The social revolution – and why I love it

When I wrote recently about downloads and the potential problems of piracy I realise I was in danger of appearing something of a curmudgeon.

It’s easy with new technology to grumble about the possible downside – it’s comforting to cling to what you have known. So I want this post to be about the amazing things the social media revolution has brought for authors – and those things are many and various.

Not least the fact that if you want to take a look at my book Song of the Sea God, read the early reviews for it, and taste the first few pages, then you can do so at the click of a mouse here.

So there’s one great thing – and here are some more:

It offers you the world

Ten years ago, a little book like mine would have sold to people within ten miles of where I am currently sitting – in the same way as a little book published a hundred years earlier would have done. The only ways of publicising it would have been articles in the local media, appearances at signings and readings, and word of mouth.

Well I’ve done those things, and continue to do them. But what I also have is social media – and that has opened up a world of readers to me.

Because of this blog, because of Twitter, because of Facebook – I now have readers for Song of the Sea God across the USA, in Canada, in Australia. Ten years ago that would have been an impossible dream.

Access all areas

Social media also connects you to your readers once they have your book – in a way which could never have been imagined before.

Now if people like Song of the Sea God – or even if they don’t like things about it – then they can tell me, simply, directly and pretty much straight away. They can message me on Twitter or get in touch on Facebook and let me know what they are thinking. I get to have a dialogue with my readers that authors simply have not enjoyed in the past, except when they have bumped into them in person at readings and events. Now if a reader in South Carolina wants to ask me a question about something crazy I did in chapter five – they do so.

Community of writers

Meeting other writers and chatting with them – that’s been another huge bonus of social media for me. Mostly, in my everyday life, I don’t mix with other creative writers. I’ve never been a member of a writing group and I tend to meet writers face to face only the odd times I get invited to events such as prize-givings or literary festivals. Now I have a Facebook friends list full of other writers – and a very supportive, friendly bunch they have turned out to be,

So there we go – there’s my reasons as a writer for loving social media – what are yours?

6 thoughts on “The social revolution – and why I love it”

  1. Agree totally. Mainly, it’s the people you meet (Hemhem like me!) who make it all worthwhile. I’ce had help, advice, comfort, friendship and just goshdarn FUN on social media!!

    1. Me too! I only started doing it in a grumbly ‘s’pose I’ve got to’ kind of way cos my book was on the horizon and I’ve found it’s actually quite an enriching experience.

  2. Hi Chris, I agree! I also live in a pretty isolated world, writing wise. I don’t even have many readers around me because I write in English and not in Dutch, so Social Media has been great for me, but mostly Twitter. I’ve met you (yay!), Carol (such a lovely, fun lady) and Michelle (also just wonderful) through Twitter plus many other writers. Before that, I really only had two writing ‘buddies’ that I met through blogging years ago. FB is great for friends, I find, but Twitter and blogging are really where I find the support and ‘friendship in writing’ that I’m looking for. Great post, Chris!

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