Authors Behaving Smartly

unicornIt’s hot here.  Like over 100 degrees hot.  What’s a woman to do except try to distract herself from her misery by focusing on something nice?

So, in the spirit of rainbows and unicorns, here’s my personal list of authors I think are doing a great job at navigating the turbulent Internet waters.  And by personal list, I mean:

  • They’re on my personal radar.  There are lots of authors out there that I don’t follow who I’m sure are doing just as great a job who I may not be aware of.  This isn’t a wide-ranging list, but is strictly my own.
  • They’re not butt kissers.
  • They don’t turn every discussion online into “in my book…”
  • They don’t get huffy about online reviews or reader criticism.
  • They shine because their real personalities come through and the reader wants to spend time in their company.
  • They’re present online in more ways than just a blog or author Web site.  That may be a fine level of involvement for many authors and readers, but I’m just not one to take the time to visit  an individual author’s Web sites to read a blog.  I may go to an author blog if a link on Twitter or a message board leads me to it, but I just don’t surf author blogs on a regular basis. So, Jennifer Crusie (love the site design by the way), the Word Wenches, and Two Nerdy History Girls aren’t on my list, even though I think they are all made of awesome sauce.  (I’ve been dying to use the latter in a sentence. Okay. Moving on now.)

Ready for my social media honor roll?

Deanna Raybourn: On Twitter and with her easy links to her blog she shows every single day that she is an interesting and funny woman.  And interesting and funny women write great books, yes?

Teresa Medeiros: One of the nicest women ever. And I really mean that. She responds to readers when they Tweet her. She’s immensely effervescent and incredibly enthusiastic about the things she loves. And bottom line? I  just can’t help but get enthused right along with her.

Julia Quinn: Her fans are many. (I know some in real life who don’t consider themselves romance readers, but wait impatiently for every JQ release.)  Somehow, someway she manages to reach out to them all via her excellent Web site and creative use of Twitter.  She’s there online, but she really isn’t.  By that I mean her Web site is current, she’s there via Twitter, but she doesn’t hang around to play for long periods of time.  And I think that’s just fine.

Sherry Thomas: One of my favorite of the newer writers who is also a whiz at social media.  She’s present in several online venues and manages to straddle the sometimes difficult lines with remarkable ease.  She doesn’t Tweet often, but when she does it’s interesting.  I wish I read her blog more, because I’m quite sure that is, too. Frankly, I think if Sherry wasn’t as good at social media as she is it would have taken us a lot longer to find her excellent books.

Karen Templeton: Karen has been hanging with us at AAR for years now and is one of our regulars.  She promotes her books when appropriate (hey, I know that’s what authors are really out to do, and that’s just fine), but she gets involved in discussion after discussion that prove that she’s just as big a romance lover as we are.  She’s there because she wants to be and I think every AAR regular reader knows it.  Well done, Karen.

So, knowing that I’ve undoubtedly left some Big Gaping Holes on my list, I’m curious to know who you think shines at social media?  Who’s doing it right?

- Sandy AAR

37 thoughts on “Authors Behaving Smartly

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Authors Behaving Smartly « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Shiloh Walker, Shiloh Walker, Shiloh Walker.

    Shi is kind, generous with her commenting, it feels like she’s always available on Twitter and her blog, and is genuinely a cool chick. Plus, she has a very low BS meter and has no fear about telling it like it is, which as a reader, I truly appreciate.

    Likewise Jaci Burton. I love reading Jaci’s tweets.

    And Nalini Singh, who is wonderful about commenting back to tweets, updates her blog and OddShots routinely and is just an effervescent delight all the time. Plus, she knows how to pick an excerpt or teaser and she shares information about her upcoming work and never seems to get tired of answering reader questions.

    I also think that there are a ton of other authors who have lively web presences: Samantha Kane, Carrie Lofty, LB Gregg, Julie James and Monica Burns all spend time interacting with readers and other bloggers, which is awesome.

    I love that so many authors are online these days. It makes me as a reader far more invested in their work when I get to hear tidbits of their day-to-day life and catch their excitement about upcoming books.

  3. Oh! I forgot to add Meljean Brook. Who is simply made of awesome and always feels like a reader to me. Meljean runs tons of contests and is another who simply tells it like it is.

  4. Would also like to add Eloisa James, Meredith Duran and Meljean Brook. All classy, gracious and funny!

  5. I don’t really follow authors anymore. I don’t visit facebook or twitter. I do visit their web pages for information about their new book. And sometimes I visit web pages with a bunch of authors posting. . ex (Running with Quills) but that is rare and only when I hear that they are discussing new books. SO my exposure is limited. However I have had the opportunity of seeing Karen Templeton’s post here and completely agree with you. . .

    A classy lady. . .

  6. I LOVE Deanna Raybourn’s website/blog. It’s simple and her blogs are charming and funny. I also really like that she’s not an obsessive twitterer. It’s nice.

