As an author I certainly hope for people to discover my books, enjoy them and not stop until they’ve devoured my entire backlist (scifi romance, fantasy AND ancient Egyptian – hey, I can dream, can’t I?) and are clamoring for MORE. That’s the daydream…
But I’m the type of author who writes her books very much alone, at my great-grandmother’s desk (on a laptop though!), and doesn’t seek input or suggestions or want people to proffer names for characters or suggest plot points or what-have-you. I don’t like to discuss my plots while the books are being written, not even with my best real life friend of 30 years. I don’t have beta readers, critique partners or share details of works in progress.
I’m very self-contained. I do have a wonderful editor and respect her inputs but she doesn’t see the stories until they’re done and I’m not likely to make any major structural changes. I have added things at her suggestion or clarified plot points…on KIERCE, my upcoming book, I added about 5K words in total after receiving her notes. There were adds and subtracts of course.
So while I may enjoy reading the daily Facebook posts from some of my own favorite authors, I shake my head and marvel at how much they seem to share, not only about the books but about their personal lives. But that’s genuinely ‘them’ to do…
That’s not me, folks.
Sometimes even the topics here on SFF7 make me squirmy as requiring too much of a glimpse into what I regard as personal and I deflect those or pass on writing a post that week.
I’m not going to get into all the background of why I am the way I am…I haz reasons…but I am pretty set in my ways.
What I do enjoy very much is being a member of several groups on Facebook oriented to scifi romance, both for readers and for authors, and participating in the conversations there. These groups are general, not dedicated to any one author (I don’t belong to any one author’s group for their books) and at times the discussions get lively, but not personal. I love connecting with readers in these groups and have made a number of really good friends over the years, speaking in social media terms. We’ll probably never meet in person but they’re lovely people and we’ve had great conversations, primarily around shared interests like scifi romance, books, movies, TV shows, pets…
I absolutely do not mind if a reader asks me questions about my books, either via the Contact Me form on my blog, or on FB or twitter. I try to give good thoughtful answers. I really appreciate the kind remarks readers have made about my books on social media. I LOVE the lady who has done some gorgeous fanfic drawings of scenes from my ancient Egyptian novels!
I call these ‘grace notes’ and I love them when they happen – they brighten my day. But I’m not going to set up a private group to try to cultivate more of these. Spontaneity works for me.
I also don’t want and will not read communications with story suggestions or plot ideas. I have my own, more than enough to last me a lifetime and I’m never going to be as enthused about an idea coming from someone else as I am about the ones bubbling in my own brain. I have a general overview of the timeline in all my various ‘universes’ and no one but me knows who is going to do what, when, where.
Also, sadly, in the current crazy publishing environment, where many people don’t understand that ideas cannot be copyrighted, that there are no truly unique ideas (or very rarely), that genres and tropes have existed for years…well, I can’t afford to take the chance of reading someone’s well-meant plot suggestions in order to be polite.
I’m on twitter and love it for the most part…
I’m in a couple of Goodreads groups but I tread warily and try to be super respectful that it’s a reader space, not for me as an author…
If I set up a group, would I then have a group of super dedicated readers/fans and thereby rocket my book sales into hyperspace? We’ll never know…but I do know I treasure every single reader, enjoy each reader interaction and am grateful for all the readers!
In the meantime, you can find me at the SciFi Romance Group, the Pets In Space Readers group or the SFR Brigade on Facebook, and at https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor on twitter, or my blog.