Where are you, online? (Looking at some social media options)
Hello! Given the world (and especially the Internet at the moment), it seems a good time for me to look at where I’m spending my time online in the authorial sense.
I’ve put together a survey form to ask some questions about what spaces you’d be interested in, so I can think about some options. I expect to get whatever new options I add set up by the end of December 2022 at the latest. (ETA, December 20th: Survey form now closed. Watch this blog space for an update on what we’re going to be trying!)
It’s completely anonymous unless you give me your email address at the very end. You can also use the contact form or email me at email@example.com if you’d rather do that.
Where I am right now online
I send out a newsletter on most Fridays. It has my latest news, a highlight of a book that’s been out for a bit, links to any blog posts I’ve made, and notes about the week’s writing. It also usually includes a couple of links I discovered while researching that week.
Twitter is the place where I’ve shared more flippant commentary on the writing process, often with some back and forth with Kiya, my friend and editor (and other half of my brain who makes my books so much better.) If you haven’t been following this bit of the news, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to be viable. I’ve also shared links to new books there or other news.
I’ve really enjoyed some of the conversation with readers there, and seeing what they say, too, when they tag me in to the conversation.
Facebook is the place where I spend the least time, but it also gets announcements of new books and other related material.
What I know I’m doing going forward
Continuing my current newsletter format, with a mix of news, highlights, links to blog posts, and a roundup of notes on writing and research. It will still be coming to your email most Fridays (or at least Fridays my time, your time zone may vary a bit.)
Adding the option for an announcements-only newsletter. Fewer emails! I’ll send notes when a new book comes out or when I have a new extra to share. I’ll also share a couple of “Here’s what’s coming up” posts a year.
Trying out Mastodon, a similar short-form text and conversation tool to Twitter (though with some cultural differences). You can find me at @firstname.lastname@example.org. Mastodon works by connecting different instances – sort of like neighborhoods or towns – and in most cases you can follow someone from other instances. Romancelandia.club is an instance for romance readers and writers and lovers of the genre.
Sharing more long-form content like blog posts. Where I do this is still something I’m thinking about (see the next section), as is what I focus on. Fill in the survey to tell me what you’re interested in!
Updating my contact page with all the places to find me, and what kind of content you can find there, once I figure some of the details out. (Courtney Milan has a great example of what I have in mind.)
What I’m considering online
This is where we get to the part where I want your input! I’m especially looking for a place where there can be some back and forth conversation. The options I’m thinking about are below, but if you have another idea, please let me know via the survey or contact form.
I almost certainly won’t be adding all of these – probably one or two. Filling the survey will both help me figure out which ones to pick, and what kinds of posts or content you’d especially like to see.
Facebook author groups are popular with many readers and authors. But I’ll admit that Facebook is the site I have the hardest time getting myself to check. (I also know that the algorithm means it’s easy to miss posts from groups unless you’re deliberate about checking.) However, it’s definitely a possible option.
Instagram has the same problem with algorithms making it hard to see the content you choose when you choose to. Coming up with graphics for content here would be more work for me (but possible). Conversation in the comments is possible but tricky to follow over a longer period. Making the images accessible is tricky (though I do know a few approaches to that, thanks to my day job.) And I couldn’t share links to amusing research tidbits easily. Not my favouite option, but I’m being completionist about this list.
Patreon allows both free posts (with comments) and paid tiers. There’s better access to comments (including threading) and other tools like polls.
If I set up a Patreon, it would likely have mostly public/free posts, and then a tier or two for additional benefits. The survey asks about some content options. I’m thinking about either sharing extras sooner than the mailing list (after they’re written but before they’re fully edited), or doing a deeper dive on a research topic or bit of worldbuilding. I’m also open to other ideas!
I’ve also had a question about whether I’d be open to Tuckerization (naming a character for someone) or some other more limited benefits. I’m thinking about what I’d be open to and how to make that sustainable for me.
Discord is a social chat tool where individuals or groups can set up a server with its own structure. It started in the gaming community, but they’re widely used by a wide range of groups. (I’m on some reading ones, some writing ones, and some having to do with other interests like fiber arts and religious topics.) You can share text, but also images and links very easily. If you’ve used Slack, it’s quite similar to that.
Kiya and I are both very familiar with using and admining a Discord server. This is the place you’re most likely to see us going back and forth. (Which I think is often hilarious, but I might be biased here..) Discord is free to use, and you can both choose whatever username you like and set a server-specific pseudonym if you prefer. You can use it from the web, a downloaded app on your computer, or your phone.
Take the survey and keep an eye out!
Whichever one(s) I pick, I’ll let you know in the middle of December. (The survey will be live until then.) I’ll let you know more about what I’ve chosen, what I have in mind, and some help on getting started on that site around the end of December.
Questions? There are open response spaces on the survey, or use the contact form or email me.
Take the survey! It should only take a few minutes, and you can skip any question you like.