Andrea Walker went to a Social Media Week panel about how authors should use social media to promote their books, and distilled it into a blog post here. Dear Reagan Arthur books blog: I’m sure Marc Coatney impressed this upon you at the panel, but you need to get on Tumblr!
This panel sounds fascinating but I’m not sure how I feel about the cultivation of online personae becoming mandatory for authors. Being all over the Internet comes naturally to some people (see: me) but for others it feels like a huge imposition. Should only art that’s good at marketing itself be able to exist and persist? I’m going with “no.”
Less philosophically and more practically: if blogging or being accessible to readers in new ways doesn’t feel genuine to an author, it’s not going to be an effective way of marketing the book. Andrea quotes Kate Lee responding to authors’ complaints that cultivating their online presence “feels like a job” by saying “yes, that is why you signed a contract.” I think authors generally understand themselves to be contracted to write books. That shouldn’t change.