Reader University: Connect

This is the ninth post in a series of 12 ways to help authors (and your writing) by reading.

Making connections can be an easy task in this digital landscape.
For starters, connect with authors:

  • online
  • at signings
  • on topic

I really enjoy connecting with authors via social media and blogs. If you love an author’s book, social media is a quick and easy way to share an “I love your book” comment with both the digital universe and the author.

Book signings are another way to connect. I read a post the other day where an author reported only a handful of attendees. While plane tickets aren’t always feasible to help an author out, I can keep an eye for local (or within an hour or two drive) events I can attend.

If an author has a book about a topic near and dear to your heart, let her know. Maybe your book club or your classroom has a question about a story, perhaps Tweet or email him your question. You may receive an answer.

I remember I tweeted about my son’s first birthday and tagged Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain. We chose to name our son Enzo, after the main character and narrator — a dog. Garth Stein tweeted me back.

Authors use social media differently. Some will friend you on Facebook while others won’t respond to emails. Writing is a time consuming task, so I understand those who don’t use social media channels to interact with fans. If you write, you know how writing your stories and living outside of the voices inside of your head (i.e. family, the day job, hobbies, etc.) is often a balancing act. Of course, I really LOVE the ones, who embrace social media and add to my experience as a reader.
I’ve mentioned before that my reading list this year is so 2012, but John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, shows a character’s quest to learn more about a book and an author’s reluctance to communicate with fans. This added a lot of tension to the overall story.

How do you connect with authors (and other writers)?

Reading: I’m still reading A Season of Love by Amy Clipston, an Amish romance. I read an interesting essay How Much My Novel Cost Me by author Emily Gould, which was a little depressing and eye opening at the same time. If you like the link at The Passive Voice, you should click through and read the full essay.

If you missed any of the Reader University posts,

Reader University: Read

Reader University: Read

This is the second post in a series of 12 ways to help authors (and your writing) by reading.  
Reader University Read
Last week, in the first in the Reader University series, we talked about Try — new authors, new genres, and new formats.
My second way to help authors and your own writing is to READ:

  • a book
  • a novella
  • a short story

Or read an essay or a long magazine or newspaper feature story.
It’s so easy to get trapped in the “I don’t have time whirlwind” of life. Even when we say this, we are still reading.
I DO read a lot each day. I read a few blog posts, a few Internet news stories, and a ton of emails. Throw in some social media and I’ve read a short story or novella in one “session” on the computer. While much of this is entertaining or educational, I still find myself missing a good story by the end of the week.
Between my library card and my Kindle, I have access to a steady stream of books. This week, I’m making time to read another book in my virtual (Kindle) “to be read” stack — Divergent by Veronica Roth.
I read these books last week (mostly due to be sick and stuck on the couch):
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)
How to Query an Agent or Editor [A Children’s  Writer Inside Guide from Mentors for Rent] by Lisa Bullard and Laura Purdie Salas (2012)
As usual, I read through a dozen picture books. I was able to get my hands on Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (2013). It’s a wordless picture book — sweet and lightly pink. This book does have flaps, so I’m not sure how the kindle version of this will work.
Have fun reading this week!
Here’s the first post about the Reader University project.
Reader University