Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Talk It Out" Thursday: Authors and Social Media

"Talk It Out" Thursday is a feature done here, at Crystal in Bookland, where a discussion topic is given each week and we discuss our opinion on it. 

At the end of this post I will have up what we will be discussing next week, please feel free to join but make sure to link back. 

Since this is my first week starting this feature I asked a few bloggers to also chime in with their opinion on this discussion. Recently I have experienced really being affected by the way an author handles themselves on social media. 

Over the last two weeks I have actually unfollowed two authors because of their "bad behavior". I refuse to name these authors, so don't bother asking, but it got to the point that every time they would tweet I was cringing. One was overly condescending when talking about other authors and pretty much the book community in general, not so much their fans but just other writers. The other author I found to be very rude to their fans. I was quite appalled by this. When I first started noticing it, I thought well we all have our bad days, then I noticed this wasn't a rare thing, it was a continuous one. This author was being really rude just talking about random things when a follower would tweet them, it wasn't like the author was being attacked by anyone or anything either. It just seems to be their general attitude. 

The thing is I have copies of both of these authors books to I'm just looking at them going "I don't even care to read you" because honestly after seeing this stuff I don't want to support these people with their career. Why would I? Maybe I'm supposed to separate writing from author, and that would be fine before the days of Twitter and Facebook, but now it just doesn't work that way for me. 

When authors act this way on social media nothing about it makes me want to go and spend my money to support them. I pretty much will just write them off and never look back no matter how great their book sounds or all the praise it is getting. 

Now on the other side of things, when I interact with an author that is so overly amazing I want to read all the things! I've had several authors that I start chatting with, and to be honest their book probably never would have been on my radar, but because of their awesome personalities and just who they are, I add their book to my TBR to give it a try. I find myself wanting to support them even though I haven't read a word they have written yet. This is not to say in anyway that I will praise their book if I don't like it, because I want, but that's a whole other discussion for another day (seriously that one is coming soon). But it does mean if I didn't like one of their books I will probably be more willing to give another one of theirs a try. 

But to give you a little example of what I mean, lets talk about Megan Erickson. She just put out a debut NA novel, MAKE IT COUNT. Most of you know, I'm not the biggest fan of New Adult. I will pick up something an author I already love wrote because I love their other books or I may pick up one that has a ton of hype, but I'm not ever out scouting for a new NA on a regular basis by any means. Now Megan wrote a NA and when we first started talking it was just about random things, and ended up she is so frickin awesome (seriously if you don't follow her you should, because her tweets just rock) I decided to read her book, which I'm super glad I did because it's fantastic! 

Other things I really love about authors on social media is the ease of being able to reach out to them and chat about anything and everything, stalking them, erm....I mean following their updates on all bookish things, and even getting book recommendations, because awesome writers know awesome writers, right? 

I asked a few blogger friends their thoughts on the subject and this it what they had to say:

"Social media personalities always affect how I will react to anyone -- author or not -- but it's especially more noticeable from authors since they're such a strong presence in the book/reading community. I've seen it from both sides -- an author willing to interact with readers or fans on social media actually makes me more inclined to read their book. Negative interactions or rude replies will quickly turn me off, even if the interaction is not with me. Your social media presence really says a lot about you, whether you intend it to come off that way or not. Once you say things, they're out there and they will continue to represent you, well, pretty much forever.

I think authors on social media can really amp up the promotion just by being nice and friendly and not even actively promoting their books -- In fact, if it's an author I'm not yet familiar with and we just start chatting, I may explore their books and get to know them more, and pick up that book on my own. But if they push that book on me instead of creating general discussion, that will turn me off. It's a very tricky business!" -Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide

"I definitely do not follow the drama queens. No one has time to deal with that. It is unfortunate when authors feel they need to stir up drama to keep themselves in the spotlight. I do love to follow authors who interact with their fans and respond to messages. There is nothing cooler than having an author RT or favorite your tweet about them, or even respond with a thank you. I have met a few authors randomly over twitter and because of their fun personality I've started adding their books to my TBR. So while there are definitely pros and cons to this, I feel like if you can avoid the drama people by not following them and not feeding the trolls, you can really get a lot out of author social media presence." -Julie @ Chapter Break

"It definitely affects me too. I’ve had a few authors whose books I was interested in, who I followed on twitter. And then saw some Instances of really bad behavior and just NOPE. Not supporting that." -Nikki @ There Were Books Involved

My point here is that when authors have this negative way about them I absolutely can not and will not support them. If an author has a good social media presence I will definitely be more willing to pick up their book and support them however I can. Sometimes I wonder if some authors realize this and how much it affects us as readers with the way they interact with people. 

What about you guys? Is this something that you even notice? Or do you even care? 

Next Week's Topic: Reading/Reviewing for an Author You Interact With
 That awkward moment you are going to read/review a book for an author that's a friend/someone you communicate with often! What are your thoughts on it and how do you handle this? I will post next Thursday on this topic, if you decide to join  make sure to come and link your post with mine. :) 


  1. A year ago, I would have had a different answer for you. A year ago, I wouldn't even have followed an author on social media unless I had read a book or two by them and REALLY enjoyed it. But now, I've met some of the most amazing people (authors and bloggers alike) through social media. And I DEFINITELY notice when they're not being nice. Not only do I usually unfollow them, but I also tend to stay away from their books. (Unless I was smack dab in the middle of their series that I really liked...I usually will finish the series, but try to borrow it from the library instead of buying it.) As much as I'd like to say that I can seperate the writing from the author...I often just can't do it. That might not be fair, considering I read a lot of dead authors that I honestly can't say if they were good people or not...but it's just the way things are.

