Un-Social Media

Another week, another flame war on social media. This time the dust-up occurred because YA author Tomi Adeyemi thought romance icon Nora Roberts had chiseled in on Tomi’s titling turf. You can read the backstory here. Tomi apologized, Nora issued a statement, and onward we trudge, after 72 hours of misery, strife, and discord in Author-ville.

My experience of Nora Roberts is that she is kind, honorable, generous, and hard-working. I know this personally, having signed at her store several times, and seen her in action at conferences.  She couldn’t spell “petty” if the nuns wrote it on the board for her in pink chalk letters a foot high. She has no need to poach creativity from anybody.

Tomi is 25 years old, the author of one very successful book, Children of Blood and Bone, and I have never interacted with her personally. She’s probably one sorry young woman as I type this, and clearly, she didn’t have enough experience with traditional publishing to understand that Nora’s title was submitted BEFORE Tomi’s book was a gleam in any editor’s eye. The ladies apparently had a chat. Tomi’s a little better informed now.

Oopsie. I hope all concerned can get on with writing great books for very large and appreciative readerships.

What stuck with me though, is that I saw many authors piling on, and by writing this post, I am arguably doing likewise. Some authors quietly admitted, “I once posted something publicly that I thought was a in a private group…” Or, “I posted in a private group, and somebody shared screen shots even though that’s against the rules…”

Then comes the question, “How are we supposed to deal with this if/when it happens to us?” The consensus is, a published author has to be on social media, but even being exceedingly careful–Nora did nothing wrong, her PR is in the hands of pros–you can be flamed, trolled, and mobbed.

I ask myself, “Who benefits from a social media environment where bad behavior is amplified immediately and loudly, while good behavior seldom is?” I don’t think the authors involved see this as an author-win, their readers probably don’t see it as a reader-win, but Twitter and Facebook? They scored enormous upticks in traffic, and that’s a win for them and their shareholders.

I want to stay connected to my readers, and social media helps me do that, but I no longer want to support ecosystems where the human neurological predisposition to negativity is hijacked into maximizing profit for those sitting safely on the sidelines. So I have some questions for my blog buddies: How important is it that your authors have a social media presence? How do you know about our new releases, if not from social media?

I love my readers, but I want to hang out with them in flame-free environments. And because the holidays approach… to one commenter, I’ll send a Noveltea Pride and Peppermint tin (which is fun even if you don’t drink tea).


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58 comments on “Un-Social Media

  1. Social media means NOTHING to me. I do not have a facebook account – and I don’t want one. I have friends and relatives who use it to keep in touch and share pictures, etc., and that is wonderful. But there is such a negative aspect to it so much of the time. And I do my best to avoid negativity. It seems like there is always some troll out there just waiting to ponce on anything that is said. And I am frequently amazed and appalled at the personal things that people share with the world.

    I keep in touch with my favorite authors through newsletters and blogs like this one. And I shop for new authors (nowadays on line) at the library or Amazon. The first book of yours that I ever read was one I found at the library. I feel like I’ve struck gold when I find a new author that I like.

    • You confirm my personal suspicion: So much marketing has been flung at social media, that we’ve forgotten that most people in my reader demographic were shopping for books before there was social media. They are still shopping for books, and many of them avoid social media. My own family leans away from it, and we all muddle on somehow.

  2. I prefer the author groups, not the author reviewer groups as a source of connection.
    Kristan Higgins group is great- she pops in a couple of times a week to share some news. She also provides book signing dates and news on her next book. The group is upbeat & fun.
    Lauren Willig’s blog posts keep the reader updated on her research and writing. She’s got a lot of great info on her Pink Carnation series.
    Author emails and Instagram are two other ways I prefer to get author news.
    And this blog is fabulous- you stay in touch with your group and there’s lots of good info- new release info excerpts & Graces Store!
    As an author you need to maintain a social media presence- it’s an competitive environment. I think there are better options that Twitter and Facebook.

