Monday, April 30, 2012

Authors being Interesting... or Irritating?

So, I really want some input from readers here.  Honestly!  Pretty please, even! *g*

I’ve been around romantic fiction for a long time.  As a reader and fan for a LONG time, paying attention to authors I love in a variety of ways.  And now I’ve been around as a published author for almost three years.   

So, I want to know—in regard to author postings, what’s interesting and what’s irritating?

I have a couple of favorite authors who post political and religious opinions on a regular, passionate, basis. 
 I find it a turn-off, frankly.  I even agree with them in most cases, but still find that using their Facebook page or blog—where I go to find out about them as *authors*-- to promote their religious or political interests is obnoxious.  Am I alone?

Now, authors supporting causes—that’s another story (no pun intended  *g*).  I am impressed when authors take up a cause like supporting our military men and women, battered women shelters, or animal rescue groups.  

But I’ll be honest, even at the risk of sounding cold—that can get old too.  I mean, I love that they do it and yes, I’ve bought books where the proceeds go to charity.  But I don’t know that I’d want to hear about it constantly.  Their pages and posts should be about this *and* other stuff too, in my opinion.  

Okay, so what about Facebook and Twitter posts about reviews or sales rankings or contracts?  Do you care about that stuff?  Would you rather it came from another source?  Other readers raving about books, posting links to reviews, gushing about rankings at Amazon?   

Of course, we all know—and have seen (oy!) examples of authors behaving badly—when authors respond to negative reviews or postings on Goodreads, etc.  But I’m talking about authors going on and on about *good* stuff.  Is that really different after awhile?

I’m curious because, not only do authors I like do these things, but I’ve done them too.  I’ve posted about reviews, for sure.  I’ve shared excitement over new contracts or nice things readers have said.  But is that fun to hear?  Or annoying?  Or, as I suspect based on my personal experience reading other authors’ posts, is there a fine line?

Anyone want to share some input?  Where is that line?  What do readers want to know?  What should we keep to ourselves?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d like to know what you think! *g*


Anonymous said...

When I went to cosmetology school the first thing we were taught is that you do not talk about politics or religion whatsoever.
As far as mentioning contracts, sales ranks and reviews, sometimes that gets very overdone. I think it's nice to hear when an author you like gets to sign a contract for new book.

Sometimes I would like to see an author post a review written by a reader (not a blogger). Bloggers write reviews on a daily bases for a lot of books, we as readers don't do it as often, but if we take the time and write up an appropriate review it's never mentioned. That gets discouraging because we take the time to say what is in our hearts, but then feel like it isn't appreciated.

The biggest thing that gets to me after a while is posting the ratings on the same book. It's nice to hear were the book is on a list, but when it is constantly repeated it actually starts to get overwhelming and irritating.
What I have seen and really don't like, is when someone has a book up for a vote and they post that you need to go vote for it so it can get to #1. It isn't asked of you, it's almost demanded as it's stated "get over there now and vote, so it can win".
I honestly think too much of anything is way past too much. I like hearing about things in your life outside of books too, you are all human after all. For instance Erin, I really like when you mention Finiky and Ruckus and your daily life. (just saying).

I hope I didn't bore you, but I'm glad you asked this wonderful question. Enjoy your flight to Dallas!!;))

June M. said...

I agree that religion and politics should be off limits (I don't even like my family and personal friends posting repeatedly about these on FB, etc. As far as charities, I love it when authors share what charities they support by proceeds of a book, etc. I know I have my favorite charities that I support however I can.

I also enjoy reading little bits & pieces about your actual lives outside of your writing. Special occasions, humorous stories, etc are fun to hear about. I know I am in awe of authors (you ladies are like rock stars to me) so I love to find out little snippets from time to time.

As far as postings about great reviews, list rankings, or asking for us to do something like "like" or tag books, as long as it is not a constant thing, I am cool with it. If that is all the author seems to post, I might stop following them even if I love reading their books.

I hope this all makes sense, I am having trouble sleeping so I tend to ramble sometimes or lose my train of thought, LOL. Have a good flight!!

SiNn said...

