How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and promoting your book on the Internet

How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Nicole R » 31 Oct 2011, 07:29

I've been wondering this for a while, so I thought I'd throw it out to the forums. How do you interact with your favorite authors online? Do you visit websites, become a Facebook fan, follow them on Twitter? I know we're all scrambling to try to figure out how to maximize social media as writers, but I'm very curious to know how we're using it as readers.

Here are my answers:
Websites
While I've visited practically all of my favorite authors' websites, I've really only gone there once or twice and only stuck around for five minutes or so. Every once in a while I'll check back for info if I know they have a new book coming out. Otherwise, I'm not visiting for daily updates. There are three author blogs I follow fairly closely, though to be fair I haven't actually bought any books from two of them yet.

Twitter
I follow two of my favorite authors and, at first, I was checking in almost daily on their Tweets. That lasted about a week and a half. Since then, I honestly haven't looked at their feeds more than a handful of times.

Facebook
I haven't signed on to any author fan pages through Facebook.

It's not that I don't love them or anything, but for me, reading their books is sort of the be all, end all - anything else is just gravy. So, this has me thinking...how do readers interact (or WANT to interact) with authors. How about you?
Nicole R
 
Posts: 186
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:40

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Sommer Leigh » 31 Oct 2011, 07:51

I personally follow quite a few blogs (though on a feed reader, I don't go to very many of their actual sites) and I very rarely visit their actual websites unless I need info about an upcoming release or tour. I am not on Facebook, but I do follow quite a few authors on Twitter and I tend to do most of my interaction with them there. I don't post as many comments on their blogs unless I have something unique to add.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
Sommer Leigh
Moderator
 
Posts: 1624
Joined: 02 Apr 2010, 20:07
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Margo » 31 Oct 2011, 08:48

I follow the tweets of two of my favorite authors, in hopes of seeing updates on when the next book is out. It's pretty passive, though. I don't check their websites. I have 'liked' their facebooks pages but never go look at them.

Which brings up an interesting experience.

I have self-published some fantasy and urban fantasy short stories under my name. Great reviews, but very few sales (after an initial surge that landed the first one on some Top 100 lists on Amazon). I obsessed about the social networking and platform stuff, taking a lot of time away from my writing. I suspect I should have been doing minimal platform building and concentrated on getting a novel out, or better, several novels.

Under a pen name, I have released fiction in another genre. I have no social network behind it at all. I had no name recognition at the time. I'm just writing and releasing work like crazy. It outsold my fantasy in 22 hours and has been going strong ever since. In fact, I'm considering putting my fantasy stuff aside for now to capitalize on the momentum of the pseudonym's work.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/
Margo
 
Posts: 1712
Joined: 05 Apr 2010, 08:21

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby CharleeVale » 31 Oct 2011, 10:19

I follow many authors on Twitter, and have formed a loose friendship with several - Jodi Meadows, Tahereh Mafi, Kiersten White, Myra McEntyre, Stephanie Perkins, Beth Revis.

But then there are authors, who honestly have a lot more followers who I follow more passively - Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, John Green, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood etc.

I read many author blogs, but since I follow them on twitter I don't read them regularly.

I've never been a big one for fan pages...maybe because my entire writing life is a pseudonym, and liking someone on facebook would give my identity away. :)

CV
User avatar
CharleeVale
 
Posts: 553
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 01:16

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Rachel Ventura » 31 Oct 2011, 20:38

CharleeVale wrote:I follow many authors on Twitter, and have formed a loose friendship with several - Jodi Meadows, Tahereh Mafi, Kiersten White, Myra McEntyre, Stephanie Perkins, Beth Revis.

But then there are authors, who honestly have a lot more followers who I follow more passively - Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, John Green, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood etc.

I read many author blogs, but since I follow them on twitter I don't read them regularly.

I've never been a big one for fan pages...maybe because my entire writing life is a pseudonym, and liking someone on facebook would give my identity away. :)

CV

So that's not your photograph, Charlee? :? I would think if people recognize you from a picture that would give your identity away. An anonymous avatar, I would think, might be a better shield in that regard...