    • Good thought, Sue–use Groups rather than the at-large options. Groups allow for some gatekeeping, in the form of expected conduct and unacceptable conduct, and allow for content to be distributed only to those interested in it. Must think on this…

  3. Oh social media what a fix we are getting ourselves into deeper and deeper and darker,bringing the worst of people and the best of people in a arena to make sense of it all.Whilst being egged on by dubious individuals dishing out negative rubbish.The only winners are the websites making more money from others distress.Make a stand good people don’t go in for being led down that slimy route make your own rules and lines and stick to them.May be give these sites a rest for a while.Reset the way you use the media sites.I have been sucked in a few times but I refuse to go that way again,I did not like the person I was becoming.I no longer use Facebook or Twitter,I enjoy the websites of my favourite authors and their newsletters and blogs.It is a difficult subject but I agree with you Grace we need a flame free environmental solution and fast.

    • So many mental health professionals echo your thoughts: Give it a rest, unplug, turn off, log out. Do it regularly and often. Meet up in person, social-ize, rather than social-media. Another instance of, “Grandma was right”?

  4. I know of one author who doesn’t have any social media presence at all, which drives me nuts. How can I know ahead of time that she’s got a book coming out so that I can preorder it?
    I follow all of my favorite authors in Fact ebook, Twitter, BookBub and goodreads. And I usually get different info from each platform, so that’s why I choose to follow so many different ways
    I totally understand your desire tomorrow have to deal with social media dumpster fires, though!

    • Ugh, darn autocorrect on my tiny phone screen. I meant Facebook, not Fict ebook.
      And I forgot to mention that I follow my fav authors’ blogs too, via RSS feed.

    • I’m considering going dark on FB Jan 1, and seeing how that affects sales of my April title… if at all. I have twice the followers on BB that I do on FB, and that’s a flame-free, book-oriented environment. Hmmm…

  5. As I was fire-ing up the ol’ laptop this morning, I was thinking about how much I love reading your Blog and being able to respond to it here WITHOUT having my own Social Media presence come into it.

    I hate Facebook (I like Twitter a bit more)and only have an account because of my chamber choir (and thanks for the *like* of my page!). I have less than handful of Facebook friends–a couple of high school friends, a grade school friend and a grad school friend–and that’s fine. Most of us share the same view on the world and politics so I don’t get ticked off every time I look at my FB feed. But professionally, it’s all for the business.

    Before I discovered your website etc., I regularly looked at your Amazon author page. I think I would continue to do so if you decided to do something different.

    I follow you and Julia Quinn and Eloisa James on Twitter but not on FB. I do like to see what you are up to but if you decided–any of you–to no longer have a social media presence it would be fine with me. I would still read your Blog–and respond–weekly. But no worries; do what makes sense for you and, dare I say it, your brand.

    • When I ask author buddies if their FB following has grown, most say not much in the past two years. Since the 2016 election season, the tenor of FB interaction has shifted, and while we can still have good interaction there, the readers have drifted away. Some are on IG, which is not as useful as an advertising platform (Yay), and some are just living life. It’s also true though, that in the 2016 election season, FB cut organic reach by 93 percent, meaning very few of the people who do want to stay in touch with–say–Mary Balogh will ever see her posts without going to her page.
      Kinda takes the social out of social media.

  6. With favorite authors I follow their blogs/newsletters, Twitter and Facebook (that I’m never on anymore). The authors, all of you, post positive thoughts, even when encouraging political activism.
    I saw the dust up was mentioned, but it didn’t seem necessary to click thru or participate or comment.
    Also all the authors I follow post cat or dog photos on Twitter. There seems to be a correlation between pets, creativity, and civility.

    • My endless supply of feline co-authors applaud your observation.
      I do think we’re falling out of love with social media generally. The content has become ad-heavy, the downsides steeper. Romance authors are, in my experience, very upbeat people and not easily daunted… much like our readers!

  7. I like to follow authors on social media because it allows me to interact with them more than through a blog, for example.

    I follow the websites/blogs of authors, but usually I just read what they write, I don’t normally comment on any post. On facebok, for example, I am more at ease commenting on a post. They are usually “lighter”, and easier to answer to than other forms of social media. Author groups are also a great away to connect to favourite authors, and readers too!

