Thursday Thoughts: Are Authors Obligated To Engage With Their Fans?

Thursday Thoughts

So, Cocoa Fierce and I were chatting it up the other day as we always do, and one of the things we talked about was authors and their fans-specifically authors who do not interact with their fans on social media. Part of me feels like if I’m spending my money on your product, then you should at least acknowledge your fans in some way. But the other part of me is like, whatever, as long as you produce a great story consistently, then handle ya bidness…

I know social media can be a vicious cesspool of drama, but it’s also a wonderful way to connect and interact with your fans. I fangirl hard when I find an author whose book I’ve read and enjoyed has a Facebook page or twitter account. I jump right on it. The fans just want to feel that closeness because y’all are our rock stars whether you believe it or not. Your books touch us in unimaginable ways, and we just want a little piece of your time and appreciation. That is all…



11 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: Are Authors Obligated To Engage With Their Fans?

  1. I couldn’t imagine not interacting with readers. Why not? It seems crazy to me not to engage them and see what’s going on in between writing. Part of marketability is being accessible.

  2. I *love* chatting with my readers. (I’m still amazed that I have readers, lol.) Sometimes I need to buckle down and – you know – write, so I drop out for a bit, but I try to stay relatively active on all of my channels.

  3. In general (and traditionally), no – I don’t believe they are obligated. Most of us have spent the better part of our lives reading books without any interaction with authors.

    The explosion in independent publishing, and social networking has given the literary world a new face, yet I still don’t think there is an obligation…until the author actively puts themselves out there. When every bio blurb and social network post ends, “I love interacting with readers/fans, please feel free to drop me an email or FRIEND me on…blah, blah, blah.” The invitation has been given to engage the author, and be it 8 or 800 or 8000, the author has an obligation to respond in “some” way in a timely manner. Many authors have PAs to help with the social networking workload, but most fans will tell you as far as author/fan interaction goes – when you get the PA instead, it’s like getting a hot dog when you ordered a T-bone. *shrugs*

    A lot of authors have opened their own rooms/groups/clubs on Facebook, and they all extend membership invitations. But from the reader’s POV, if you actively follow multiple authors (and we all do), that can get overwhelming and become more of a burden than fun, because some authors get upset if EVERYONE isn’t responding to EVERY post.

    What’s the answer? I have NO idea! LOL! But, I think readers should remember that it’s more about the book than it is the author.

    1. I see your point Felicia, but I also think social media plays a huge role in marketing and promotion and exposure – especially for indie authors. They wouldn’t have half the success without these platforms. Not saying a I need to be friends with every author, but the interwebs are now virtual book signings and fan appreciation. I’ve read so many good books by authors who have little recognition simply because they don’t make themselves known. But yeah, I get it. I’m just selfish lol

  4. Felicia I understand your point. Some authors get emotional if it’s not enough interaction. But for the people who buy your product the book, support, blog your stuff a simple thsnk you or some from of acknowledgement would suffice especially since reader’s keep them paid. It works both ways and balance is key. You don’t have to interact with each reader but a general announcement of gratitude something. Social media can help or hurt you.

    1. This. And that’s when you employee a virtual assistant or Street team to help shoulder the load. The only really successful IR author I know who’s not on social media is Mallory Monroe. Or is she??

  5. Of course we should interact with our reader-friends. I love dropping in to say hello. What does a little kindness hurt? I can’t sit on social media all day, but I can send a heartfelt thank you to someone who was kind enough to support my work and express their thoughts on it.

  6. I actually wrote a blog post about this very subject. “Who Am I Without My Readers…An author with unread books, that’s who!”

    Yes, are there times when I have to disappear to write? Of course. But I agree with Xio, I can’t even believe that I have readers! And when they want to talk to me or ask me questions about my books or characters, I practically tear up, because I’ve been a fangirl A LOT so I know how it feels to want to pick apart an author’s brain. Plus, it has been my readers’ word of mouth that has brought me more sales! Ignore them…I think not. I just pray that I will always have and will make the time to interact with them.

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