Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who are you?

This week I have been thinking about the author presence and the fundamental who-ness of public and private life.

Who are you,

on facebook?

on twitter?

on your blog?

on your website?

in the bookstore?

in person?

to your fans?

Are any of these seperate whos, the same person? Are you such a split personality that you need therapy?

I have been talking with friends about the public private life of the author...much like teachers...when their students discover them in the supermarket. (OMG Miss Crisp eats the same apples I do...or she’s seen me being whiney, now I know she will hate me...)

Since I started blogging on author marketing and other musings...learning in public about this tricky promotional world... I have seen the internet face of people change, about as fast as some publishing houses....From a few years ago when people put their whole lives out there, to now, where suddenly the public private balance is swinging more to private. (it’s about time.)

If you want to live your life in public, fine, but remember the people who live with you might not want to have public lives.

I admire the third child of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne who refused to have any part of the publicity show that her mother cooked up to revive Ozzys career. (What? You didn’t know there was a third child?) That is a brave stand to take and I hope that aspiring authors are keeping an eye on their families reaction to publicity. Is it fair to the kids or is it emotional exploitation that will come back to haunt you....

People occasionally ask my advice on website content...the first thing I tell them is to decide who YOU want to be in public. This colours everything you do online. Because once you click that post button it is out there for the world to see...and even if you remove it later... it will remain search viable in archived threads. Ouch.

For myself I try to keep my family hidden from view (mostly because I can’t remember their names and it’s embarrassing to say thingumie in public) and myself too. (coz I hate pictures of me)

I am on twitter purely to keep up with blog posts...twitter is great for this. I use a feed that posts my blog titles to my twitter followers and receive tweets of blogs that I follow. I also use Alltop which creates a virtual magazine of up to the minute content drawn only from blogs and websites that interest me...astronomy, space tech, gadget tech, children’s publishing, marketing, commentators that I like...great for researching.

I blog, so that my name is searchable and that any kids who stumble across my book and do an internet search can find me and get to the Bones book website if they want. And for anyone else out there who stumbles across me, I hope that they find something interesting and relevant on author marketing to think about.(waving to my hidden followers....)

I privately email and play on a wordpress site...that one day may morph into a public website (or not...depending on whether any publishers pick up any of my novels currently languishing on their desks...)

Nathan Bransford has bogged on author privacy recently here. A great post as ever...there is a comment on Neil Gaiman’s fiancĂ© Amanda Palmer who lives her life on line purely for marketing purposes as a Neil blogs and tweets obsessively I guess he is fine with it...although he has kids....(hmmm one of my novels deals with the fall out of a parents famous public life on a child...)

The great Jane has blogged on two wonderful posts I recommend you read on writing, for the money? Jennifer Topper on why she has a free ebook novel...and Mark Barrett has a fabulous post on a new interpretation of Yogs law - that money should flow to the writer not away from the writer. It has a whole new perspective on the changing face of the middlemen in how content gets to readers...Go read and ponder...

To answer my own question at the beginning...

It’s a wysiwyg. (what you see is what you get)

I don’t think I’m any different on line.....hahahahahahahahahaha. ducking now.....


PS Alice Pope Of CWIM fame posted this video on her blog...take it away Erin.....


Melinda Szymanik said...

A very thought provoking post Maureen. I feel a blog post riposte of my own coming on.

I've given up hiding the kids - they're more out there on facebook than I am.

And I am just my crazy scatterbrained all-over-the-place self wherever I pop up. Living down here in the antipodes I don't expect to ever be too exposed, and if i should accidentally become famous I think I'd die of shock before it became an issue...

Maureen said...

The problem with living down here is that this is a small country and everybody knows everybody else...People are still keen to chop down the tall poppy...However I raise a glass to your success and will say nice things about you always...:)
Did you read that link about yogs law? If it's a direct interface between writers and readers that is coming... look how the music industry has morphed in the last few years...then having the kids on facebook could be a good thing... they could manage your writing fan business for you instead of a publisher...keep the money in the family....hmmm could be come here....wanna be on facebook?

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