    And yes, I also agree, that after I have met an author through social media I haven't read before, I at least look up their books to see if they're something I might be interested in. And I usually add their book(s) to my TBR. :)

    Our bookish community is a small one, no matter how big it may seem, and how you act/react on social media plays a BIG part in how authors/bloggers/books are viewed, whether it's fair or not.

  2. You already know I totally agree with you. ;) But yeah. When we're so connected with everyone on Twitter, it's extremely difficult to see an instance of rude behavior and not remember it. For the most part, little things don't bother me; people have bad days, that's understandable. But it's the things like: backlash against bloggers (which often starts with backlash against negative reviews) and the way an author treats readers (do they talk down to / about them when they make reasonable, not-unkind criticism of their books?) -- those are things that REALLY stick with me. If I see those things, I cannot forget them, and that carries over into my desire (now non-desire) to read their books.

    BUT these authors are, thankfully, a very small minority. It may seem like there are more of them than we'd like (and there are; it makes me really sad when I see just one author lash out or start behaving badly to readers) -- but we just have to remember, there are SO MANY MORE amazing authors out there who do understand, and who love the bookish community just as much as we do. AWESOME authors, who are nice to their readers, understand that negative reviews aren't attacks against them personally, and who just generally take a more positive approach when interacting -- these authors *always* stick with me. They're the greatest. <333 And yes, they make me much more inclined to read their stuff if it's not already on my TBR.

  3. We've spoken about this so you know my thoughts about it. I think we can all pretty well agree that it's very difficult to separate an author from their online persona. I tend to prefer those authors that do the social media thing but don't overly share. Great post and series :-)

  4. I am pretty new to Twitter and was thrilled to see so many authors interacting with bloggers. Of course I sought out all of my favorites right away. I noticed that one of my top ten faves usually only replied to blatant @$sk!&$€®s, and even if you were the only one commenting on a thread she would not reply if you weren't one of those @$sk!&$€®s. I kept following because she is good friends with another of my top faves and they are very entertaining. Anyway, one day she was saying that they were going to change the cover to the first book in her new trilogy before the second book comes out; all I said was that I liked the original cover and you would have thought I had said that she was the worst writer in the world because she went off on me about books, and covers, and non publishing people not understanding anything about authors, or covers, or books. Geesh, all because I said I liked it? I had seen her "go off" on fans before, but this was the first time I had been in the line of fire. So what does this mean for me? I love her books and of course I will still devour them, but I will never review one on my blog, or promote it in anyway. I will rate them on Goodreads, but will not praise them in the review box. And... the biggest thing she destroyed for herself was I used to defend her on GR and book blogs when she got less than stellar reviews from readers who didn't "get" her storyline, or think all YA books need to be filled with kissing and groping to be more than one or two stars. She lost a champion for her novels. Oh well, but I will give a huge shout out to A. G. Howard for being my author sweetheart, even though I have never kissed her @$&!! She is a doll. There are also authors I have followed on Twitter for Rafflecopter entries, for groups of books, that I continue to follow even though I don't read their books because they are kind and endlessly entertaining. Good for them because I will rec their books to friends who read their genre.

  5. This post is awesome and thanks for including me in the conversation :)

  6. I love this post! I've been thinking about this a lot lately. There is one author that I keep seeing that comes off as kind of rude and mean. I really like the author's work (like A LOT), but it's so disappointing seeing the tweets. I don't think I can stop reading the author's books because I love them so much, but yeah, I tend to try borrowing them from the library now. I try to keep in mind that with social media, it's so easy to lose tone and sarcasm and stuff like that, but at some point, it's pretty clear what meanings are implied. :/ Great topic!

  7. Great post! When we read a book and love the story, we want to just go and hug the author that gave us such pleasure. We don't expect the hug back, but it is nice when an author takes the time to acknowledge our like of their page or their book. But it is such a turn off when we experience negativity. I understand that when an author is confronted with negative comments from other authors, they really have to clam up. They can't defend themselves without coming across in the same negative manner. This is where I see bloggers and readers coming to rescue.
    Even so, who is to tell those authors that their social media presence is turning their readers off? It is easier for us just to delete them from our like or follow lists. I would do the same. It's just sad.

  8. Authors are like any other group ... there are nice ones (there are SO MANY nice ones!) and there are some who are not so nice.

    I would like to suggest, though, that being "not so nice" about bad reviews or negative feedback in general can be a symptom of insecurity. Anyone with half a brain knows that not everyone in the world is going to love every book. At this moment, THE HUNGER GAMES has 7,600+ one-star reviews on Goodreads. To me, that is insane, but there it is (and trust me, every time I get a one- or two-star review, I head on over to the HUNGER GAMES page to remind myself of that!).

    Bottom line: I think people who react so negatively to bad reviews have their personal self worth too wrapped up in their writing. Yes, bad reviews hurt, and it's hard not to take them personally. But as writers, we can't let our self worth hinge on others liking our books.

    I'm not excusing these writers, but I guess I feel sorry for them more than I feel angry with them.

    As for whether it makes me more or less likely to read them, I have to agree with you and most of the others who have commented. Life is short and my TBR list is way too long.


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