2011 writing resolutions continued: A comment about comments

To comment or not to comment? That is the question that is at the very heart of social media. Because really, to comment is to participate. So it becomes, to participate or not participate. And if you’re gonna be involved in social media, then you gotta go all in. You can’t get a little bit pregnant by social media. Insert your own cliche about being a full participant here.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been a big commenter. But, one of my new year’s resolutions was to get more involved with social media. And I’ll be honest here, for after trying the other methods of marketing and promotion (direct mail, magazine ads, press releases) social media is still giving me my most bang for the buck by far. And the buck, by the way, is free in the world of social media, unless you count your time investment, which you shouldn’t. For if you do, you’ll find out that the 8 year olds in Malayasia making Louis Vitton knock-offs are making more money than you. Ignorance, in this case dear author, is bliss.

But, what to comment on? I recently left the following comment on an MSNBC story about the survival of Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores:

“I’ve read many of the comments and one POV that’s missing so far is from an author. As an author of suspense thrillers, being able to go into my local Borders and Barnes & Nobles stores to do signings and give presentations to writing groups and book clubs that meet there is a priceless way for me to connect with readers. Say what you will about the “evil big box bookstores” they typically have community relations managers who support authors and help us put on events that help us expand our fan base. As these big book retailers fall, there will be less and less ways for us to connect with our readers, which in turn will negatively affect our ability to make a living writing. If writers can’t make a living at writing, then that means we all suffer the same sad fate: a future with less and less books.”

There’s also a bevy of book review websites out there including Good Reads and Shelfari. Upon a cursory review of these two sites, and having singed up for their email alerts, many of the reviews I read is by authors touting their own books. To me, that’s not kosher, but, like I’ve resolved to do, I’ll spend more time on these two sites in 2011 to see what makes them really tick.

What about you? Do you comment on articles? Do you join in on Good Reads discussions? What’s your take on the apparent demise of Borders and Barnes & Noble?

To the Keyboards! 

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My latest novel, The Brink, was selected for Barnes and Noble’s Special Collection for a second time! Check it out at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210485/?cds2Pid=24451

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