Monday, January 03, 2011

There are two kinds of people in the world...

Those who use Facebook and those who do not.

First Happy New Year to all Type M for Murder readers. We really appreciate you hanging around and listening to us and we enjoy your comments.

Put two authors together these days (heck put one author in a sealed room) and the conversation will come around to new approaches to “meet” readers and introduce them to one’s books.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, My Space, Personal Blogs, Guest Blogs, Group Blogs, Yahoo and Google Groups, etc, etc.

I’m beginning to think we’re really missing something here and I’ve concluded that all the Facebooking and blogging and tweeting isn’t going to reach the vast majority of book buyers and readers.

Last month when I was in my hometown for a book signing I met up with several of my friends. Friends as in people I’ve known for years and used to see regularly and now make an attempt to see when I’m in town. Not people I only know though Facebook or Twitter. And I realized that these friends didn’t know about things like the car accident on my property or my trip to Las Vegas or any of the other things I’ve posted about on Facebook. They aren’t on Facebook. Nor Twitter. They do not read blogs by or about writers or read online reviews of books.

These are not luddites. They use computers for work and communication, sometimes extensively for political or social causes they are involved in. They also read a lot, a lot of books. But they aren’t involved in the online book world either because they are busy or because they aren’t interested in the lives of people they don’t know personally. They get information about new books either through the printed newspaper they read or from the What’s New shelf at the library or by talking (TALKING) to friends. Or, with the demise of newspaper book sections, not at all.

My youngest daughter is very avid reader; she can easily go through a book a day and often does. She is Facebook friends with precisely one author whom she reads – my personal friend Violette Malan, the fantasy writer, because I introduced them.

If you’re an author and you think it’s going to be easier from now on to do your own publicity, because you blog and are on Facebook and Twitter and who-knows-what-else and someone has reviewed your book on their blog, think again. Now you have to do all that AND the traditional stuff like conferences and booksignings.

Speaking of newspaper reviews… Yesterday the Ottawa Citizen, that’s the newspaper in our nation’s capital, printed an article by one reviewer on her favourite top mysteries of the year. Problem? The article was taken from a U.S. wire service. There wasn’t a book set in Canada on the list, nor anything from a specifically Canadian publisher. The couple of Canadian authors who were mentioned write books set in the U.S. or the U.K., aimed at those markets.

It’s almost a certainty that that reviewer doesn’t have many Canadian books cross her desk. There are a lot of hugely talented Canadian authors out there, telling Canadian stores in a Canadian way. Too bad our national newspapers can’t be bothered to write about them.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

The Citizen is just laziness on someone's part. Either the book reviewer for crime fiction didn't bother to get a list ready in time, or an editor decided to run with a quick list from Associated Press or some other syndicate. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on anyone, least of all the struggling publishers and authors in this country who are in a constant battle to get recognition for their products against the US publicity behemoth.

It stinks. You wouldn't find a paper in the States who would use a list from, say, a British reviewer.