    I usually find out about new releases through newsletters, goodreads, bookstagram, and such.

    • This is good information, so thanks for that. Because another common author thread is, “Does my newsletter serve any purpose?” Based on what I’m seeing here, well, yes, it DOES.

  8. I like to follow authors on social media because it allows me to interact with them more than through a blog, for example.

    I follow the websites/blogs of authors, but usually I just read what they write, I don’t normally comment on any post. On facebok, for example, I am more at ease commenting on a post. They are usually “lighter”, and easier to answer to than other forms of social media. Author groups are also a great away to connect to favourite authors, and readers too!

    I usually find out about new releases through newsletters, goodreads, bookstagram, and such.

    • Thanks for that feedback, and you’re right–a FB post, mostly because it’s shorter–is going be lighter fare than my 500-word blog-epistles. I sometimes spend all week pondering my blog post, but my FB posts? Spur of the moment.

  9. Happy Sunday, Grace. I find out about your new releases by checking your website, receiving your blog posts and checking my favorite bookseller’s website. I am not on social media at all. Too much drama! I love your books, Grace. I will always find you. But not on social media. I hope you never shut down your website. You’re awesome, Grace!

    • Thanks, Diana. The website is sacrosanct for me. Some authors only have social media presence, but that means you’re always renting your cyber real estate on somebody else’s terms. A website is a space I control, a known quantity, and it’s been interesting gradually taking over the updating process. There really is a lot of information here, and it’s a moving river to manage.

  10. I have to admit I share your dilemma with social media. I enjoy the interactions with others who share my interests – in this case, writers of books I enjoy and fellow readers who enjoy them as well. The posts I see on Facebook definitely increase my awareness of new releases by favorite authors, provide interesting back stories on books I have enjoyed or hope to and the writers themselves. Many of my book purchases are initiated by what comes to me on FB, but I have to say I am very grateful to be on the reader side of this equation. I shudder to think how much time, effort and creativity a writer must devote to that all important media presence in order to benefit from my FB driven purchases. I joined FB to keep in touch with friends and family and that has been delightfully positive. I don’t rely on FB to serve as my social, political or personal arbiter on additional facets of my life. It concerns me to see that for many FB and the other social media sources likeTwitter have morphed into something I don’t choose to follow. Although I realize I risk missing out, I’ve made a conscious decision to go with “real” reality rather than “virtual.” Compared to older means of broad social connection like newspapers and magazines, the virtual media elements are still very much in their infancy, but it appears to me that their development is being carefully choreographed with goals that exceed “social connection.” Those goals leave me uneasy and unwilling to accept any deeper involvement. I hope there’s a way to maintain the relationship you have built with readers like me, but I also recognize that you may well have some tough decisions ahead. It’s another quandry for you-rather like whether you will focus on print or Ereader markets and how you function in relation to marketing behemoths such as Amazon.

    • Amazon is a whole nother-nother, but one option I’m not exercising is to build my Amazon author following. Why? Because Amazon won’t tell me who my followers are, won’t let me contact them, won’t even tell me how many I have, so… I think I’ve done enough to build Amazon’s data mine, thanks just the same.
      When it comes down to resource allocation, I think what my readers want most is the next book. The rest of being an author is fun–this blog, social media, conferences, author-to-author networking–but the job the readers hire me to do, the job I love, is to get out the next book.
      Being clear on that cuts through a lot of noise.

  11. Grace, I have no social media connections at all, unless you count Pinterest. Even so, I have been roundly flamed for a few of my personal favorite political postings there, things I would have never dreamed of posting prior to November 2016. However, as previously noted, I now mostly post kitty pictures and such. But I digress.

    I utilize newsletters from favorite authors and BookBub, mostly. I also make sure to check that “following” box on Amazon, even though I understand it’s not your favorite contact.

    With BookBub, I see historical romance offerings every day, some free and some available at a greatly reduced price. I often get the reduced price offering, but I almost always take the free choice, unless the reviews indicate it’s:
    a. A proofreader’s nightmare (I’m entirely too anal to allow someone to irritate me in that way)
    b. A Christian book (no offense intended – just not my thing)
    c. A book set in a time period for which I have no interest (i.e., Westerns)

    I’ve discovered some outstanding authors this way, as well as a bunch thatturkeys that I know to steer clear of.

