So my question for authors is, do you feel as though you’re expected to sit on your hands these days? And readers, what is it exactly that you want from an author’s online presence? Do you expect they should sit on their hands, zip it and write the books. If you go to their blogs, what do you want to see? If you see them on a message board, what are you hoping their interactions will consist of?
Although I haven’t participated in the recent dust-up at Karen’s and other author/reader dust-ups, I have followed them. I’m answering the reader part of Angie’s question. As a reader, I very rarely visit author blogs. I can’t relate too many of them since I’m not a writer and with the growing number of reader blogs and a limited time to spend visiting them, I would rather spend my time visiting at other reader blogs. But when an author visits a reader’s blog, I think it would be in their best interest to visit as a reader rather than a writer. I mean after all, they would have to be reader first; before they became a writer. Of course there are times when a reader blogger will ask for opinions from authors. Then they can put on their author hat.
I expect authors who post on reader blogs to use some sense if they do decide to use their author persona. If they are upset at something they’ve read and they really can’t ignore it, then type out a reply first, read it over, go have a coffee and if it’s still an angry post then think about the consequences before they post it. Because whether it's fair or not, if it’s a real snippy answer, the author is going to piss some readers off. And trying to keep things in perspective is a real good idea. Long before there was Smart Bitches or Bam, there was Mrs. Giggles and I’ve seen some authors say it was almost a badge of honor to be snarked by her. Those authors I remember and when I see them handle it with class, I’m more than likely going to give them a try even if there books were snarked. On the flip side, there are some authors I have no interest in reading even if there books have gotten good reviews, because of their on-line antics. Just as authors may be defensive of other authors, readers are defensive of other readers. Now – having said that, I’ve also seen some downright nasty and uncalled for insults against some authors in the comments section of a couple of blogs. Totally totally classless.
It would be nice if we could all place nice and get along, but that's not going to happen with so many people with so many different opinions. But, the main thing is think first.
Anyway for what it’s worth, that’s my 2¢ worth.