I don't have Twitter or Facebook. Most of my favorites are well-established, so I go to their websites for advice (the old "how did they do it") and bio info. John Grisham, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Meg Cabot...And nonfiction authors (mostly self-help/personal development), like Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen ("Chicken Soup" series), Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, etc.

But lot of my favorite authors are already dead. :( J.D. Salinger, David Foster Wallace, Douglas Adams, Lillian Jackson Braun, Jack Kerouac...

About the only author's blog I go to regularly is dear Mr. Bransford. :D I don't get out much, and don't browse bookstores or libraries anymore, so I'm kind of limited to what I have on the shelves already. As I said, I don't have Twitter or Facebook, and the internet where I am is very slow and doesn't load websites correctly. My computer is also very old, and if a site has a lot of music or video or added features, it won't open, period. I end up using the "lo-fi" version if they have one, and if not, I'll just Google it (i.e. "site:authorname.com") and run all the pages through PrintFriendly.com or Firefox Read It Later (which format the web pages as text-only versions for printing). This probably qualifies as copyright infringement, but I'm not putting the site up for anyone else to download, just me, and I wouldn't be able to read them any other way. My PC is so old I keep getting errors about the Y2K bug. Tried downloading the update from Microsoft but couldn't find it anymore. As a result, all my documents look like they could've been written in either Lovecraft's time or the hippie era, because they all have time stamps of 1920 or 1969! :lol:

The trouble I'd have is with people who update regularly. I don't have dial-up, but what I do have is not much faster. I doubt if Jersey Janet or Dr. Chopra would ever interact back, though. If Douglas Adams did, well, I'd have to remember..."Don't Panic." :mrgreen:

EDIT: So...question.
Nicole R wrote:I know we're all scrambling to try to figure out how to maximize social media as writers, but I'm very curious to know how we're using it as readers.

And yet, it seems as though as readers, not a lot of people are accessing the authors through these newer channels, and are still relying on word-of-mouth or the big sites like Amazon and their own author pages. Blogs, FB, Twitter, etc., don't seem to have taken off as important connections between writer and reader as much as the old-fashioned connections have. Margo's experience is probably the one that most aspiring authors can relate to -- social networking and platform eating up a chunk of time that could otherwise be spent writing. Do writers put way more into the social media thing than readers actually care about, or maybe it's just my dial-up secluded boonie self not having access to these channels, and assuming that they don't matter to readers as much as they do to publishers...?

I know I've asked this before, in more ways than one, but if most people in general are either sticking with the pre-Internet mega-names (the Grishams, Pattersons, Higgins Clarks, etc.), or relying on F2F recommendations or whatever looks interesting on the supermarket shelves, then why are publishers so intent on social media platform being essential to a budding writer's marketing, if it seems, oddly enough, that more books get sold through offline channels rather than the latest and greatest Apps for just about everything? :?
Rachel Ventura
 
Posts: 151
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 21:29

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby CharleeVale » 31 Oct 2011, 21:13

Rachel Ventura wrote:So that's not your photograph, Charlee? :? I would think if people recognize you from a picture that would give your identity away. An anonymous avatar, I would think, might be a better shield in that regard...


No, that's me!

I don't mind terribly if people know both Identities, most of my friends do, and I actually advertise my blog posts on my personal facebook page. It's mostly for three personal reasons: A. My real name is not a marketable one. B. I have another career that I don't want to mix with my writing. C. I have some strange relatives that frankly, I don't want to be associated with if published. :oops:

But that's me!

CV
User avatar
CharleeVale
 
Posts: 553
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 01:16

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Rachel Ventura » 31 Oct 2011, 21:22

CharleeVale wrote:
Rachel Ventura wrote:So that's not your photograph, Charlee? :? I would think if people recognize you from a picture that would give your identity away. An anonymous avatar, I would think, might be a better shield in that regard...


