, I'd probably keep repeating myself. As for lurkers, those who love me but never click "like," their ghostly appearance does not reassure me that I'm not simply shouting into empty space. To be honest, like many writers, I find social media a time-sinking distraction, though it does have some addictive properties and occasionally sends a link to something of true value. There are days when viewing pet videos and flash mobs are as necessary and effective as taking Valium. And other days when I am distressed to learn that people I like are raving lunatics when it comes to politics or an obsession with selfies. In summary, I bow to the advice of other people who know the marketing biz inside out. I pay them, so I should take their advice. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my (soon-to-be) new website and, of course, here at LadyKillers.