  7. Authors on my radar: I love Deanna Raybourn (and her dog). She’s very funny and has links to sites I’d never have found on my own. Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran have a blog with infrequent posts, but they’re always humdingers. I catch up with Julie Anne Long on FB and Twitter; she’s always funny and takes despairing delight in her cat. All four of them are gracious and quick to respond to comments or emails.

  8. Hands down: Carolyn Crane.

    Yes, I too love Eloise James’ dispatches from Paris, and I’ve also enjoyed Sherry Thomas’s trenchant comments on various blogs. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a mistress of Facebook fan management (and I mean that in the nicest way). I’ve had refreshing exchanges with Marjorie M. Liu, Nora Roberts, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Laura Kinsale — all of which reminded me that these are real people willing to interact with their fans and readers. And the other comments here suggest new authors to follow and enjoy.

    But Carolyn Crane (who is not a friend of mine and has never promised me anything for my unsolicited praise) does the best job I see of being herself and thus promoting her work. I’ve been observing it closely, and I’m pretty sure I see how the trick is done: She is a genuinely nice, secure, adult, funny, friendly person.

    Somehow she’s appreciative without being too sweet, acknowledges the work reader-bloggers do without stultifying discussion of her books, reveals her mundane self to be human but still cool, and loves cheese. Above all, she loves cheese.

    If I ever grow up and get published, I aspire to be rock social media like Carolyn Crane does.

  9. I would agree with Karen Templeton. She seems like such a nice person online and is always polite. I would add…Tracy Grant. Wonderful person online and also Pamela Clare…she stays out of the fray and posts interesting details about her work. One more…Anne Frasier/Teresa Weir. Interesting blog…wonderful observation about life and such.

  10. @Magdalen – OH! I can’t believe I forgot Carolyn Crane! She is wonderful and quirky and genuinely kind. Plus, you’re right, she does a terrific job of acknowledging bloggers, probably because she blogged before she was published. And she’s just as awesome now that she’s published.

    Thanks for the reminder, that was a huge oversight on my part.

  11. Nicole Peeler, Jaye Wells, Toni Blake, Patti O’Shea, Lara Adrian, Katie MacAlister, Tessa Dare, Cheri Priest – I follow them on Twitter and visit their blogs and other links when posted, as well as Facebook posts. I think they use social media creatively and are a lot of fun. Several others that I follow have already been mentioned: Meljean Brook, Marjorie M Liu, Eloisa James, Sherry Thomas, Julie Ann Long, Theresa Medeiros, Julia Quinn.
    I love authors using Twitter, you can ignore the links or check them out as you wish. I’ve learned a lot about these folks, that they’re real people who have problems with their pets, families, jobs, all kinds of things that I can relate to. It makes me more interested in their writing and it’s all great fun.

  12. I am crushed, CRUSHED that you didn’t include me. (How’s that for an example of an author getting huffy? ) I shall mark it down to the fact that I’ve fallen off everybody’s radar. After all, the last time my books were easily obtainable in your local bookstore was 2008 — and that was a reissue. But I’m still here! ::waving::

  13. I will add Diane Farr *waves back*. I follow on Twitter and you are delightful! Also, love your books. They are some of the best out there. :)

  14. Elizabeth Rolls is another author whose presence here at AAR is positive, insightful, and always welcome. She mentions her books when appropriate, but she’s never pushy.

    And to Diane Farr, who wrote some of my favorite heroes ever — I miss your books.

    I do follow some author websites and blogs (including the three Sandy mentions above, which I enjoy very much) but I’m not on Twitter. It appears I’m missing out, and maybe someday I’ll sign up, but that day is not yet today.

  15. I wanted to mention Elizabeth Rolls too — which is odd, since I quite often disagree with her perspective about Harlequin titles — but she has a civilized, well-informed, honest and personable way of presenting her views. I can’t but help but admire!

    Put me in the Shiloh Walker rocks column: in every discussion we’ve had, and we’ve often held different opinions, she both speaks her mind and writes reflectively about the other’s person’s opinion. A real grown-up approach :)

    Jill Sorensen is another writer who has a personality that goes beyond safe topics (fill in what that means to you) but she does it with humour, a sense of geography and a wry perspective on the 24/7 routine that we all deal with.

    I better stop now lest I leave out millions but Diane Farr, yes indeed: you are a witty 140 practioner of the tweet. When is your next book coming out?

    The two authors I “know” the best are Jo Beverley and Mary Balogh and it’s through their yahoo groups. Genuine professionalism and courtesy ~ with humour and personal stories ~ they are the gold standard. The way they handle criticism, “within the house” so to speak, is truly extraordinary and graceful.

    There are many many others but these six ladies, in all their different ways, really exemplify social media at its best.

  16. I follow all of the authors Sandy mentioned with the exception of Teresa Medeiros, and definitely agree with her assessment. I would also add Lauren Willig. She has a regular, friendly, professional voice on FB, and a really nice website that not only has sneak looks at her books, but tons of useful historical links. Her voice comes through clearly in her FB posts.

  17. Gosh, everybody, I’m overwhelmed by all your niceness. LOL!

    From an author’s perspective, I’ll just say that social media can be a terrible time-suck. It’s highly addictive, and since it involves (a) typing and (b) losing all track of time, it’s so much like writing that we often get seduced into feeling as if we’re being productive.

