Let’s face it. We are a very connected world. And getting in touch with your favorite author is a lot easier these days.
I’ll never know if that letter I wrote to July Blume years ago telling her that Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret changed my life was lost in the mail, or if Ms. Blume just never got around to penning a reply. But these days, a quick note to an author is only a few keystrokes and a click of a mouse away. It’s instant access.
But are authors too accessible? And how much contact does a reader reallywant with an author?
I found myself asking that question a few weeks ago when I ran across a lovely write up someone had given my contemporary romance series on her blog. I noticed she was on Facebook and rushed to add her as a friend. Then I stopped. And wondered. Does this person really want to be my “friend”?
Just because she enjoyed my books, it doesn’t automatically mean she wants to share in the boring, sometimes inane updates that usually occupy my Facebook page. I’ll bet a lot of those people who have “friended” me are regretting it now, because unlike some authors, when it comes to sites like Facebook, my writing persona and real me are one in the same. And the real me just isn’t all that interesting.
It causes me to wonder just how much a reader who may have found me online really wants to know about me. Do you care if I went to the gym? Or that I’m watching Pride & Prejudice for the one-hundredth time? Or that revisions are kicking my butt?
My guess is no. I wouldn’t force that on anyone.
With Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and all the other social networking entities out there, the author/reader relationship has ample opportunity to grow. But maybe that should happen only if it’s agreed upon by both parties. I know a lot of readers may think it’s presumptuous to believe their favorite authors would want to be their online friend, but I personally believe authors shouldn’t assume a fan wants to be anymore than just a fan to you.
Tell me what you think?
Readers, do you mind when an author chooses to “friend you” on a social networking site?
Authors, what balance do you try to keep between your “fans” and “friends”?