Okay – Let Me Hear It

I’m working on an article that may work into a workshop of some sort and I need your help!

1. What are things you see authors do online that you love?

2. What are things you see authors do online that you hate?

You can also add stuff about general persona, not just online if you so desire.

(special thanks to Azteclady who suggested a workshop on this! I’d been pulling stuff together for an article but I didn’t know when I’d get to it and that made me remember it and get back to work on it)

Thank you!

14 comments to “Okay – Let Me Hear It”

  1. Misti C.
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:09 am · Link

    I love it when authors update their websites and blogs regularly. I really like hearing updates on their books that are coming out and excerpts. The worst thing I have seen an author do is talk trash about a publishing company. Trash talk is not the best way to impress potential readers!

  2. Chris
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:23 am · Link

    Websites with a lot of flash, video, etc. Not updating blogs/websites regularly. Not having any contact info on their websites/blogs.

    Leaving defensive comments on my blog when I write a review in which I state that I didn’t like the book…

  3. Melody Miller
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:22 pm · Link

    I really like it when…

    *authors put series together, and lay it out for us on their site. They put a lot of work into worldbuilding, and I like to see the background and be able to put it all together coherently. I occasionally get confused as to who is related to whom, and what they heck they are doing over wherever.

    *authors post snippets and free stories, especially when they intertwine with already published works. Nalini Singh does a great job of this.

    *authors make their site easy to navigate, and have a SEARCH button. I don’t mind browsing, but if I’m looking for something specific, I don’t want to go through 9,000 back button clicks to find it.

    I don’t care for…

    *authors have bad things to say about [audience/publisher/other authors/etc.]. My grandmother could drop you at 30 paces with a look, but never said a bad word about anybody.

    *really loud and violent color combinations. I visit the site for information or pleasure, not to have my retinas permanently scarred a hot pink with lurid purple overlays.

    *a website that is a sales marketing tool. I like to know the author, to know that the site is run by a person, and that if I send an email, I’ll get a response from the creator of my entertainment, not from a publishing intern locked in the basement.


  4. Melody Miller
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:22 pm · Link

    DANG! I forgot Jet Mykles – she does a great job on her site as well.

  5. Christine
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:56 pm · Link

    Have to agree love it when authors update their blogs and websites w/ news, upcoming books, excerpts. It’s really annoying when an author hasn’t updated her site in months

    Don’t need the music & loud noises

    like easy ability to move around and find things on the site. Hate it when the buttons don’t work

  6. Amy M
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:46 pm · Link

    I also like when books are grouped by series. I also liked an interview that Anya Bast did that summarized and defined her different character types in the Witch series for easy reference.

    I like contests or posts that introduce me to other authors in the same genre or even just some an author I like likes (I went to check out the Crimson City series after hearing about them from you, Lauren).

    I have to agree about updating a website. It is frustrating when I see a new book is coming out by an author on Amazon or such but I cannot find out what it is about even when I go to the author’s website.

  7. Mari
    June 10th, 2009 at 4:52 pm · Link

    What I Love: Authors that update often, offer excerpts, let us know about upcoming books and works in progress, contests, and guest interviews with new authors

    What I don’t like: Blog wars. I don’t want to hear an author trashing another author or blogger. I don’t want to read about how a blogger looked at another blogger funny at a conference, book signing, workshop, etc. Mudslinging will turn me off.

  8. Michelle
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:16 pm · Link

    What I like – 🙂
    When authors update their websites. If they put their websites on their books and then you go to visit, I hate when the last entry says that they are looking forward to a book tour and the year in 2006! Books are timeless. Even though you a book might have been published in 1999, fans still buy them from ebay, used book stores, garage sales etc…It is just nice to go onto to a site and it is updated.

    I love when I go on a site and it’s easy to locate the books they have written. Nice and orderly. I love when the extra step has been taken if the author has written a series that the books can be easily identified in order.

    I love that authors are on-line and have made themselves so accessible. Love when they accept friend requests and answer fan mail.

    I love when there is a FAQ type of section on a website.

    I love book signings and meeting authors. Getting pictures and autographs.

    I like on blogs or boards when authors make themselves real but adding tidbits about their life or just general talk.

    I really love when authors have sections on their sites for book recommendations for other authors. I love them recommending each other. Chances are if I am on an author’s site, it is because I love their work enough to search them out. If they are recommending a book, I will probably like it too.

    I love when their are reviews to read before purchasing an on line book. So if the authors have them on their sites, reviews are good.

    One more thing I love. I havent seen it too much but I totally love it. One author’s site that I visit has put pictures on their site of what they think their main characters look like. I totally love that. I get to see how I imagined a character to look like compared to what the author imagined.

    I love contests.

    Dislikes – 🙁
    When ordering ebooks on line, I don’t like it if there is no type of rating. So frustrating. Or if the book is historical but I am looking for a vampire book and it is not clearly outlined.

