Now more than ever, writers can freely interact, via various forms of social media, with their readers and potential readers. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, personal blogs, and, yes, group blogs like this very one, all provide fantastic forums for actual back-and-forth discussions with the people most important to a writer’s career.
The thing about being a writer is that it can be isolating. Sitting in front of a computer, tapping the keyboard and watching words unfold on the screen in front of you is satisfying, yes–otherwise why would so many of us do it? barring that whole being a masochist thing, I mean–but it can also lead to some lonely moments. Playing with the people in your head is fun, but face it — they’re all, strictly speaking, “you.” (Yes, even the evil ones.) (Okay, in my case, especially the evil ones.)
And sometimes *cough*
playing with talking to yourself just doesn’t cut it.
For most writers, the easiest — and fastest — way to interact with a mind other than their own is to pop onto Twitter, or over to Facebook, and begin a dialogue with some other
lonely slob writer or reader. You can always commiserate with other the writers, which is indispensable in navigating the rocky road to publication, but it’s the readers you meet online who provide an invaluable peek into the minds of the people you’re trying to reach through your books.
I met every one of my beta readers online, and without the dialogue that sprang up between us, my books never would have been completed, much less sold. Our conversations let me know when I was on the right track and, even more important, when I was way off-base. For example:
Beta Reader: Gawd! You really think Ciel would do that?
Me: Um … I guess not?
Beta Reader: I mean, it’s just a little … you know.
Me: I think you may be right. Consider it undone. Thanks!
(Or something like that.)
And you know what I’m really looking forward to? Meeting new readers after In a Fix is out there in the world. I couldn’t be happier that the internet line of communication is there, waiting to provide the opportunity for more dialogue. (Frankly, it’s a lot less intimidating than random people showing up on your doorstep with a bone to pick about an ill-chosen plot point. *grin*)
Obligatory end-of-post questions:
If you’re a writer, how has being able to establish a ready dialogue with your readers/future readers helped (or hindered — I suppose that’s possible, too) your writing?
If you’re a reader, does easy access to writers via the internet make a difference in the books you choose to read?