    I do tweet a bit, and Facebook a lot. I also blog occasionally at http://www.bestbyfarr.com. But I’m reaching the reluctant conclusion that my online presence is probably detracting from my career, not helping. So I’m trying — unsuccessfully, thus far — to manage my time a little better.

  18. I really don’t want to know anything about my favorite authors’ personal lives, preferences, opinions, etc. I’m sure most of them are lovely people, but some of them may be nothing of the sort. I don’t want to feel obliged to read a book because I like the author personally, and I don’t want an author’s obnoxious views to spoil my enjoyment of her books.

    I regularly visit the Two Nerdy History Girls blog, not because they talk about themselves, which they don’t, but because they talk about things that interest me. I think I would probably like them personally because we are interested in the same sort of things, but that doesn’t entitle me to any personal information about them.

    I prefer authors to maintain their privacy.

  19. Lynn Viehl/S.L. Viehl! She’s very involved with her blog, and she’s one of the most generous authors around in all ways. She’s also mature enough to realize her work isn’t for everyone and doesn’t get all twisted if someone doesn’t like it, and is a nice person without being phony or kissing butt. :)

  20. Nora Roberts. As Stephen King says, “Nora Roberts is cool.” I’ve been impressed with her from the posts I’ve seen.

  21. When I was working at B&N years ago Teresa Medeiros did a book signing there and was soooooo nice! I also think Shana Abe is very kind to fans! :)

  22. Son of a gun: it’s Jill SorenS O N … sorry! It’s horrible to spell someone’s name wrong :(

  23. Nina Pierce is another one. I wasn’t aware of it until just the other day when I did some work on her site. She has a daily blog site that goes back *four* years! (http://www.ninapierce.com/blog)

    She’s been quietly building a very strong community there. She’s one of the nicest authors I’ve ever met. She’s always got a kind word, and she’s quick to hand out praise to other authors for their work, their books, and their expertise.

    She’s just a kind lady.

    Tracy

  24. Susan Mallery. She has a good presence on Facebook, which included asking for input on a couple of minor characters (hair type and color, eye color, body type, etc.) in an upcoming book. It was a great idea and got a lot of us very involved. :)

  25. Megan Hart! I live at the end of the world and, until Facebook, Twitter &Co would never have imagined that communicating with an author would be possible. For me it’s an incredible thing to ask about what inspired an author or to see what music she’s listening while writing a certain book… see little quotes while she’s writing or stuff like this :)
    I was so captivated by her book, Broken that I found myself reaching for an author’s blog. I’ve added other authors I like but haven’t found the same connection. Sometimes I wonder when does she have time for writing :)))

  26. Victoria Dahl is hilarious and smart on Twitter. I love following her. Count me in the Shiloh Walker fan column. And Lynn Viehl, I agree, is so generous.

    I also enjoy Stacia Kane — an aware, passionate blogger and tweeter.

    Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir has a great website (Monkey With a Pen) and her Tweets are droll or informative — or both.

    And all of them great writers!

  27. I was going to join in with Dianne Farr and be crushed, but I’ll have to forgive Sandy because of the seriously good unicorn. You see, my first ever bit of published fiction, and we are including my school magazine here, was about a unicorn. So I guess the unicorn was meant to represent that, because OF COURSE you knew all about it, Sandy. (not)
    I’m slack about the web. I keep a very low profile because I figure that one of these days I will actually forget my manners. The other problem is that Australians tend to have an almost crippling inability to do anything that resembles blowing their own horn. This is just dumb, dumb, DUMB in an industry where self promotion is required. For me, AAR is a compromise. I hang about and am seen . . . but I’d rather talk about other people’s books.

    And, Jane W, there’s nothing odd about disagreeing with me. DH does it all the time and he’s still alive, even though he has to live with me.

  28. Thank you, Sandy! It can be tricky sometimes, figuring out the best way to stay in touch with readers. I’ve actually found that Twitter isn’t really my thing (the interface just doesn’t work well for me), but I adore Facebook. It’s been especially fabulous for letting readers know about upcoming events.

    JQ

  29. Joanna Bourne- she is delightful. Her blog covers all aspects of writing and she explains her own writing processes.

    She answers every comment, asks opinions of her readers and is probably one of the sweetest online presences I have encountered. She actually links to all reviews of her books- EVEN BAD ONES. Amazing.

    She has been writing articles as a member of Word Wenches for a little while and if you thought articles on the history of canes and the making of brioche would be boring- think again.

    I can understand why her books are so charming.

    Christine

  30. Colleen Gleason (aka Joss Ware) is fun to follow on Facebook. Love her connection with readers — and her normalcy.

  31. Carla Kelly is always very gracious and updates us regarding her latest work whenever she posts to AAR.

  32. Thanks for the kind words! The social media thing can be tricky, but I just try to have fun with it. And how much do I love that Deacon has a following? He’s breathing on my keyboard right now…

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