Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If Margaret Atwood can do it...

by Miriam

One of the more frustrating things about our work these days is trying to convince certain authors of the need for establishing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Some of them claim that they can’t possibly do this, as it would prevent them from meeting their deadlines. Some tell us they’re too old to learn new tricks and they’d rather leave that newfangled stuff to the kids…who don’t read anyway. Others get on a very high horse and lecture us about the death of culture these sites represent and chasten us for asking them to prostitute themselves.

Then, there are those adventurous souls who are game to try anything that will broaden their readership, allow them to connect to their fans, and sell books! So, it was with great delight that I read this piece by Margaret Atwood--whose literary bona fides are hard to challenge and who could comfortably rest on her mountain of laurels at this stage of her career--about the pleasures of tweeting.

What it boils down to is “communication,” isn’t it?


  1. I don't really read adult fiction, but I live in Canada and of course, I'd heard of Margaret Atwood. However, when she started this tour around the world (an eco-tour) I heard a couple of great radio interviews with her (BBC & CBC) and she mentioned Twitter in both of them and I began to follow her myself. I put her book on hold at the library too. It works.

    Although, no matter how many times I give myself the talk and head over to Facebook, I just cannot figure it out. I'll have to stick to Twitter and my blog.

  2. Wonderful piece. I've read Atwood for years because she constantly reinvents herself and her material, while staying essentially. Atwood. This is one more great example. What a wordsmith. What an artist. What a fun lady!

  3. I totally agree, it is terribly hard to find authors on the internet and sometimes they are just promoting their books...which would be fine if I weren't looking for a blog actually about them and their writing process.

  4. After reading that, I admire Margaret Atwood all the more. I tweet and I have a Facebook account, but Twitter- and Facebook-networking do not thrill me. But I tell myself that if I ever really need them, they're right there where I want them.

  5. Elizabeth Flora Ross31/3/10 5:08 PM

    I have not yet joined the throngs of tweeters. But shortly after setting up a fan page on Facebook, I started selling copies of my 10 year-old self-published book again. To the point that I will deplete my inventory very shortly.

    Now, I have invited fans to follow along as I work to secure an agent and get my second book published through the traditional channels. I provide updates on my progress. And to keep fans engaged, I pose a Question of the Week, regarding books and reading, of course! I hope by the time my book is published, I will have established a sizable group of supporters who will rush out to buy it! ;)

    I highly recommend the use of social media, for everyone from aspiring to established authors.