    I also have entered contests that are for books in the genre I enjoy (historical romance, specifically Georgian and Regency eras). This usually increases my spam, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay as I can often receive free books, even if I don’t win.

    My final way to find authors has been by signing up as a reviewer for NetGalley. Once again, I’ve found some great authors and some who should be ashamed of calling themselves by that revered title.

    I do not need social media. Besides, noting the massive amounts of time that some friends and family members spend using it, I realize it would take away from my reading time substantially if I ever thought to join. No thanks.

    Keep the blog/newsletters, Grace. Skip the social media so you’ll have more time to write the books we all crave! The truth is that as long as I have you and Mary Balogh, my literary world is pretty much complete. I haven’t missed a single book by either of you, ever.

    • Sorry. Fourth paragraph should read “… as well as a bunch of turkeys…”

      Remember what I said about proofreading? Geez Louise!

      • I got the gist….
        And thanks for you thoughtful comment. I forget who told me early, early in my career that what the readers really want is the next book, not the kitten pics or the shortbread recipe. Good advice.

  12. A media presence provides me a convenient location to check authors’ activities or lack of them. Rest in Peace, Jo Beverly, Barbara Mertz, Georgette Heyer… I particularly like your blog, Grace, and the question of the week in which you actually solicit answers so that feedback isn’t just so many bouquets.
    Regarding negativity: I wonder if the folks who flame, troll and indiscrimenently spread malice are the same sort who used to tip cows and outhouses or let greased pigs run in public places. In the episode that prompted this blog, criticism was appropriate, proper measures were taken by the right people. As for the rest, let’s feel they felt that had something to add? Giving and taking criticism (“Such an interesting interpretation, darling,” sometimes means just that.) is such a fraught issue that occasionally nothing is said. And some poor someone winds up in The Emperor’s New Clothes

    • On the whole, what I saw of this week’s flame-of-the-week was pretty civil, as flame wars go, but I stayed out of the twitter-swamp, where much of the worst invective is slung around.
      I’m just flummoxed by “social” media that actually trades in incivility and fear more than anything positive. We know this is how it works, and we know it’s designed to be addictive. I guess the savvy author treads lightly and carefully, and has a back-up plan for when the swamp gas gets to be too much.

  13. I always enjoy reading your blog, Grace, because it is intelligent and thoughtful. However, if you didn’t write it, I would hope you would still keep an email list of readers who want to be notified about release dates and would distribute the occasional e-newsletter to that list.

    Snarky tweets are only enjoyable if your colleagues are slagging the opposing baseball team, something that’s expected in sports — and only then if it’s not personal, but clever.

    Otherwise, I prefer to remember the rule my mother taught me: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

    • I do have a mailing list, which I never share with anybody, and I only send out newsletters when I have something to report. Many readers have been bombed with newsletters, though, and are understandably not so keen on them. Authors were told five years ago, “Build that Facebook following!” Then Facebook made it hard to REACH your following (but easy to sell you ad space for that following), and the rallying cry was, “Build your newsletter mailing list!”
      Now, I’m not sure there IS a rallying cry, besides, “Write a really good book!” which I kinda like.

  14. I don’t do Twitter. I don’t usually follow authors on Facebook. I like reading your blog, because it is the closest I will probably get to getting a hand-written letter from you!

    I keep up with coming releases through your blog and from Goodreads emails about my favorite authors. Yes, you are in that special group. Thanks for all your fun books.

    • Beth, I think you are representative of many of my readers–social media doesn’t do much for you, good books are where you focus. I’d forgotten about Goodreads, but you remind me that if a reader adds an upcoming title of mine to their GR shelf, they get a notice of the book’s release. (This is me, taking notes…)

  15. I learn about new releases from your emails and the blog. I don’t twitter and while I do subscribe to some authors on facebook, I prefer to use it for family and friends – cautiously.

    • I’ve wondered if the people who stay OFF social media don’t enjoy a far better connection with friends and family because they are more likely to pick up the phone, email, or–what a concept–meet face to face.

