Tag Archive: Marianne de Pierres


Social Media and Writers

OMG I can’t believe that happened.

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No this isn’t about Deadpool, by I needed a pic to show how some things make me feel.

Social media has made some amazing things possible. I was feeling frustrated and angry one day so I went to a writer whose work I love and asked for advice. Part of me didn’t expect a response but they got back to me, I may have squee’d. Today I thanked a writer for the gift their books gave me and they got back to me with thanks.

This post isn’t going to be about how to use social media to promote your author platform, this is about using it for interaction with others and how some authors do it right.

When I was growing up you could join fan clubs for popular kids books, you could even try to write to writers through publishers, there was no guarantee that your letter would get to them, though many did get responses.

Times have changed. Some say social media is bad, it causes isolation and negatively impacts people’s ability to interact one on one. Yes it can certainly do that. It can give you the feeling of interacting when in fact you are building a wall around the real you, a false persona to project to the world at large. It can also be a very useful tool.

When I was still involved in children’s bookselling, I used social media to connect to people in the publishing industry and authors. I built a network, and it is a network that still serves me well even though my career trajectory is very different and books (writing and reading) no longer provide my primary income.

Authors, or at least some, are quite willing to interact with readers.

With all the rigmarole that went on regarding my publisher I reached out one day to a favourite author. Now I was down and desperate, I just wanted to get it out of my system to someone who I thought would understand my frustration. Sure I hoped for a response but there was a part of me who realistically believed that would never happen. She did, and Tamora Pierce you have no idea what a boost it was to me to read your considered response of advice and encouragement.

I have favourite books, yes that is plural and I cannot nor would I want to, make that list down to one. One of these books is Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi. I love this book so much I have an image from it inked onto my skin.

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I shared the above pic with Tony and he liked it. That wasn’t the only interaction I’ve had with him. One day I messaged saying I knew he sold prints of some of his work and I wondered if he could tell me where I might be able to buy one from Kenny. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what would happen next. He asked me my address and sent me this ink sketch. It holds pride of place in my office. It to offers incredible inspiration, on those dark days I can look of it and hold onto the thought ‘never abandon imagination.’

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These are not my only interactions. Marianne DePierres had a small afternoon tea with some fans one afternoon that I was invited to, and I went out for a catch up with Michael Pryor when he was in town doing signings and school talks. Both of these authors were more than willing to listen and offer snippets of advice and encouragement.

Today I felt the need to thank Raymond E Feist. I was thinking of doing something really silly, and even as I thought of it I knew it was silly. Authors don’t really want you hitting them up on social media to read your book or promote your work. Think about it. What an imposition. It puts them in an awkward position. How do they let you down without in some way coming across as a dick? So I talked myself out of such a stupid action and instead thanked him for his influence on my life. He responded, immediately. I was kind of gobsmacked.

Here is the thing though. Here is where social media gets tricky. These people you look up to, do not know you. For the most part any way. Sometimes you get lucky and actually strike up a relationship, friendship or mentorship. Mostly though they are just words sent in response to something. Oh I wish I was friends with any number of these people but they have their lives and I have mine. I’d like to think though that knowing they have done something that has helped or been memorable to an aspiring author and fan, would be a positive thing.

 

Supernova 2012

This was the post I did just after Supernova a couple of weekends ago, for my review site. I wanted to add a bit to give it a little more relevance for this blog.

I learnt a little something at Supernova. One: that Matthew Reilly’s fans kicked ass over Christopher Paolini’s. Two: Duncan Lay is an incredible example of how to sell your own books – don’t just sit behind the table but get out and approach people, he made so many sales that way. Three: don’t underestimate the power of the fan or an appearance – some people bought entire backlists to get signed even though they already owned copies.

The other thing is – HOW COOL WOULD IT BEE TO BE SITTING WITH THOSE AUTHORS AND MEETING FANS!!!!! Yes I know all caps is like shouting but if you are a writer you know exactly where I am coming from.

So now that is done with I’ll let you get on with the rest of the post.

PS. Before I do that I’d just like to send out a shout out to all Supernova goers because this year broke loads of records.

Okay the thing is I am a fan girl, actors/authors/characters, and I love it. I am totally unashamed of this part of my personality. A great thing about being me is I know plenty of others who indulge in geekdom and fandom as well. I was not alone this weekend, in fact SuperNova Perth had it’s biggest weekend there ever. It was huge and so much fun.

Why am I posting this you may wonder? Well because the sci-fi/fantasy fans are the best. We are avid and passionate. For many of us it starts at a young age, books/comics we love it and we devour it.

This weekend I saw cartoon characters, movie characters, comic book characters, tv show characters, game characters and book characters. Now is the time I will point out that a great many of these characters come from written word formats in one way or another. If you have kids who are avid readers and you want something to challenge them but will not have inappropriate themes, then often fantasy is a good place to go (not George RR Martin though). If you have reluctant readers give them a comic book. Reading is reading, and that is a good thing, and conventions are a great place to realise just how great it can be to escape for just a little while.

I have friends who dressed up as manga characters (they cosplay regularly). They were a huge hit over the weekend and spent much time being photographed by complete strangers. [Manga is something that can be read not just watched – for those of you out of the loop.]

A convention is also a great place to meet authors and get your favourite book/s signed and even find some new authors to try.

JB Thomas, Duncan Lay, Juliet Marillier, Bevan McGuiness, Marianne dePierres, Matthew Reilly, Christopher Paolini

Or see illustrators/artists in action.

The wonderful Marc McBride painting up a storm

One of my highlights was meeting Noah Hathaway who played Atreyu in the film version of one of my fave books as a kid The NeverEnding Story.

My signed pic…I totally geeked out over this.

We who are prepared to geek out salute you!!!

Thank You Marianne de Pierres

This week I want to do something a little different, I would like to say a very big thank you to Marianne de Pierres. This lovely lady was in my hometown this week for a con, a lot of genre authors do this, I’m convinced it is an important part of the job description. Some obviously do this better than other.

For me I feel Ms de Pierres deserves a particular shout out simply because she did more than the con, she invite some fans, bloggers and friends to have a meal with her. This was a wonderful opportunity to meet others with similar interests and for me to connect with an author who’s work I admire. We talked about books, cons, music and travel. It was an intimate setting and I feel privileged to have shared that time with those wonderful people.

It got  me thinking though. As an ‘as-yet-unpublished’ author I need to think about ways to get myself and my product out there. Firstly agents and publishers often ask what you (the author) are prepared to do to help market your book/s and I think something a little different may not be a bad thing. Secondly, we live in an age of rising digital self publishing, if you (or I) chose to go that path we need to think about things like this for self-promotion purposes.

It seems to me that there are ways to push yourself above the plethora of other authors, especially if you are willing to see a little outside the square, sometimes it may be the little things (like a small intimate get together) will be what put you above the rest.

So once again, than you Marianne for helping me see a little outside the square and for your encouraging words.