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October 21, 2013

This month #egoreads goes beyond the biography to embrace the more complex engagement that authors have with their readers via social media.

Lots of writers use social media, most notably Twitter, to share updates on their current writing project, engage with their readers, promote their work, have  a laugh, share what’s happening in their world right there, right then. This level of engagement lets readers and fans become far more involved in the lives and projects of the authors than a simple biography can ever do. Through social media we (readers/fans) know what is happening right now with a particular writer we may be following. It’s both a privilege and enormous fun!

Some authors who are big users of Twitter include Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself), John Scalzi (@scalzi), Brent Weeks (@brentweeks), Darren Shan (@darrenshan), Kate Forsyth (@kateforsyth), Melissa Marr (@melissa_marr), Anita Heiss (@anitaheiss), Nicole Alexander (@authornicole), and P. M. Newton (@pmnewton) to name just a few. Cassandra Claire (@cassieclare) has a high level of interaction with her readers, as does Ian Rankin (@Beathhigh), Victoria Dahl (@VictoriaDahl) and Mary Robinette Kowal (@MaryRobinette).

Some authors are not big users of Twitter but still highly engaged online, such as Patrick Rothfuss (@PatrickRothfuss) who predominately uses FB and his own website/blog and redirects a lot of traffic via GoodReads.

These authors don’t just like to share what they’re up to with their own work, they also like to share what others are doing with their work too. John Scalzi recently shared this wonderful reading of The Android’s Dream, chapter 1, as read by Mark on MarkReads. It’s both hilarious and gorgeous and goes a long way to explaining why Scalzi recently won a Hugo for his latest novel, Redshirts. Why? Engagement. The thing I personally find so delightful about MarkReads is his spontaneous response to what he is reading.

Patrick Rothfuss recently fielded a Kickstarter project following on from reader interest/demand in The Name of the Wind. It initially featured a simple deck of playing cards but as interest and funding grew so too did the project until it reached simply epic proportions.

Jack Heath launched a similar project via Pozible with the aim of publishing his latest story his own way. His reasoning here was that the synopisis of the book he planned to write was so outside his normal form, and quite possibly would not meet publisher approval, that he decided ‘why not do it myself?” As with the Kickstarter projects, readers/financial supporters get to choose what level of support / reward to provide. I’m really excited about this project – as time progresses chapters are released to supporters for them to review and critique as Jack writes.

Anita Heiss doesn’t just share what she’s up to but also what other fabulous writers and artists are doing, especially promoting Indigenous/Aboriginal writers/artists and writing workshops in schools. She’s a very busy lady.

Kate Forsyth and Melissa Marr both share lots of writing tips; family happenings; excerpts from books; reviews; etc.

Nicole Alexander is the voice of rural writers. Nicole often shares photos of items from her family archives & the landscape; she provides a perspective of life and writing that depicts the balance required between writing and operating a large working farm.

There really is no definitive list – if you have a favourite author check them out on Twitter or Goodreads, or Facebook and share the love.
One thing we notice time and again with so many writers is how open and honest they are about their work and constantly offer up hints and advice for those who are still emerging into the arena.  The recent GenreCon is a perfect example of this.  It is by sharing such intrinsic portions of themselves that these authors further cement their readership and fan-base.  Through tweeting and posting about themselves they let readers explore the worlds they write from, and care about the outcome.


CatyJ & Ellen

One Comment leave one →
  1. Admin permalink
    October 24, 2013 11:36 pm

    Reblogged this on A bookworm Blog and commented:
    Remember to join us for the chat!

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