Thursday Thoughts: Social Media

Posted 28 August, 2014 by in General / 9 Comments

Today’s Thursday Thoughts from Ok, Let’s Read is about social media:

Have you ever connected with an author through social media? Do you think it’s important to have things like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as a blogger, reviewer or author? Why or why not? How do you think social media has progressed and changed the bookish world in recent years? And, now for a fun question: Are there any authors who’s Twitter feed you just can’t get enough of?

I have connected with authors through social media, quite a lot. I tend to follow authors I like or who say interesting things on Twitter, so I do actually discover new books through Twitter sometimes. I met Jo Walton through LiveJournal, and after a couple of years chatting on there, I met her in person a couple of weeks ago and spent the day with her and a lot of other people. So that was pretty cool. I’ve also got some authors on Facebook and stuff like that — Chris F. Holm is on my FB list after he linked to a post here and kindly added me so I can read the discussion, and I follow him on Twitter, etc. It can be a really good tool for just getting brief but meaningful and non-stressful interactions with authors: I’ve had back and forths with Saladin Ahmed, Kameron Hurley, Joanne Harris, Nnedi Okorafor, N.K. Jemisin… It’s great. Some interactions have been more positive than others (Nnedi Okorafor and I didn’t completely get on), but it’s always interesting.

I think it helps to have at least one social media account, to boost your profile a bit and give you another medium to talk, maybe less formally than in a blog post. Instagram seems less important to me, and I’m not a big fan of Facebook, but Twitter and the ability for people to RT my reviews is great, plus there’s plenty of competitions for ARCs and so on that go on via social media. Goodreads and LibraryThing are also good ways to connect with other book reviewers, and a lot of the reviewers I follow are still on those platforms — I transitioned to my own blog because I disagree with some GR policies, and didn’t want them to have my content exclusively, plus it wasn’t a good place for posts like this. It’s also better to have your own blog for getting ARCs, and you can’t really do blog tours on GR or LT, so there’s that as well.

It does change the way the book world works in some ways, for those who do interact with authors on social media, and for authors who interact on social media. Sometimes I think authors do themselves a disservice by airing their opinions hastily (or sometimes at all) on Twitter. Sometimes authors really promote their work that way, though.

As for authors whose Twitter feeds I can’t get enough of, there’s obviously John Scalzi, who is usually smart and pretty much always hilarious, and Kameron Hurley, because I enjoy her blog posts and her thoughts on pretty much everything. N.K. Jemisin often has smart things to say and interesting links, too.

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9 Responses to “Thursday Thoughts: Social Media”

  1. Oh, a design change! I wasn’t sure I got to the right page at first! 🙂 Very nice.
    I haven’t heard of LibraryThing yet – is it useful? I mean, is it worth joining when you’ve already got Goodreads?
    Yeah, authors can sometimes be too opinionated on issues that clearly divide the public opinion… I usually try to ignore such posts/tweets when I don’t agree with them and try to focus on their writing alone, but it’s hard sometimes.

    • Heh, yeah. I got a new laptop with a monster screen, and my old design was waaaay too narrow and small. At least this uses the space better, and I like the rotating header. (It takes a few hits to make it change, but it’s a rotating view of a few of my shelves. <3)

      It is hard, especially if you try and discuss it with the authors and they're really ungracious about it. (A la my problem with Nnedi Okorafor.)

    • Oh, oops, re: LibraryThing — It’s mostly useful as a catalogue, rather than for discussion and linking up with people. If you enter the Early Reviewers program, though, you nearly always get what you request, which I like more than GR, and the management are pretty responsive to bug reports and such.

  2. This is a great response to the topic. It was really interesting to see who all you’ve connected with.

    I tried out LibraryThing but never really got into it, so I can’t comment on that but I do agree Goodreads is another great platform. And you know there’s the added bonus that it is all about the books 🙂

  3. As a reviewer and blogger, I felt I had to have one social media outlet to promote the books I love so I picked Twitter as FB has never interested me. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it as well! I use Twitter to talk about books, promote books and authors, tweet about blog tours I’m on, link to promotions/reviews on my blog and connect with authors and people on TV that interest me. I find it a big help. With so many Indie authors out there now, I think they should at least consider signing up to social media to help get the word out about their books as most people use online shopping resources of some kind. Joining things like Goodreads, Smashwords etc can also be a good move. If you can connect with readers and get them interested in reading and promoting your book, it is a step forward. David Estes spent a lot of time building up a fan base for his Moon Dwellers series and he’s finding decent success. So it can be worth the effort.

    • Yeah, I do like Twitter a lot. Facebook, nooot so much. I only use it to remind me of people’s birthdays, heh, and most people I know on FB aren’t very interested in my blog.

      Some authors can do really amazingly with popular support on Twitter. Mind you, it doesn’t always translate to mega success the way some people think — I know Kameron Hurley, for ex., still worries about paying the bills.

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