Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Please stay tuned for our regularly scheduled content after this message from our sponsor ūüėČ

Fast, Effective Relief for Your Social Media Ailments

Do you feel overwhelmed by conflicting advice about writing and publishing? Social media distracts many authors from what they most want to do: write their book. If you feel discouraged and anxious about your writing, you may have a condition called TMFG, Too Many Facebook Groups.

TMFG keeps approximately 72% of writers from reaching their publishing goals. 

Fortunately, there is a treatment. A new social network called allows you to reduce your dependence on Facebook Groups to connect with other authors. is not for everyone. But if you are serious about developing your craft, growing your platform, and connecting with other writers, may right be for you. 

Side effects may include: 

  • increased focus
  • greater clarity
  • rising enthusiasm 
  • more time to write

Ask your doctor about today!

What is is a new social network I developed to solve some of the shortcomings of Facebook groups. 

The Problem with Author Facebook Groups

Authors commonly gather online through Facebook groups. While Facebook groups can help, they have some major downsides.

Many good and kind people have created Facebook groups to help authors navigate the publishing world. But sadly, the platform they are using makes life hard on them. In fact, I have my own Facebook groups for authors, so this article is not a dig at the folks who are using Facebook groups to help authors. The problem is with the platform, not the group administrators.

Facebook is Distracting

Facebook is scientifically engineered to be one of the most distracting places on the internet. The algorithm is designed to take advantage of human psychological weaknesses so that people stay on Facebook for as long as possible. The algorithm tailors your feed, and mine, to maximize the amount of time we spend on Facebook so that Facebook can make more money from advertisers.

Every time I go on Facebook, I lose at least 30 minutes of my day to one random thing or another. I only spend a fraction of that time connecting with other humans on Facebook.

There may be an author out there who can visit a Facebook group to ask a quick question, receive a quick answer, and get out, but I haven’t met that author yet. 

Facebook Groups Attract Spammers & Bots

Since some authors only join author Facebook groups to promote their own book, each Facebook group requires multiple administrators to police the group and keep it free from spam. Often the Facebook group’s rules forbid mentioning one’s own book at all, and larger groups tend to have the strictest rules.

But if a true community is forming, group members want to celebrate milestones and successes with their colleagues. On Facebook, it’s hard to find a balance between celebrating and censoring. 

Part of the problem is that Facebook mixes all the conversations into one feed. Instead of having different sections for different types of conversations, everything is lumped together in one column, sorted by Facebook’s magic algorithm. The bigger the group, the more unwieldy this column of posts becomes. 

Misinformation Spreads on Facebook

The unwieldy group newsfeed is often filled with misinformation about writing, publishing, and marketing. While that is bad news for authors, the steady stream of misinformation has been a great source of podcast topics for me. I develop many episodes by debunking publishing myths and diffusing unnecessary panic over the latest publishing news, both of which spread like wildfire in Facebook groups.

In one Facebook group, I recently saw a first-time novelist asking for book promotion strategies. One of the top comments came from someone who recommended a book signing at a bookstore. 

That is perhaps the worst piece of advice you could give a new novelist! 

Book signings don’t work unless you are already famous, and even then, they are better for engagement than promotion. Facebook groups tend to be full of that kind of nonsense. 

Some of the bad advice may be spread by trolls who believe their book will sell better if other authors use poor marketing techniques. They deliberately spread bad ideas to muddy the waters. However, most of the bad advice comes from people who simply don’t realize they are uninformed. They don’t know that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

In a Facebook group, it’s hard to tell at a glance how much training and experience a commenter has. If you could view a person’s credentials at a glance, trolls and inexperienced group members would lose credibility, and new authors could easily dismiss the bad information.

Facebook is Changing How Groups Work

Facebook is in the process of making major changes to its group feature. It is hard to build and maintain a community when the technology, rules, and expectations are constantly changing.

Facebook Groups are Hard to Use

Facebook sorts the posts by algorithmic magic. The third post down can become the 12th post on the list when you refresh the page, even if no new content has been posted. In other words, the content is constantly shuffled. People don’t realize that they can sort the posts chronologically. For that reason, some people don’t scroll through the feed at all. They just jump around by following the little red notification number and therefore miss new posts. 

People are Leaving Facebook

Authors are leaving Facebook in droves. They’re leaving to spare their mental health, reclaim their time, and escape the toxic and political environment that Facebook has become. It is hard to grow a community when people are actively leaving.  

For some people, getting off Facebook is a matter of life and death. Mental health issues are deadly, and I don’t want authors to risk their mental health just to connect with fellow authors. 

How is Different is a new social network. I first developed it for students taking a course like the Book Launch Blueprint or Obscure No More. But now, it is open to all listeners of the Novel Marketing podcast! is for Authors Only is only for authors, primarily authors who are already in the Author Media ecosystem. I developed it especially for our podcast listeners, blog readers, and email subscribers. Which is to say, I developed it for you.