No, that's me!

I don't mind terribly if people know both Identities, most of my friends do, and I actually advertise my blog posts on my personal facebook page. It's mostly for three personal reasons: A. My real name is not a marketable one. B. I have another career that I don't want to mix with my writing. C. I have some strange relatives that frankly, I don't want to be associated with if published. :oops:

But that's me!

CV

This is me:

A) No comment with regards to real or "phony." OK, I confess: My real first name is Jesse. 8-)
B) Don't have a job. (OK, I was once a professional wrestler and two-term MN governor...Kidding, kidding!)
C) +1! :lol: (And no, one of them isn't a pet detective named Ace.) :lol:

EDIT: OK, this is actually my real photograph.
Rachel Ventura
 
Posts: 151
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 21:29

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Nicole R » 01 Nov 2011, 07:25

Thanks for the responses, guys. SO interesting!

Margo wrote:I have self-published some fantasy and urban fantasy short stories under my name. Great reviews, but very few sales (after an initial surge that landed the first one on some Top 100 lists on Amazon). I obsessed about the social networking and platform stuff, taking a lot of time away from my writing. I suspect I should have been doing minimal platform building and concentrated on getting a novel out, or better, several novels.

Under a pen name, I have released fiction in another genre. I have no social network behind it at all. I had no name recognition at the time. I'm just writing and releasing work like crazy.


Margo, that's sort of fascinating to me. I'm hoping to get a few of my short stories organized to self-publish in the next couple months as well, so it's really helpful to hear this kind of feedback.

Rachel Ventura wrote:EDIT: So...question.

Nicole R wrote:I know we're all scrambling to try to figure out how to maximize social media as writers, but I'm very curious to know how we're using it as readers.


And yet, it seems as though as readers, not a lot of people are accessing the authors through these newer channels, and are still relying on word-of-mouth or the big sites like Amazon and their own author pages.


This is what got me thinking about this question in the first place, because those are exactly the sources I still rely on for most books I read. I guess the marketer in me is trying to figure out how to tap into that "word-of-mouth" stream as a yet-unpublished author. ;)
Nicole R
 
Posts: 186
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:40

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby HillaryJ » 01 Nov 2011, 09:59

Great question, Nicole.

I follow the blogs of a few authors, but they are mostly newer or debut authors that I follow because I'm interested in both their journeys and their writing. Virtually all interaction is on twitter. I follow authors who don't interact but are interesting, some who only post about upcoming releases, and some who are quite chatty. I've been able to establish a couple of real life relationships via twitter, and one interesting networking opportunity. (Please note I didn't start following these authors with the intention of accessing them in some way - that would be creepy.)
Blog http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
CARNIEPUNK - http://books.simonandschuster.com/Carni ... 1476714158
as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press
User avatar
HillaryJ
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 17:22
Location: Alaska

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby Rachel Ventura » 03 Nov 2011, 16:33

Nicole R wrote:I know we're all scrambling to try to figure out how to maximize social media as writers, but I'm very curious to know how we're using it as readers.
Rachel Ventura wrote:And yet, it seems as though as readers, not a lot of people are accessing the authors through these newer channels, and are still relying on word-of-mouth or the big sites like Amazon and their own author pages.
Nicole R wrote:This is what got me thinking about this question in the first place, because those are exactly the sources I still rely on for most books I read. I guess the marketer in me is trying to figure out how to tap into that "word-of-mouth" stream as a yet-unpublished author. ;)

I don't have a marketer in me, rather a whole garden of barren wallflowers and shrinking violets who shun the light of day. :evil: The fact that, at least from my observation, most real people rely on old-fashioned "offline" recommendations rather than authors' social media outlets, makes me think that it's really the agents and publishers who look for the platform rather than actual readers. It seems like a food chain in that it's the publishing-industry people on the lookout for social media presence, and they in turn facilitate getting the "word" out to book buyers when they (the writer hopes) consider your query letter or proposal for a project. They're the ones looking for the whole package rather than your average Jack Biblio. Jack Biblio will buy the book based on what Jill Booklover recommends to him, but the book wouldn't have as much exposure to Jack and Jill unless St. Martins or Random House got it onto the shelves. In other words, you're really blogging/Facebooking/etc. for Daddy Agent Warbucks, because without a liaison in the marketplace and an imprint behind the work...you don't know Jack. :lol:

I doubt if the majority of readers are using/maximizing social media in its modern form, but the writers need to because they need to attract publishing people. The same way you would if you were blogging in hopes of getting a job, or applying to college, or even putting up a profile on a dating site, hoping to attract an ideal "mate." Let's say Romeo Writer writes a query letter to Juliet Agent asking for her hand in marriage (aka interest in his 50K-word love story). Juliet checks out Romeo's online platform (i.e. OK Cupid or eHarmony) and decides she likes it. Romeo's 50K-word love story, at some point, gets optioned for publication thanks to Juliet's contacts with the powers that be and Romeo kicking up his profile a notch to announce his debut (his, uh, "wedding"). Without Juliet, Romeo would be destined for 100% obscurity. He's blogging for the hypothetical Juliet, not for the average gentleman of Verona. Juliet, however, does want to see that Petruchio, Othello, Troilus & Cressida, and a whole bunch of other folks are becoming fans of Romeo's OK Cupid profile, which lends credibility to her belief that Romeo is a savvy self-marketer, a key point of sale when Juliet promotes Romeo and his work to Random House. Romeo Writer does need a considerable fan club online to attract Juliet Agent, but in terms of the wider audience, the other 20 million people in merry old England will find Romeo's romance novel (aka "collection of love letters") the old-fashioned way.

Plus, audiences would still rather meet Romeo in person, and get to know him better that way, since the rapid-fire, all-at-once nature of Internet media allows for a more personal interaction with the author. He could just harvest the email database off his OK Cupid profile and send a mass reply to all, but that'd be as much of a turn-off as if he was just promoting his romance novel and not discussing anything else. As much as Romeo would (ahem) rather kill himself than get a form-letter rejection from Juliet's agency, so too would his followers get a standard-template "Thank You" through the e-mail.

In short, I don't think it's so much the readers who are making as big of a deal of social media as it is the writers and the publishing-industry people. Nobody's reading Romeo's novel and blogging about it at the same time. He's really got Juliet the agent in mind and needs to get a fan club in order to win her heart -- uh, representation. It's much the same way actors thank the Academy and "everyone involved" when they win Oscars. Their fans and friends are of course important to their success, but signing a bunch of autographs isn't what got them the award per se. It gave them a likable fan presence and ensured the movie didn't bomb, because agents and producers don't make box office billions, the fans buying the tickets do. A cast of thousands is worth nothing with an audience of zero. But their agents are who helped get them in Spielberg or Bruckheimer's office, although they would've needed some other type of support to get to the agent in the first place -- including the "little people" who helped them get there.

(Kind of off-topic rant but this is how I understand it. I hope you kind of get what I'm saying too.)
Rachel Ventura
 
Posts: 151
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 21:29

Re: How do you interact with your fave authors online?

Postby oldhousejunkie » 19 Jan 2012, 14:08

I've just joined the Twitter revolution and am following my two favorite authors. One post sporadically and the other posts several times a day.

I occasionally check out websites, but I don't as a rule. One has a very active blog, but I always forget to follow it for some reason.

If we count "personal" contact, I've actually e-mailed both authors (using the contact info from their web pages). In fact, one of them recently gave me some excellent advice on my writing. She wrote me a very long reply and gave me some good food for thought (one being that she doesn't and never has used betas). I was stoked since she my have absolute favorite author. Actually, I had a total fan girl moment. :D
User avatar
oldhousejunkie
 
Posts: 250
Joined: 16 Mar 2010, 07:15
Location: South Carolina


Return to All Things Social Media

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest