A question about content

I have a question.

I make longer posts both here and on my LiveJournal. The nature of the posts are slightly different.

(I didn’t say it was going to be a short question, did I? >.>)

I’ve been posting on LJ for a number of years. I didn’t actually start the LJ posts to be an author-online; I started them because they seemed like an almost natural offshoot of a prior BBS on which I socialized with people who were otherwise halfway across the planet.

However…when being social, acts of egregious self-promotion All The Time aren’t conducive to conversation and interaction, and there’s always pressure to be promoting and to raise awareness. This was tricky for me, because I’m well aware that people who are interested in what I have to say or think in general don’t actually need to be told constantly what my publication schedule is like, what I’ve just sold, or what’s just arrived in bookstores. Nor are they always my readers, so answering questions about what I’m writing, in detail, or what I’ve written, in detail, sometimes made me feel self-conscious.

On the other hand? Not answering questions when readers did find my LJ and were interested in my books, seemed graceless and kind of counter-intuitive. So I tried to find a balance.

Talking about the writing process is general enough, and on LJ, common enough, that it’s part of the general conversation; I felt, and feel, no self-consciousness about that, and I would often combine some of both — specific questions and more general observations.  This is in part what the internet does–one person will pose a question or make a comment, and others will respond to it (often, in my case, at length) as a sort of extended conversational gambit.

When I started the wordpress site (at which this is being posted), I thought I could use it to post book-related news — release dates, covers, interviews — that were much more about what I do than what I think. They could be about the promotion, and about the books themselves, and I would feel much less self-conscious about it because the people who were only interested in the posts about the books I write would be able to find that information easily.

And that’s worked out, and I think it’s worked relatively well. The only thing I feel a little bad for is the lack of an LJ style cut-tag, but hopefully that’s less of an issue.

You’re probably wondering what the question is at this point, or are at least becoming concerned that I’ve become so mired in the background that I’ve forgotten it.  So:  the question is:

Are you happy with what’s posted here as it currently stands, or would you like me to post a link (or even cross-post) to the LJ posts when I do write them?

I ask this because I was writing an LJ post about something Sherwood Smith wrote here, and I realized I was about to point out which of my own books or stories were informed, for me, by what she calls ‘white fire’ writing.

I thought it might be of interest to people who read here, and then, well. Question paralysis.

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherwood
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 19:19:28

    Hey, it was an open question, so do talk about it at the Book View site!


  2. sascha
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 20:09:20

    I have both in my RSS feed. I generally read what comes out of either/both. I had you on my twitter feed too, but forget to look at it, sometimes for weeks at a time. If you use both wordpress and LJ as public personas, I’d think you could just combine them.

    I’m not really sure it matters that much. I don’t really notice which feed the articles come from and have never made the association between content types.

    Possibly I’m just incredibly unobservant :)


  3. Estara
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 22:55:14

    Being an LJ commenter first I wouldn’t mind if you mirrored all your posts there, but I finally figured out that you don’t, so I added you to my Goodreads authors I follow and there this particular blog gets notifications when it updates, so I can then click and read what you wrote.

    As long as I know that you’ve posted somewhere, no matter where – that’s fine.


  4. domynoe
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 23:44:30

    I read both sites, so it all works for me! I am on LJ more than anything else though, so cross posting actually makes it easier for me. For me the real question is what is easier and less time consuming for you?


  5. Genna Warner
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 23:49:57

    My vote would be for you to use each site as you see fit. I just feel blessed that you do use these forums of communication to talk about whatever is on your mind, answer questions and let us readers know how the different books are coming along.

    Thank you for doing what you do so well. :)


  6. Michelle Sagara
    Sep 05, 2010 @ 23:52:53

    The thing that usually takes time is the writing of the post.

    What I’m more worried about are the people who really do only want information about the books or releases, and have to then wade through the rest of the posts if that’s not what they’re looking for.

    One way of getting around this would be to have a “home page” in which the links for book-related information are there if that’s the only thing they want to find. But that means anyone else then has to wait for two pages to load.


  7. Michael
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 01:53:35

    I’ve been checking both sites for years and have been generally happy with the way you’ve handled them. I will say, though, that I tend to skim the LJ posts (looking for either particularly snarky comments or for book-related news (just in case), because I am not as interested in the publishing business) while I read this site more carefully. Also, if I have to pick *only one* to check (for whatever reason) it is always this site.

    For what it’s worth.


  8. DG
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 03:34:46

    I’d appreciate a cross-post or link. Honestly, I monitor this site for any/all info related to your books. I know about the LJ site, but I don’t read it. For some reason LJ’s “format” (if that’s the right word), doesn’t really appeal to me much.


  9. Marcy
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 03:45:51

    I didn’t know about the livejournal site, so thanks for mentioning it. BTW, the link to it at the top of your post appears to be broken (I had to google to find it).


  10. Elvet
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 14:06:39

    I read both this and the LJ sites as well as the Yahoo Groups messages. This wordpress site is linked to Goodreads.com, and anyone that is following you as a fan gets notification that there is new content here.
    I’m a big fan, and not only need book updates, but enjoy reading about your writing process (which I find more at LJ). So, I think that both sites are useful and interesting for fans of your writing.


  11. Aaron
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 14:12:01

    I don’t always check the LJ site very often. Probably because you go through long periods where you simply don’t post. However, since I don’t really participate in the discussions there, timeliness isn’t an issue. It’s a ‘get to them when I get to them’ sorta thing.

    I like the way that you keep the content separated. Your LJ posts tend to be more about the general process of writing, whereas this site is more about the completed product. That said, I don’t think it would be too obtrusive to post a quick blurb and a link here, pointing to the LJ post.


  12. Lyssabits
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 03:16:22

    One way of getting around this would be to have a “home page” in which the links for book-related information are there if that’s the only thing they want to find. But that means anyone else then has to wait for two pages to load.

    Hee, I think it’s sweet that you worry about this but.. yeah, we’re not on USENet anymore. ;) Anyone with a decent broadband connection will be able to load this page in microseconds and anyone on dialup probably won’t take more than a few seconds either if said homepage isn’t graphics intensive. Those of us who really are interested in following your blogs in real-time prolly have you on our RSS feeds and so would bypass any homepage you stick up in our way.


  13. Carol Duffy
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 20:39:30

    I’ve been reading both for quite some time, although I do check here first. I think whatever works best for you is how you should continue :) Having said that, I don’t think a link from here to there would be a bad idea, as you never know how folks find you or what might actually interest them once they do (as opposed to what they think is going to interest them when they start looking).


  14. sascha
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 22:09:52

    “What I’m more worried about are the people who really do only want information about the books or releases, and have to then wade through the rest of the posts if that’s not what they’re looking for.”

    Are there really people out there who would go to all that trouble to track down an author blog and then be annoyed at getting *extra* information? I doubt it. I have Brandon Sanderson and Pat Rothfuss on my RSS feed and neither their convention schedules nor their signing schedules interest me at all. But I’m certainly not annoyed by the extra info. I love Pat’s little wtf stories about life in his world. I just mark as read the things that don’t interest me and move on.


  15. Michelle Sagara
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 22:25:09

    There are, in fact, people who find the extra information aggravating. They just want to know — from someone who should know — when the next book is coming out, for instance; they don’t really want to know about the author’s dogs, cats, children, hobbies, etc.

    Even here, Aaron and Michael skim or skip entire posts on the LJ, because they’re not interested in the publishing process posts. If this site were much more general, they’d have a lot more to skip.

    Someone on LJ — I can’t for the life of me remember who — asked what readers wanted from an author web-site, and even though it was on LJ, a number answered that they weren’t interested in what an author had for lunch; they wanted information about the books because they presumed the author would be in a position to know.

    So I keep that in mind when I’m trying to strike a bit of a balance.


  16. Genna Warner
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 16:16:25

    I do like the way the sites are split up with information. But again, since you are the one that has to do the updates, I personally think you need to do what makes you happy, because it doesn’t matter what you do, someone somewhere probably won’t like it. As they say, you can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself. If there is a way to add a feed like the twitter comments to the side for the LJ stuff that would be interesting. :)


  17. Melanie
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 22:45:53

    I see that you have arranged your site, it looks pretty. I clicked around and found news about your upcoming books, so it is there for anyone to find. I too think you should do whatever is easier for you! With that said, if you need to vent or talk about something, do so. I do not do live feeds of any kind. I work on computer 9 hours a day. However, on a regular basis, I check your site, Patrick Rothruss site, and a few others. Every once and a bluemoon I read your live journal, and I read Pat’s posts for a laugh or to shake my head. Take care and thank you for posting Echoes, I have been combing the used book stores today for your short stores; I lucked out and found Assassin Fantastic.


  18. Hilda
    Sep 20, 2010 @ 01:41:13

    I read everything I can find that you or others post. I love your books and the way you write to readers.


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