  16. I find out about new releases, etc. from [multi-]/author newsletters and from my local library’s weekly newsletter showing which books they’ve added to the collection. I do look at the Facebook pages of a few authors (6 to be precise, including you, of course) but I don’t do that through a personal Facebook page but by going directly to the author’s page. I am a pretty private (ok, make that Very private) person and don’t share my life with the world at large.
    One comment I will make is that sometimes a multi-author giveaway asks you to Visit an author’s Facebook page. I always click the link but if I am required to log in in order to see the content, I stop right there. If Facebook is supposed to be your marketing tool, your page shouldn’t be so private that someone who is trying to determine if you’re worth “following” (even the non-standard way I do) must log in to a platform they might prefer to avoid. Contrary to some of the previous comments, I do not join private Facebook groups even for authors I like because I don’t like Facebook.
    I agree with Mary O-K’s list of reasons to pass on even a free book with the change that I like Western-era but not Tudor (too many mean people at Court), and the addition of cliffhangers (even if it’s free, I don’t pick up books that end that way!). Otherwise I don’t go by reviews except from a very select set of folks (mostly the Smart Bitches Trashy Books women-bloggers and commenters).

    • Karen! I completely forgot about those cliffhangers! There is nothing that annoys (and maybe even angers) me more than cliffhangers and I greatly appreciate anyone who reviews a book and warns of such a nasty trick.

      One very smart reviewer once wrote something like, “A book contains a beginning, a middle, and an end. If there’s no end, I have been given only two-thirds of a book and that is just wrong. I have been cheated.”

      I take many reviews with a grain of salt, but the word CLIFFHANGER always catches my attention, even if it’s not in all caps.

    • I’m not big on cliffhangers either. One of the most disappointed reviews I ever received was from a reader who through Gabriel and Polly’s story should have wrapped up with Beckman and Sarah’s. She felt THAT was cliffhanger-ish enough to merit a scold… Especially for romance, if the promise to the reader is “an emotionally satisfying ending…” a cliffhanger is a BIG risk.

  17. I followed my favorite authors on Facebook until they required that I create an account. I miss Mary Balogh’s page! I subscribe to my favorite authors newsletters, but I find out about new releases by checking quarterly https://www.fantasticfiction.com/. I also find new authors under the author recommends. I find like authors on this site rather than Amazon suggests.
    Thank you again for helping me get your Windham Christmas story.

    • If I’m cruising around the web and something pops up telling me I can “Login with Facebook!” I do a U-turn. What the means is, I can give FB permission to follow me all around that site, watching my every move, gaining even more data on me that FB can and DOES sell to and disclose to outside vendors (and hackers). No, thanks.

  18. I prefer my subscription to your blog. Stuff gets lost in the mostly mindless self-indulgefest that is Twitter and Facebook. You miss things you want to read and are DELUGED with twaddle you don’t care about. Not to mention you are TRACKED TO DEATH to get that last advertising dollar out of you. At least on your blog we CHOOSE to be here and don’t have to interact with anybody much except the author and don’t have to give up our privacy and first-born child to enjoy a bit of well-written (!!) and thoughtful commentary.

    • Represent!
      It’s the “tracked to death” aspect of the social media deal that bothers me the most, but that’s also why I don’t have a kindle. As much money as I make on Amazon (lots), the idea that you’re settling in for an evening with Darcy, and Amazon is settling in to catalog how fast you read, what words you look up, what text you highlight, what scenes you re-read, what books you re-read, what books you read all at one sitting (Amazon’s favorite), what books you don’t finish, how far you read before giving up…
      I think all of that should remain between you and Mr. Darcy, or at least be very easy to keep private. With Amazon, it’s nearly impossible to keep private, and I don’t like that at ALL.
      And the part about courting a readership that lacks the self-discipline to put a book down? I really don’t like that. Nothing I write is more important than you getting a good night’s sleep or checking in with the spouse and kids at the end of the day. But that’s apparently a demographic Amazon courts heavily, and they can only find that demographic by invading reader privacy.