Member Badges Show Credentials

Group members at have actively taken steps to learn more about writing and publishing. You will be able to see at a glance which Author Media trainings a group member has taken.

You’ll get a special badge next to your name for:

  • Being a Novel Marketing Patron
  • Graduating from the Book Launch Blueprint
  • Being a Mastermind
  • Participating in Obscure No More
  • Participating in the Five-Year Plan

Single Sign-On

If you have taken one of the many Author Media Courses, including the free course on author websites, you already have an account. You can log into with the same login you use for our courses on Teachable. 

Deeper Engagement

You’ll have more control over what you post on You can add graphics, format bulleted lists, and use bold and italics in your posts. This allows for deeper, more substantive conversations.

Improving with Your Feedback

Since is my social network, I’ll happily receive your feedback. I’m using technology from a company called Circle, so I’m not coding it, but I am customizing it. Circle has an app for iPhone and plan to release an app for android soon.

If you have an idea about how we can make it better, let me know, and I’ll see how I can incorporate it into the community. 


There are multiple spaces inside of You can adjust your notifications on a space-by-space basis. As a result, is far less distracting than Facebook or Reddit since you only receive notifications for the spaces you are interested in. If you’re only interested in craft and promotion, you can choose to receive notifications about new posts in those two spaces.

A Short Tour of

Unlike Facebook, where all content is squished together in the same thread, has multiple spaces for different kinds of conversations.

Here’s a quick tour: 

Novel Marketing Podcast Discussion

This space is for discussing episodes of this show. If you have an episode-specific question or comment, you can leave those in the Novel Marketing Podcast Discussion space. This is also a great place to post questions you want me to answer in future episodes. 

Christian Publishing Show Discussion

In this space, you can discuss the episodes of my other podcast, the Christian Publishing Show

Platform & Promotion

The Platform & Promotion space is specifically for discussing book promotion strategies and answering platform questions. You can also ask questions about your author website or your email service provider. We have many helpful authors in the group who will be truthful and generous with their comments.


If you want to indie publish but don’t know what an ISBN is or where to get one, you can ask those questions in the Publishing space. We’ll also talk about agents and traditional publishers here. 


Yes, we have a section about the craft of writing. If you have a question about developing one of your characters or if you’re in the mood for a debate about the Oxford comma, visit the Craft space. 

Job Board

Do you build websites for authors? Are you looking for a research assistant? Are you an editor? Do you need a graphic designer? You can post your job listing or offer your services on our Job Board. the Job Board allows authors to meet each others’ needs.


Announce your achievements and celebrate milestones with your fellow authors. Notice, it’s a celebration space and not a promotion space. I want you to celebrate success, but I don’t want people to spam this board with links.

Once you hit a milestone with your book, you get to post an Amazon link to your book so we can all celebrate with you.

Eligible Milestones Include:

  • Book Now Available for Pre-Order
  • Book Now for Sale
  • Bestseller Status 
  • Review Milestone (100, 500, 1000, 2500 reviews)
  • Podcast/Blog/Website Launch
  • Podcast Episode Milestone (50, 100, 250, 500)
  • Blog Post Milestone (50, 100, 250, 500)
  • Kickstarter/Indiegogo Launch
  • Email List Milestones (100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000)

Please only post after you have achieved one of the above milestones. If you think I should add a milestone to the list, let me know in the comments below. 


This space is full of funny, writing-related memes. Do you have a hilarious graphic about the Oxford comma? You can share it in the Off Topic space.

Course Specific Spaces

Each of our major courses has its own community within the community where students can ask questions and leave comments. These spaces are only available to students of those courses. If you haven’t enrolled in the course, you won’t see them. 

Mastermind Section

The Novel Marketing Masterminds have their own section of spaces inside Join our mastermind groups to access the wealth of information from authors who are already writing, publishing, podcasting, and influencing.

Final Thoughts

Online communities work when you “Comment unto others as you want them to comment unto you.” If you make an effort to answer more questions than you ask, our community will thrive.

The community runs through the Circle platform, which means you can access the community through the Circle app. While I pay a monthly fee to use the platform, there is no cost for you to join is my gift to the author community. So don’t become a victim of TMFG‚ÄĒToo Many Facebook Groups. Avoid distractions and get solid publishing advice from informed members (not trolls!). 

How do you sign up? Easy. Just go to Sign up to build your profile with all your pertinent platform links, and jump right in to the community conversation.

Cheryl Elton, author of Pathway of Peace: Living in a Growing Relationship with Christ

Learn how to calm the noises in your mind and experience more of God’s peace.            

You can become a Novel Marketing Patron here.

If you can’t afford to become a patron but still want to help the show, you can! Just share this episode with one writer you think would find it helpful. 

Liked it? Take a second to support Thomas Umstattd Jr. on Patreon!

Want more help?

Get a weekly email with tips on building a platform, selling more books, and changing the world with writing worth talking about. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!