Honestly it all depends I tend to stear clear of posts about religion or politics I like to hear good news once but gets old when its like a 7 day post about something good or something that is bad.i dont pay much attention to excessive posts on twitter about sales ranks i think its awesome when an author posts ONE post about a rather signifigant acomplishment but once again excessive ones are annoying

I respect when ppl do charity things I adore brenda novaks cause as well as a few others but i hate when is ee a million posts about them

sad thing is bloggers are guilty of this too soemtimes i even unsubscribe to threads forthis very thing sometime i think ppl ramble because they dont have anything else to say

Erin Nicholas said...

Thanks for your input ladies!!!! I appreciate you reading *anything* I write *g*.

I will definitely take your opinions to heart. And Tina, thanks for the comment about mentioning "regular" readers' reviews :-). I think ALL good, honest reviews are worth their weight in gold and agree that its great to hear what readers who don't blog think!


Suleikha said...

To me, Twitter is a way to share portions of yourself with not just a reading audience, but an entire world. The global community. It's not just about reaching out to readers or fellow writers or retweeting your publisher's tweets. I follow people who are insightful or funny or have some sort of aggregate link value. I don't necessarily follow all my favorite celebs and favorite literary personalities.

I also don't believe in censoring my political ideology on Twitter. I'm pretty politically driven, so it's common to see me tweeting about whatever has me stirred up. I don't tweet "as an author." I tweet as a *person* engaged in a global conversation. It's not always a dialogue, sometimes you're spouting things into the ether, but I think as long as it's authentic someone will find value in it.

Kim B said...

I think you should do a post on your biggest NNN fan! I wonder who that would be, oh yeah, ME!(I am totally kidding)

No politics or religion. I am really not that much on the charities either.

I like updates on WIP, contracts, daily life stuff, etc. I also like contests, games, give-aways, theme weeks, fun stuff - nothing too serious. Or how about readers interview the NNN. Readers submit questions, you answer. ;)

I don't mind posts that bitch a little. Some of the reviews out there deserve to be bitched about.

I do like the idea of having readers do book reviews. That is a cool idea!

Erin Nicholas said...

Suleikha, I think Twitter is maybe a different animal. On twitter its like we're all engaged in an ongoing conversation that people jump in and out of. Makes for more gray area perhaps. And if you're on there as a person vs an author (authors aren't people! LOL) and that's clear, that's different. But an author's Facebook page, blog or website that is clearly about the author as an author maybe creates different expectations? Curious questions... Really interested in what, if any if this, turns readers on or off.
Thanks for commenting!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Erin! Interesting topic! I recently read a discussion about this that mainly focused on the negatives, when authors overshare about their political views and other topics that somehow end up turning readers off of them and their work entirely. I do think on the whole, I enjoy it when an author takes the time to let me get to know her a little better, and sometimes that's reading about her family or her laundry or her deadlines or why she voted Democrat. On the other hand, I do think that authors take a risk revealing some parts of themselves--politics and some other issues that have become politicized are also quite polarizing, and showing the world that part of yourself can lose you readers who decide they completely disagree with your views. It's your prerogative to share, but it's also a reader's prerogative to have his/her opinion swayed by what you choose to reveal.

Oh, and I generally enjoy hearing about new contracts and great reviews and don't mind requests for help (votes, likes, tagging, etc.) as long as that isn't the only type of post you make. They're great in the context of the bigger picture you share--I like celebrating with you, assuming I've gotten to know you enough so that celebrating makes sense :) (I don't mean this to sound like I need to be your best friend--I just like it to be slightly more than just requests for help or "here's a great review!" It doesn't have to be much more ;)

Anyway, sorry, that was a long winded way to say not so much, eh?

Erin Nicholas said...

I think you're right... Most readers like knowing authors as real people too. I loved hearing Susan Elizabeth Phillips crack jokes at RT! :-). Twitter, etc has definitely made things feel more personal. And some authors are fine with being totally open about everything.. which is great as long as we don't complain about any backlash that results, right? :-)

Kinsey Holley said...

I tend to agree with Suleika about Twitter. I have very strong political opinions but I wouldn't ever do a blog post on a political subject (well, I did do the post on men's reproductive rights but that wasn't so much politics as a "what a conundrum" kind of post.)

I don't think I've ever stopped reading an author based on his/her politics - of course if I found out someone was a Nazi or something, I would, but just because they don't share my political leanings doesn't bother me. And on Twitter, as much as I bitch about my own political views, I don't go after other people for theirs. (Except for politicians, of course. Politicians are fair game for bitching about.)