  19. It is important to me to get news about YOUR books and this is the easiest way to do it. I always read your blog because the topic is usually something I have (or should have) thought about and I like your musings. I also follow the Wenches and look at B & N’s listings and I read Wench comments and B & N reviews. On other sites, like Stephen Colbert, for example, I almost never read comments because I don’t care. But if I were to go to another site I wouldn’t read comments because they almost always are unpleasant and life is hard enough already. I can’t stand the meanness and cruelty that comes out when people feel they can be anonymous and therefore free to let their worst natures out to play. I never did Facebook or Twitter and got teased a lot about how much of a Luddite I am but now I see that people are having to detox themselves from F and T and I go hahahah.

    • Washington State actually has an internet intervention center, way, way out in the middle of nowhere, where there’s no cell reception. I wonder if I don’t need a lite dose of the same peace and quiet, and thus I try to take at least one day a week off social media. The gravitation pull of “I’ll just cruise through my feed,” is appalling, considering that was something I used to have to MAKE myself do.

  20. I look at author’s web sites to see what is coming up. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect. I had a lady I don’t know hurt my feelings online, but I decided not to get into it with her. I guess it is how we respond to any given situation.

    • Boy, do we ever ALL make mistakes. Historical romance authors learn that early and well. Terms for certain activities we use now weren’t around in the Regency or meant something different. I had St. Just adopt Winnie… there was no such legal transaction at the time and wouldn’t be for a hundred years. He could take her in, be appointed her guardian, let her use his name… but formal adoption didn’t exist.
      And that was my second book. I imagine I have at least one boo-boo per book,which adds up to a lot of boo-boos.

  21. Grace, your blog is the only one I read full time. I read Blogs from other authors when I get a Newsletter and some subject mentioned interests me. I sign up for newsletters when I like a book I’ve read by the author.

    I signed up on Amazon and Book Bub to watch Authors. I constantly scan Amazon pages for potentially interesting books.
    Consequently am never at a loss for ebooks or printed books that appeal.

    I check book stores new and used when I have access to them.

    I want nothing to do with social media. It gives petty people a chance to attack if you are the victim of the day. It is a complete waste of time unless a business person is using it for advertising.

    Noticed someone mentioned Fantastic Fiction which I use constantly to find out new books by my favorite authors and see what new author finds have written.

    • Well, thanks for adding me to your regular route, Margaret, and I agree–Fantastic Fiction is a great place to cruise books. Easy to search, no flames, up to date, and highlight both new authors and new releases. What’s not to love?
      For those unfamiliar with the site: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/

      The “new authors” tab is especially nice when your keeper authors don’t have anything coming out and you’re in the mood to explore.

  22. I don’t use social media for several reasons but one that I feel most strongly about is this: posting on a social media platform is not the same as a face to face conversation or a phone call or (gasp!)a letter/note. There is a wall between the act of posting and true communication in the artificial environment of Facebook, Twitter, etc. It takes a bit of effort for friends to keep in touch but how good it feels when one person who knows you writes or calls you and you alone, not the “club” of others listed as “friends”. I want to know about the authors I follow and I welcome each of their emails because I enjoy their work. I certainly read their blogs because it reveals their thought processes and that broadens my enjoyment of the books themselves.
    So, to sum up, Grace-send me emails, keep posting on your blog but Facebook, Twitter…use the time for more writing!
    Thanks for listening.

    • If I weren’t a published author, I’d not be in Facebook. Most of my family isn’t, and the few who are barely pop on once a week. Like you, I prefer an email, a phone conversation, a VISIT. One of my brothers texts these enormous epistles that are so HIM, they are like letters.
      There’s plenty of data that says social media makes us LONELIER, just as smart phones make us dumber.
      What a woild.

  23. This comment has nothing to do with your post, Grace. I searched out your website to post a comment about your book, My One and Only Duke.
    I’m grading a set of papers and cleverly rewarding myself with reading bits of your novel every few papers as I go.
    I just read Wentworth’s prison proposal, put the book down, and cheered.
    What a great set up.
    And we’re only in chapter 4!
    Now, back to the stack.

