Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fan Mail - Who'd A Thunk It?

Received two FB messages in recent weeks - from writers whose stories I've published at (The magazine is on indefinite hiatus at this point, but check out the archives!) Both mentioned their gratitude and appreciation for my initial acceptance of their work and helpful comments, editing skills, and general encouragement about their story-telling. They messaged me to say that they "acknowledged" me in their new book releases! How cool is that?

I have to say, I'm appreciative of their appreciation. It was a neat boost to receive such "fan mail." Another source of encouragement has come from the great reviews, emails, and GR/FB/Twitter messages (should I just settle on "social media outlets" from now on?) from readers who've enjoyed The Last Prayer (my silo story that is part of a new wave of fan fiction/origins author interaction). Even the critique has been gracious.

Who'd a thunk when I started getting serious about writing a few years ago that I might one day receive fan mail from and interact with people whom I've never met except via online? Tres cool. I admit, I've wondered about all those things that emerging indie writers wonder and worry about: how to build a platform, what social media outlets are best for such interaction, should I comment more on others' blogs to get my name out there? Et cetera.

But now that I have a few readers beyond my circle of family and friends (who'll read anything I write just to shut me up from pestering them), I'm now thinking about how best to maintain that interaction. Scalzi blogged about that recently. Obviously, I'm not at his level, but I do have some thoughts on my style of fan-relations.

  • I answer emails, reply to messages, and twitter back.
  • I try to comment/reply on my blog posts when I receive a comment.
  • I reciprocate (real) friend requests on twitter and facebook.
  • I attempt to live by the golden rule, not just the silver one.

I'm sure there are more ways I interact with readers. Let me think on it some more. Because, a few years ago, who'd a thunk I'd have to think on it at all?

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)