Throwing out my own Happy New Year here, and bringing another discussion topic to the table. But first, I have to put on my reader’s hat.
Just a few days ago, my younger sister and I had an interesting discussion about books and authors (she’s an avid New Adult reader, as well) and we got around to discussing the ease of communicating with authors these days. Furthermore, we debated whether that ease was really a good or bad thing.
It wasn’t too long ago when the authors we loved to read seemed like this untouchable marvel of storytelling genius – untouchable being the operative word. With the exception of snail mailing them a letter you could only hope they would actually read, there were very few ways to reach out and let them know how much their work changed your life.
Then, the internet happened (I know, I’m dating myself) and slowly, your favorite authors started to have websites, and if you were lucky, they had email addresses. You could send them fan mail online. Skip forward several years, and now you can find and follow almost any author on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and other such social media sites. Contacting them is as easy as pushing a button, and the chance that you’ll get a response is relatively high.
As a reader, I find that ability to connect with my favorite authors awesome. Just following a favorite author on Facebook and reading about them and their lives is a pleasure. It makes them more real. The distance between us that once felt insurmountable is no longer there. I get to connect with them, and sometimes, have real-time conversations with them. It’s like talking to a celebrity – because authors are my rock stars. *g*
My sister, however, feels completely different. While she’s never really followed or "friended" authors as a habit, she’s seen enough bad behavior to know that she doesn’t want to know more. She’s come to the conclusion that the less she knows about authors, their personal lives, and the way they conduct themselves online, the better. Because (authors take note!) the sad fact is, once she’s seen someone acting “badly,” unprofessionally, or has seen them go off in a way she finds off-putting, she can’t enjoy their books anymore and has no desire to line their pockets.
While my first reaction was to dismiss “authors behaving badly” as rare, it’s not really as rare as it used to be. It made me think of an author I loved growing up, and how upset I was to find out the author had recently done something I find deplorable. It totally ruined the magic for me, tainting my opinion of this person and their writing. I can no longer go back and read this author’s books, which I used to do every year. I would have been much happier not knowing about it.
So what I’m wondering is how many of you have experienced something similar? Likewise, how do you all feel about the ease of connecting with authors these days, and how does the way an author conducts themselves factor into your buying decisions?
- Do you enjoy being able to connect with your favorite authors?
- Have you ever found the experience of knowing more about an author, one whose books you would have otherwise read for the rest of your life, turned you off from them? Have you stopped buying their books because of it?
- On the opposite side of the spectrum, have you met authors whose work you weren’t familiar with, and have decided they are such a joy to interact with that you’ll read their books simply because of the way they present themselves?
Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!