  24. Grace, i just come to this website every 1 to 2 months to make sure i stay on top of what you’re publishing. After all, I’d hate to find out that you published a new novel 2 weeks ago, and i had yet to even order it. Shame, Shame, Shame on me if that ever happened. 🙂
    Seriously, though, i don’t feel that you need a social media presence with ANY thing that makes you the least bit uncomfortable. Trust your instincts. People will find you and once they do, they won’t need social media to come over here and see what you’re writing. After reading just one of your novels, they’ll be hooked!
    Kindest Regards, and Much Aloha,

  25. I have no social media footprint at all. I follow my favorite authors through their blogs, newsletters, Goodreads, and BookBub. I dislike the hostility and negativism that seems to be the cornerstone of social media in the present time. Why does hate get the majority of the attention, when there is so much good in this world to celebrate?

  26. I like seeing what my favorite authors are working on Facebook but not much more than that. I don’t follow all of them though; otherwise, I wouldn’t see anything else. I love your writing immensely so I follow you.

  27. I think it is a sad commentary that we seem to have lost all civility. I often hesitate to make a comment on anything I see posted because I don’t want to deal with all of the ‘pouncers’ who are lurking on the sidelines waiting.

    One of my favorite authors Karen Ranney deleted ALL of her social media accounts quite some time ago. You might ask her how that has affected her sales, etc. For me, as a reader, it makes it hard to keep up with her. I don’t know she has a new book out until I see it on Edelweiss. Frankly, I tend to forget about her when I’m looking for books because she isn’t in the front of my mind anymore. So, I personally think it hurts an author to ‘disappear’ as she has done. As far as social media goes, the only one I really look at is Facebook. I have Instagram and Twitter, etc. but rarely look at them. Twitter seems like a free-for-all and I just don’t want to see it. Facebook is at least a little bit better, so that is where I keep up with favorite authors. I ‘like’ their author pages and follow them and their groups — unless they post political comments. If they do, then I’m gone and am usually off to find another author. I don’t care to know, read, hear any celebrity (and that includes authors to me) opinions on any political issue – whether they agree with me or not. Gosh – I have gotten wordy. So — bottom line — I think you lose readership if you disappear from social media.

  28. I totally get it. I go back and forth regularly about staying on social media, and I post far less than I used to just a year or two ago. Plus, I tell myself don’t read the comments, because even on what seems to be the most innocuous post, it can be a rabbit hole you wish you’d never entered. The only thing I really need from an author online is upcoming books, and I can get that on Amazon or your website. Should you choose to back away from social media, that’s what I would do. I do enjoy your posts, but if you decide posting on Facebook, etc. isn’t for you, I’m quite fine with that.

  29. I prefer following author groups (Historic Harlots, League of extraordinary Historical writers are my favorite). They have author visit, book release days, discussions on research, being a writer, questions like this on, contest. But they are closed groups with author administrators, so they can remove anyone who breaks the rules. I also think it is easier for the authors because they share the burden of daily post, so each author can go days or weeks without contributing but it isn’t obvious.

  30. Very brief reply. For me, an email announcement of an upcoming publication is lovely. I do check your website, too. I consider Facebook somewhat useful, but more to keep in touch with friends; I don’t like to use it as a marketing tool. Twitter is even more of a waste of time. As you might guess, I’m a member of the baby boom generation, so am (woefully, according to some) out of touch with a lot of technology.

    Thank you for your books, though!!!

  31. I respond more often than post on social media sites. Don’t follow very many, and am hardly followed…so I’m not a big social media fan, but understand it connects many people.
    I don’t even know if you have a Facebook page, or if you Tweet, Snap, or post photos on Instagram. I’d rather you spend your time writing books than posting on social media.
    Once I found your books I read them all. While waiting for your next release, I reread your books…several times. (I do this with JDRobb/Nora Roberts books too) It’s amazing how many new plants, foods, places I discover in rereading. Love that your characters find each other early and don’t spend the whole book apart until the ending. I check amazon periodically, your great website, and I also preorder your books so as not to miss a new release. If by some chance I do…then it’s like getting a present when I discover it. Cheers!