On January 2nd I put out a call for questions (in conjunction with a contest) and many of you asked some great ones! Every Wednesday (until I run out of questions), I’ll be answering them here! There may be ones that are related, so I’ll answer multiple questions at once. You can always add a new questions to the queue by posting them as a comment here.
Bonniejane O’Dea asks: Do you feel that you have a stronger connection to your readers than most other authors based on your strong social networking? Do you feel that your presence on these sites has helped/hindered your writing?
I really love social media. It’s really fun having super random conversations on Twitter or being able to talk to a bunch of people on Facebook. Almost all my “fan mail” now comes from social media. I rarely get emails anymore from readers and my only snail mail letters are from prisoners (I’m big amongst the sexual offenders, which makes me… just so um, yuck). I definitely think that my regular use of Facebook/Twitter makes me more connected to readers. I “know” some of them now because we’ve chatted and we have something in common beyond them reading my books.
That said, I also think being present on Social Media has created problems. I get yelled at sometimes. For some reason some people believe authors have full control over everything that happens with the publication of their books. So if they don’t like something, they go on attack mode. I don’t have much control if any over how or where or when something is published, so internet screaming at me just makes me sad. Even if I do, I’m never doing something just to fuck you over. There are certain things that have to be done certain ways. So I do them. Sorry if you’re mad, maybe you should have a cookie or something and take a breath.
Another thing is that I am rarely “off”. I have a real Facebook account with my friends who I see in my every day life and family, but it’s almost impossible not to look at other accounts if I’m online. I feel compelled to respond or help if someone asks me. So I have to work harder on “this is my weekend, I’m not an author today”. Otherwise I get burnt out and everything that gets said tends to start to hurt a lot.
So yeah, there’s a negative aspect, but for the most part I think it’s very positive.