I’ve never considered myself slow to adapt to technology, but with the speed of e-evolution it’s admittedly difficult, at times, to keep up with the latest wave. As an author, I aim to keep connected to readers and industry news and discussions, but things change so quickly, a writer really has to be on her toes.
When my first book, The Profiler, was released in 2005 this wasn’t so hard. At the time – and it seems so archaic now – most of my online socializing comprised of emails, posting in online community discussions, and occasionally being a part of a chatroom discussion or IM. Now, 2005 wasn’t that long ago and using those mediums to communicate with readers and editors was a very valuable resource. Undoubtedly I met and established relationships with several great people. The times, though, they are a changing.
Since my first book debuted, there has been an avalanche of social networks that have debuted and succeeded (some more so than others) and changed the way authors interact online. Facebook opened its doors to the public sphere in 2006 and gradually authors gravitated toward that phenomenon. Now, though, a writer can interact with others through networks such as myspace, twitter, personal and industry blogs, you name it. There are a great many social networks out there and an author really has to pick and choose to truly make a connection. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming to try to keep up with absolutely everything, all the time.
The other day I mentioned a blog post I read by author Allison Winn Scotch, who argued all the right reasons why a writer should use twitter. That was barely more than a week ago but since then I have become convinced. Over and over I hear from authors, agents, editors, and readers how great twitter is and how valuable it is to them in staying connected. After following a few tweets, as they say, I finally caved. I now have a twitter account and, my goodness, it’s brilliant.
It’s super user friendly, not time consuming (unless you want it to be), and it’s a lightning fast way to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world of books. Of course, people use twitter to chat about any number of topics but I have set myself limits to focus on book discussions, primarily. Each day, I am greeted with a number of industry news, book releases, author event announcements, and so forth and I am thus far finding it quite useful. I’ll keep you posted. Feel free to find me on twitter @ loriamay.
In addition to blogging and twittering, I try to post on online discussions about books and publishing news. Also, I’ve joined reader discussions on goodreads.com and also have a shelf over at shelfari. This allows me to keep in tune with what others are reading while talking about books and authors I love to read. These groups are a great way to learn about new titles and hot trends, and –most importantly – it’s a great way to meet and interact with others who have similar tastes.
Now, all of this is 100% more than I used to do online, going back to The Profiler days. But times change. Technology changes. And if I can’t keep up with where people meet to talk about books, I risk falling behind. It’s important for an author to have a connection with others. It doesn’t have to be a full-time commitment, but one should dress up and go to the party from time to time.
For this blog, I’m hoping to include some additional perks I hope you’ll enjoy. Occasionally, I will provide an interview with an author, agent, or other booklover. I hope that will be a nice complement to the reviews and other news I share on here. If you know of any authors, agents, editors, booksellers, or other interested parties, send them my way so we can chat about setting up a blog interview date.
By the way, this week I updated my website with new content: past interviews with authors such as Melissa Senate, Cathy Yardley, and Suzanne North. More white space was added to improve readability and I’ve increased the overall content. Check it out and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
Also, I just sent out the quarterly LoriAMay.com newsletter. If you haven't yet subscribed, check the most recent one here and sign-up today for occasional e-blast.
I’m signing off with a new contest! In September I’ll be giving away a signed copy of one of my books to a randomly selected “follower” of this blog. Follow this blog by clicking on the link in the right-hand panel and you could be the lucky winner!
Don't forget to let me know how you, as an author or reader, like to stay connected online.