The coolest thing happened to me today. A friend who is a high school teacher posted on my Facebook page that she’d overheard some of her students talking about me. They were discussing one of my books.
She jumped into their conversation and told them she knew me.
The girl who’d started the conversation replied that “she was shocked that I was a real person who would interact with her teacher.”
That cracked me up.
Of course I’m a real person. I’m not just playing a real person on TV, or anything like that.
I’m about as real as it gets. I have a full-time job with one of the largest companies in the world. I have a kindergartener and a toddler. I have a husband, whom I met at a football game. I’ve got a ridiculous toy poodle who thinks he’s a Doberman.
And I just happen to write books.
I now have a wonderful network of author friends, and as I’ve gotten to know them better, I’ll let you in on a little secret… they’re all real people too.
I’m seriously so blessed to be an author and I love interacting with my readers. It’s why I try to blog on my website (although I’m going to confess real life and real book deadlines often push that to the back burner, which is what’s happened lately) and why I try to post on my author Facebook page at least once a day, if not more.
And on my webpage and Facebook page (I’m also on Pinterest and Twitter, though not nearly as much as Facebook) I’ve broadened the scope of what I talk about—not just books. I talk about the things that are important to me: food, family, faith, and fiction. I’m very interested in real food, natural health and wellness, authentic family time, a relationship with Jesus Christ, and some darned good books. By broadening the scope of what I like to talk about, I want to give readers a chance to get to know me better beyond just the pages of my books.
And seriously, nothing makes my day more than when readers are on my Facebook page and they share content, like what I post, and comment! It makes it so much more exciting. Without YOUR interaction on Facebook, my web page, and the other social media streams where I hang out…well, it’s like talking to a wall. And that’s just no fun.
Every author I know has some form of social media presence. So don’t be shy! Friend them on Facebook, comment on a blog, give a shout out on Twitter, and go in and repin things on their boards you find interesting. If you’re on Amazon or Goodreads and you liked a book, take a few minutes to leave a review and let the author know why you liked the book and let other readers know why you recommend it. My friends who are authors LOVE to hear from readers. Not every day is easy as a writer. Some days the words don’t come or sales reports don’t show the numbers you’d hoped for. Hearing from readers is always a sure way to turn that frown upside down.
Who are your favorite authors to interact with online? What’s your favorite platform? Do you prefer blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or something else?
And if you haven’t friended me yet…why not? Click here and sign up for my blog (sign up for the newsletter while you’re there—I promise I’m not a spammer!), join my Facebook page—where you’ll be the first to know when my new book releases in about two weeks, follow me on Twitter, and check out some of the pins I have on Pinterest. Don’t forget to friend me on Goodreads and find me on Amazon.
I love to hear from you—and I promise I’m a real person who loves to interact with teachers. And all sorts of other readers too. :)
Wait . . . I’m a real person? Seriously, great post and spot-on. Authors do indeed welcome the give-and-take of social networking with readers. And I must say that YOU are one of my favorite “Follows” and “Friends,” Kristen. Learning about the “real” you (Mom talk, cooking, Baylor football . . . ) extends the enjoyment I find in reading your work. Which is fabulous. Thanks for hanging out with me online!
Kristen Ethridge says
Muah! Mutual Appreciation Society reporting for duty! You’re one of my favorites too! A lady who knows her way around a pancake turner AND a page-turner!
Keli Gwyn says
Readers rock! Nothing makes my day like a note, comment or remark from a reader. I’ve learned it works the other way around, too. When my daughter received an email from one of her favorite authors asking for help with something in her story that my daughter knows a good deal about, she was elated. Even though she has a writer for a mom and knows more about the ups and downs of the writer’s life than she cares to, everything changed when the email from that beloved author arrived asking my daughter for her help. This shows me that readers and writers can develop some awesome friendships. I treasure my reader friends.
Kristen Ethridge says
Keli, that is a super-cool story about your daughter. Love that!
Narelle Atkins says
Kristen, I love this post! It’s great that there are so many online ways for authors and readers to connect :)