Here is Janet Reid, hitting an emotional reaction that took her by surprise:
I finished a terrific book recently and wanted to reach out to the author to say “wow, I really liked your book!” Maybe boost the signal a bit with a mention of the book on Twitter.
Went to the author’s website.
No contact info at all. No social media links at all.
Ok. So, the author doesn’t like all that folderol. I get that. You just want to write books and be left alone.
Ok. I’ll leave you alone. I won’t write you a note about how much I liked your book. And I won’t mention you on Twitter. And I won’t use your book as a contest prize.
Harumph harumph harumph.
That was my first (not very adult or thought out) reaction …
I realized after some thinking, that this kind of annoyance is a very recent thing. Twenty years ago, when I read a book I liked, I told my friends. And maybe yammered to my publicity clients, or bookstore event planners. It never dawned on me to write a letter to the author’s publisher (the only way you could contact authors back in the Paper Era.)
Now with instant communication and everyone hanging out at the CyberSpace Bar and Grill, it’s expected we’re all reachable. And want to be reached.
Well, clearly, no. …
It’s a good book.
And then she shows it to her blog readers: Bearskin by McLaughlan, which looks possibly pretty good. A thriller involving poaching in Appalachia, I gather.
But this is an interesting reaction!
Now, when I finish a book I really loved by a new-to-me author, I do sometimes search for that author on Twitter and say I really liked it. Or if I write a review (very likely for any book I love), then I send them a @ on Twitter to let them know.
But if the author isn’t on Twitter, that’s it. I don’t feel annoyed because the author is unreachable, because (a) a glance at Twitter is the full extent of my efforts to locate the author; and (b) it has never occurred to me to be offended if an author is a little difficult to track down.
Is this because I’m a little older and also clearly remember the days when the only way to contact an author was to write to the publisher?
Or because I’m just so introverted that it doesn’t occur to me to make a big effort to track someone down, far less feel offended if they’re not readily contactable?
I’m now curious: do you routinely feel like you ought to contact the author of a great book at all? And would you feel even momentarily annoyed if that author was not easily locatable on social media?