I recently came across an interesting article in the New York Times about why, or why not, authors tweet.
I unashamedly love Twitter. It’s my only foray into social media and I enjoy the pithiness, punchiness and bite-sized style of information. I follow a handful of authors – Jonathan Tropper, Judy Blume, Bret Easton Ellis, children’s author Oliver Jeffers, Jennifer Weiner, Maggie Alderson and a few more.
What do I expect out of following authors? Honestly, not that much! I like their insights and commentary on everyday and topical stuff – Maggie Alderson’s thoughts on ‘denim on denim’, Jennifer Weiner’s blow-by-blow descriptions of The Bachelor, Easton Ellis’s bizarre rantings and Judy Blume’s little snippets about life in Key West.
So I was interested to read why Jeffrey Eugenides, author of the recently released The Marriage Plot, was not a fan of social media –
“In “A Note From Jeffrey Eugenides to Readers,” he described his joy at meeting them, but concluded by saying he doesn’t know when or if he’ll post on the (Facebook) page again: “It’s better, I think, for readers not to communicate too directly with an author because the author is, strangely enough, beside the point.””
In contrast, author Mat Johnson’s take on Twitter is this –
“Twitter lets me hijack the promotion plane, sidestep the literary establishment and connect directly to my current and potential audience. . . . It’s a meritocracy; if you’re interesting, you get followed.”
Nice. I ought to start following you Mr Johnson.