the Author

A question about content

Posted in Miscellaneous.

I have a question.

I make longer posts both here and on my Live­Journal. The nature of the posts are slightly different.

(I didn’t say it was going to be a short ques­tion, did I? >.>)

I’ve been posting on LJ for a number of years. I didn’t actu­ally start the LJ posts to be an author-online; I started them because they seemed like an almost natural offshoot of a prior BBS on which I social­ized with people who were other­wise halfway across the planet.

However…when being social, acts of egre­gious self-promo­tion All The Time aren’t conducive to conver­sa­tion and inter­ac­tion, and there’s always pres­sure to be promoting and to raise aware­ness. This was tricky for me, because I’m well aware that people who are inter­ested in what I have to say or think in general don’t actu­ally need to be told constantly what my publi­ca­tion schedule is like, what I’ve just sold, or what’s just arrived in book­stores. Nor are they always my readers, so answering ques­tions about what I’m writing, in detail, or what I’ve written, in detail, some­times made me feel self-conscious.

On the other hand? Not answering ques­tions when readers did find my LJ and were inter­ested in my books, seemed grace­less and kind of counter-intu­itive. So I tried to find a balance.

Talking about the writing process is general enough, and on LJ, common enough, that it’s part of the general conver­sa­tion; I felt, and feel, no self-conscious­ness about that, and I would often combine some of both — specific ques­tions and more general obser­va­tions.  This is in part what the internet does – one person will pose a ques­tion or make a comment, and others will respond to it (often, in my case, at length) as a sort of extended conver­sa­tional gambit.

When I started the word­press site (at which this is being posted), I thought I could use it to post book-related news — release dates, covers, inter­views — that were much more about what I do than what I think. They could be about the promo­tion, and about the books them­selves, and I would feel much less self-conscious about it because the people who were only inter­ested in the posts about the books I write would be able to find that infor­ma­tion easily.

And that’s worked out, and I think it’s worked rela­tively well. The only thing I feel a little bad for is the lack of an LJ style cut-tag, but hope­fully that’s less of an issue.

You’re prob­ably wondering what the ques­tion is at this point, or are at least becoming concerned that I’ve become so mired in the back­ground that I’ve forgotten it.  So:  the ques­tion is:

Are you happy with what’s posted here as it currently stands, or would you like me to post a link (or even cross-post) to the LJ posts when I do write them?

I ask this because I was writing an LJ post about some­thing Sher­wood Smith wrote here, and I real­ized I was about to point out which of my own books or stories were informed, for me, by what she calls ‘white fire’ writing.

I thought it might be of interest to people who read here, and then, well. Ques­tion paralysis.

18 Responses to A question about content

  1. Sherwood says:

    Hey, it was an open ques­tion, so do talk about it at the Book View site!

  2. sascha says:

    I have both in my RSS feed. I gener­ally read what comes out of either/both. I had you on my twitter feed too, but forget to look at it, some­times for weeks at a time. If you use both word­press and LJ as public personas, I’d think you could just combine them.

    I’m not really sure it matters that much. I don’t really notice which feed the arti­cles come from and have never made the asso­ci­a­tion between content types.

    Possibly I’m just incred­ibly unobservant :)

  3. Estara says:

    Being an LJ commenter first I wouldn’t mind if you mirrored all your posts there, but I finally figured out that you don’t, so I added you to my Goodreads authors I follow and there this partic­ular blog gets noti­fi­ca­tions when it updates, so I can then click and read what you wrote.

    As long as I know that you’ve posted some­where, no matter where — that’s fine.

  4. domynoe says:

    I read both sites, so it all works for me! I am on LJ more than anything else though, so cross posting actu­ally makes it easier for me. For me the real ques­tion is what is easier and less time consuming for you?

  5. Genna Warner says:

    My vote would be for you to use each site as you see fit. I just feel blessed that you do use these forums of commu­ni­ca­tion to talk about what­ever is on your mind, answer ques­tions and let us readers know how the different books are coming along.

    Thank you for doing what you do so well. :)

  6. The thing that usually takes time is the writing of the post.

    What I’m more worried about are the people who really do only want infor­ma­tion about the books or releases, and have to then wade through the rest of the posts if that’s not what they’re looking for.

    One way of getting around this would be to have a “home page” in which the links for book-related infor­ma­tion are there if that’s the only thing they want to find. But that means anyone else then has to wait for two pages to load.

  7. Michael says:

    I’ve been checking both sites for years and have been gener­ally happy with the way you’ve handled them. I will say, though, that I tend to skim the LJ posts (looking for either partic­u­larly snarky comments or for book-related news (just in case), because I am not as inter­ested in the publishing busi­ness) while I read this site more care­fully. Also, if I have to pick *only one* to check (for what­ever reason) it is always this site.

