Is using Social Media optional or obligatory for authors? Check out the NYTimes article 2/13/12 for some sobering facts. Like it or not, Twitter, FB, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. are permanent guests for anyone trying to market books. Naturally, a website and blog are also de rigour. I liken it to granite countertops–once only seen in high-end properties, now an expectation even in the most humble homes. Most publishers now demand that you have and ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in social media.They are considered to be sales vehicles even though the metrics lag far behind. I say get with the program. If the Renaissance greats had access to our communication devices, just consider what Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Machiavelli and their peers would have produced!