  9. Michelle
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:19 pm · Link

    lol – I dislike it if I can’t find an edit button to go back and edit my mistakes from my previous post. Oops. Sorry ’bout the typos. 😆

  10. candice gilmer
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:53 pm · Link

    I think the only thing I don’t like is when a book is up at a sight, and there’s no excerpt to read. That really bothers me. Especially if it’s a series… (Maybe that’s why there’s not an excerpt, but still, a teaser’s always good)

    Things that I do like? Regularly updated sites, and I like professional looking websites.

    Maybe because I know a little about graphic and web design, it irks me to no end to find a web site for an author that just looks cheap. Including having a lot of flashing letters or cheesy clip art icons.

    I mean, I know money can be an issue for people, but there’s a lot of beautiful website templates out there for free or even very cheap, that all you have to do is drop content into.

  11. azteclady
    June 10th, 2009 at 8:01 pm · Link

    *waving* Hi, Lauren! 😀

    There are a number of very good articles about authors’ websites around (The Book Binge ladies did one; The Good, The Bad and the Unread did another good one; and Shiloh Walker has several) so I won’t really touch on that other than:

    Have some way to contact you–when I say that, I do not mean “get me into your newsletter list” What I mean is either have an email address or a contact form so I can leave a message for you to read. Otherwise it comes across (to me, at least) as if you are way too busy to hear from the people who are reading your books.

    Way to shoot yourself on the foot, ‘sall I’m sayin’

    Now on behaviour, I think that it depends a lot on personal style–some people are naturally more outgoing than others, but that doesn’t prevent them from behaving professionally and with civility.

    I certainly don’t expect all authors to be everywhere I am, or to respond to every comment I make on their blog (or on a blog they are guesting at or what have you), though I quite appreciate it if and when they do.

    I enjoy interacting with authors on general topics–which is one of the reasons why I enjoy authors’ blogs and readers’ blogs such as Karen’s or the SBs. There are often conversations and discussions on pretty much every issue under the sun, and when authors who participate in these maintain their professionalism while engaging in debate is just… well, GREAT 😀

    As you mentioned yesterday, authors interacting with readers *as readers*, sharing likes and dislikes, recommendations, etc–all that I enjoy.

    I also enjoy people–and this applies to authors and readers–who are genuine. And seriously, sooner or later being fake comes back to bite you in the ass, so it’s all around easier to just be yourself, I would think.

    Be gracious when you can, and when not, stick with civility. Above all, internalize this: criticism of your books is not criticism of your essence as a human being. Corollary: people who criticize YOU as part and parcel of your work are to be ignored always.

    Yikes, I’m wordy, I think I’ll stop here

    (for now, at least)

  12. limecello
    June 10th, 2009 at 8:53 pm · Link

    I have the whole “Authors Online Presence” pondering up over at the pond… but one thing I really don’t like, is the author playing the victim.
    No, I don’t mean when some crazy psycho bitch has found your [the author’s] personal information and is coming after you and you’re freaked out. (You should say something at that point. And then go into hiding.)
    I mean the author who gets [a few] “bad” reviews, and then starts crying about it, and complaining, etc. We all get dealt shitty hands, and will never be universally loved. Talking too much about it can backfire.

    Heh. Am in bad mood. Will come back later and post a good thing.

  13. Melissa
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:31 am · Link

    Oooh, I have to come back on this one, Lauren. On my way to work, but one of the things I HATE is when an author is mean or belittling to a reader. And yeah, I have seen this………I don’t care who you are, if someone is willing to plunk down their hard earned money on your books, you have no business jumping them because they don’t know all the facts about your books, or because they bought your book before it’s ‘official’ release date (which will keep you from hitting the lists. Yeah, one book. huh) or because they have the nerve to ask a Q you’ve answered a million times. I know it’s a time suck, but at least be gracious when you refer them to you Q&A. These are just a few, but ALL things I know someone I, myself, have experienced. And don’t you know there is no way in HELL I would ever buy said authors books again, let alone recommend them to a friend??
    I know authors are people, have bad days, etc………and I’m online alot, so I’ve read/heard alot. I don’t have to like an authors personality to love her books. I don’t have to agree with her to love her books. But I do expect her to treat her readers with respect, if not friendship.
    shit, I gotta go to work, lol. Can you tell I’ve thought alot on this, and discussed this with online friends??
    I think YOU doing a workshop is an excellent idea, Lauren!!

  14. brecken
    June 12th, 2009 at 12:38 pm · Link

    I love a user friendly site, with a clear book list, by series/ in order of publication and absolutely love, love, love when an author shares their writing process with us (how long a book takes them, music? etc)

    I am completely put off by mudslinging of any sort, and hate, hate, hate when an author (or entertainer of any sort) posts their politics on their author sites!

    I have my own political views, and don’t really care about yours (reciprocal, I’m sure), however, I am seeking an escape, not a political opinion!

    and thanks for your interest in our POV!