Author Insight Series: On the Value of Social Media

My legion of stalkers may remember that I recently participated in the (ongoing!) Author Insight Series over at the legendary Wastepaper Prose blog.

In brief, more than a dozen authors answer the same series of questions — and somehow it’s not nearly as tedious as that sounds.

Here’s today’s question: “Social Media can be a distraction for writers, but what’s its biggest benefit?”

Confession: When I do these things, I try to be quick, honest, without a great deal of think. But for this question, I had to go back and revise my answer — because my first reply was too grumpy, even for me, and maybe a little pretentious there at the end, a trait I dislike in others and loathe in myself. I had to cut that last bit out.

Here’s my initial response, which I softened:

“I don’t see the great benefit. Write a great book and they will come. If not, all the marketing in the world won’t make a difference. But, okay, maybe I’m just being contrary. I think you have to be yourself, figure out what feels right for you, and act accordingly. If you are a networker, go for it. For me, writing is about sustained concentration, focused effort, and distraction is my siren and my enemy.”

I cleaned that up to:

“Social media does not help the actual writing, and I think that’s where our energy should go. That said, I think you have to be yourself, figure out what feels right for you, and act accordingly. If you are a networker, go for it.

Anyway, click here (and for more, click again here) to read all of the answers, from an interesting variety of authors, including: Lauren Morrill, Margo Lanagan, Dan Krokos, Martha Brockenbrough, Joy Peble, Greg Leitich Smith, Kirsten Hubbard, Cyn Balog, Dayna Lorentz, Katie McGarry, Sarah Tregay, Stacey Kramer & Valerie Thomas, Barry Lyga, Huntley Fitzpatrick, C.J. Redwine, Lissa Price, Janette Rallison, Sarah Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Kevin Emerson, Jessi Kirby, Jennifer Hubbard, Elizabeth Eulberg, Cara and Lynn Shultz.

It’s interesting how I can totally relate to some of these answers — Barry Lyga, I’m with you 100%; Dan Krokos, you too! — and how others seem like they come from a faraway (maybe better, certainly friendlier) planet. I wonder if it’s more of a gender divide than generational? We are all so different, and I think this series exposes and celebrates that (happy) fact.

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