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Successful Authors Who Don’t Use Social Media

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Have you ever considered swearing off social media? What about taking a long break?

As writers, it’s not an easy decision. Social media isn’t just something we use to keep up with old friends. Many writers rely on the distribution powers of social media to promote our books, blog posts, and latest author news — the kind of tasks that pay the bills.

Seven months ago, I decided to take a year-long break from social media. As a full-time freelance SaaS copywriter, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have helped me generate tens of thousands of dollars for my business over the years.

But by the end of 2020, I was tired of the distraction and noise. I’m about halfway through my break. (For now, the only way to follow me is through my newsletter about building a career you love as a writer.)

One of the biggest things that inspired my break from social media was reading how other authors had done the same. So: to inspire you on your decision to give up social media, here are four successful authors who don’t use social media.

Authors who don’t use social media

Michael Lewis

One of my favorite nonfiction authors, Michael Lewis has a unique talent for telling complex true stories using memorable characters and intellectually-engaging plot. Some of my favorite books by Michael Lewis include The Big Short, Flash Boys, and Boomerang.

Michael Lewis primarily promotes his books the old fashioned way: by writing as a journalist for major news sites and appearing in interviews in the media. He also hosts a podcast called Against The Rules and (when he has a new book to promote) regularly appears on other podcasts as well.

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is a novelist known for books like White Teeth and Swing Time. She is also an essayist, with many articles in The New Yorker.

Smith’s decision to swear off social media, according to her statements in the media, seem to come down to a choice of privacy and “the right to be wrong.”

As Smith once put it:

“I have seen on Twitter, I’ve seen it at a distance, people have a feeling at 9am quite strongly, and then by 11 have been shouted out of it and can have a completely opposite feeling four hours later. That part, I find really unfortunate.

“I want to have my feeling, even if it’s wrong, even if it’s inappropriate, express it to myself in the privacy of my heart and my mind. I don’t want to be bullied out of it,”

As with Michael Lewis (and everyone else on this list, for that matter), Smith seems to primarily promote her work by writing for major publications and being interviewed by the media.

Jaron Lanier

It would be odd not to include Jaron Lanier on this list. After all, he wrote a book literally called, 10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts.

Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist who writes about technology. In addition to 10 Arguments, he is the author of several other technology books, including You Are Not a Gadget and Who Owns the Future?