Sunday, April 17, 2011

Author Accessibility or Hey, Stephen King is my FB BFF!

So, I took some NyQuil last night at about 7:30, fell asleep by 8pm and woke up at 3:30am with a severe case of cotton-mouth and ready to start my day. So, I figured I should hit my blog and entrance all of you with some of my meaningless drivel.

The e-revolution (some are calling it an e-volution) is creating a really interesting paradigm shift. Yeah, I used a stupid $10-word when I could have used a nickel word, but I like the word paradigm. Anyway, I'm finding that authors are not only willing to friend me on sites like goodreads and authonomy (and yes, I mean published authors, some of whom have been on the NY Times Best Seller list in the top 25 or higher), but will actually respond to messages.

While many best-selling authors lead a reclusive, monastic lifestyle, new authors and authors that understand the value of social networking seem to be more open to allowing people into their lives. I'm not sure how long this trend will hold out, but I really do like it. One example of this is Amanda Hocking. As many of you know, Amanda e-published several of her books and sold thousands of copies of them. This allowed her to generate a six-figure income and it caught the attention of publishing houses. In return for her hard work, she was offered a $2-million deal to write more books. Her name is generating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere (is it still cool to use that word? I hope not, because I'm not really into being "cool") and she's the newest reason that many bloggers are using, myself included, to back up their claims that self-e-publishing is the wave of the future. Anyway, I had just signed on to a social reading Web site called and I saw Amanda as a friend of a friend and so I sent a friend request and to my surprise, she accepted.

Here's the thing. I've gone through both and and have done the same thing over and over with published authors whose books are selling and friended them and they've friended me back. Not only that, some have responded with messages (not canned messages, either). But this wasn't the only thing that surprised me. As I've been tweeting about my blog or tweeting back at other people, I've noticed that other writers are beginning to follow me on Twitter. This was a truly big surprise to me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think it has anything to do with my writing ability or lack-thereof. And I have to admit, I am a bit starstruck and kind of think it's cool that they're willing to follow my tweets. What I do think, though, is that writers are understanding the power of social media. Why? Because guess what? When I see someone following me, I go take a quick look at their profile and in almost 10 out of 10 cases, I follow them back.

Whether its a deep need to return the favor or some other psychological phenomenon, I believe that many of these writers understand the value of having hundreds or thousands of followers and by reaching out, they are able to add another to their fold. Of course, my theory could be completely wrong and they may just follow me because my tweets are such valuable gems that they can't bear to not read them. Okay, who am I kidding? But it's a fun thought, right?

I will close with a "writer beware" type thought, though. If you tweet and you follow me in order to get me to follow you (which I don't mind at all), please don't spam me with your tweets. I had one person follow me and I followed them back and immediately the spam began. "Buy my book!" "One day only special, buy my book of stories on for 99 cents!" and so on. It got old really quickly and it didn't make me want to buy their book.

I enjoy following other "tweeters" and I love seeing the advice by agents and other writers in their blogs and I love that they tweet about their blogs. This has opened up a whole new world to me and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. But please don't spam me 20, 30 or 100 times with your e-book pitch every hour. I didn't follow you for that and it really makes me sad if I have to unfollow you.

Anyway, I'm loving this and I promise that if you follow me, friend me or message me I will be your twitter BFF or your FB BFF. And Stephen King, if you're out in the ether, I'll be your FB BFF, too!

That's all for now.

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