    For what it’s worth.

  8. DG says:

    I’d appre­ciate a cross-post or link. Honestly, I monitor this site for any/all info related to your books. I know about the LJ site, but I don’t read it. For some reason LJ’s “format” (if that’s the right word), doesn’t really appeal to me much.

  9. Marcy says:

    I didn’t know about the live­journal site, so thanks for mentioning it. BTW, the link to it at the top of your post appears to be broken (I had to google to find it).

  10. Elvet says:

    I read both this and the LJ sites as well as the Yahoo Groups messages. This word­press site is linked to Goodreads​.com, and anyone that is following you as a fan gets noti­fi­ca­tion that there is new content here.
    I’m a big fan, and not only need book updates, but enjoy reading about your writing process (which I find more at LJ). So, I think that both sites are useful and inter­esting for fans of your writing.

  11. Aaron says:

    I don’t always check the LJ site very often. Prob­ably because you go through long periods where you simply don’t post. However, since I don’t really partic­i­pate in the discus­sions there, time­li­ness isn’t an issue. It’s a ‘get to them when I get to them’ sorta thing.

    I like the way that you keep the content sepa­rated. Your LJ posts tend to be more about the general process of writing, whereas this site is more about the completed product. That said, I don’t think it would be too obtru­sive to post a quick blurb and a link here, pointing to the LJ post.

  12. Lyssabits says:

    One way of getting around this would be to have a “home page” in which the links for book-related infor­ma­tion are there if that’s the only thing they want to find. But that means anyone else then has to wait for two pages to load.

    Hee, I think it’s sweet that you worry about this but.. yeah, we’re not on USENet anymore. ;) Anyone with a decent broad­band connec­tion will be able to load this page in microsec­onds and anyone on dialup prob­ably won’t take more than a few seconds either if said home­page isn’t graphics inten­sive. Those of us who really are inter­ested in following your blogs in real-time prolly have you on our RSS feeds and so would bypass any home­page you stick up in our way.

  13. Carol Duffy says:

    I’ve been reading both for quite some time, although I do check here first. I think what­ever works best for you is how you should continue :) Having said that, I don’t think a link from here to there would be a bad idea, as you never know how folks find you or what might actu­ally interest them once they do (as opposed to what they think is going to interest them when they start looking).

  14. sascha says:

    What I’m more worried about are the people who really do only want infor­ma­tion about the books or releases, and have to then wade through the rest of the posts if that’s not what they’re looking for.”

    Are there really people out there who would go to all that trouble to track down an author blog and then be annoyed at getting *extra* infor­ma­tion? I doubt it. I have Brandon Sanderson and Pat Roth­fuss on my RSS feed and neither their conven­tion sched­ules nor their signing sched­ules interest me at all. But I’m certainly not annoyed by the extra info. I love Pat’s little wtf stories about life in his world. I just mark as read the things that don’t interest me and move on.

  15. There are, in fact, people who find the extra infor­ma­tion aggra­vating. They just want to know — from someone who should know — when the next book is coming out, for instance; they don’t really want to know about the author’s dogs, cats, chil­dren, hobbies, etc.

    Even here, Aaron and Michael skim or skip entire posts on the LJ, because they’re not inter­ested in the publishing process posts. If this site were much more general, they’d have a lot more to skip.

    Someone on LJ — I can’t for the life of me remember who — asked what readers wanted from an author web-site, and even though it was on LJ, a number answered that they weren’t inter­ested in what an author had for lunch; they wanted infor­ma­tion about the books because they presumed the author would be in a posi­tion to know.

    So I keep that in mind when I’m trying to strike a bit of a balance.

  16. Genna Warner says:

    I do like the way the sites are split up with infor­ma­tion. But again, since you are the one that has to do the updates, I person­ally think you need to do what makes you happy, because it doesn’t matter what you do, someone some­where prob­ably won’t like it. As they say, you can’t please everyone, so you might as well please your­self. If there is a way to add a feed like the twitter comments to the side for the LJ stuff that would be interesting. :)

  17. Melanie says:

    I see that you have arranged your site, it looks pretty. I clicked around and found news about your upcoming books, so it is there for anyone to find. I too think you should do what­ever is easier for you! With that said, if you need to vent or talk about some­thing, do so. I do not do live feeds of any kind. I work on computer 9 hours a day. However, on a regular basis, I check your site, Patrick Rothruss site, and a few others. Every once and a blue­moon I read your live journal, and I read Pat’s posts for a laugh or to shake my head. Take care and thank you for posting Echoes, I have been combing the used book stores today for your short stores; I lucked out and found Assassin Fantastic.

  18. Hilda says:

    I read every­thing I can find that you or others post. I love your books and the way you write to readers.

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