Armchair BEA Day 2: Author Interaction/More Than Words

Hello! Another day for discussion. Here are my thoughts on today’s Armchair BEA topics.

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Author Interaction

Author interaction is tricky. It can be fantastic! Or it can get rather awkward, especially if you haven’t always said flattering things about their work. These days with Twitter and Facebook, it’s easier than ever to contact authors. On the flip side, they can contact you as well.

I try to keep a little distance between myself and the authors whose books I review. I did have coffee with a local author but that was just one time. I follow lots of authors on Twitter but I find that more authors follow me than I do them. There can be a lot of noise on Twitter, a lot of self-promotion. Some are good at it, and some are not. By only following authors I’ve already read and enjoyed, as well as the ones who say interesting things, I keep my feed fairly clear of “Buy my book NOOOOOOW” tweets.

That’s not to say I haven’t been star struck. I was very excited when one of my favorite authors, Simon Van Booy, started following me on Twitter. “He followed meeeeeeee!” I thought!

If I could give you one tip, it would be not to send an author a link or tweet to a negative review, unless they asked you to do that. Usually, I’m contacted by publishers or publicists, so I will send them all links. They can decide whether or not to send it on, that puts a middle man between you and the author. Hopefully, an awkwardness can be avoided that way.

awkward

More Than Just Words

It’s funny, before I started blogging I only thought of books as words on a page, how things have changed!

I ‘read’ a lot of audiobooks these days. How you tried Librivox? If you haven’t, you should. Librivox is run by volunteers who record books in the public domain for free. Sometimes you get a good narrator, and sometimes you don’t but, hey, it’s free. The Audiobook app on my iPod runs Librivox books through it. I have three on the go right now. I also use my library quite often.

head phones

Since multimedia is mentioned, there’s one thing that audiobooks can’t give you. That visual experience. Last summer, I received an audio version of Night Film. Night Film is heavy on visuals. There are screenshots of websites, letters, documents, magazine articles, photographs. There is even an app you download to access the Easter eggs hidden throughout the book. Needless to say, I missed a lot of that by listening to the audio. Later in the year, I borrowed the book just to experience it.

To muddy the waters even further, what about graphic versions of previously published books? What do you think of this? Have you read any? I have read a few. It was an interesting experience. I think it helps to have already read the books they’re based on. Jane Eyre was one of the first I read, then the delicious The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Exile, the Outlander graphic novel, was quite something too. Those formats just add to the reading experience. It’s like a VIP experience. You get a little extra.

Which formats work for what books depend on the book in question. If I had to recommend particular formats for some books, here’s what I would say:

Audio:

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • A Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch
  • Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (read by Megan Follows- so good!)

So, for audio, I like the have memoirs read to me by their authors, especially if they are funny ladies. Megan Follows did such a fantastic job narrating Carmilla that I think everyone should hear it.


Regular paper:

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Anything that has a major visual component, like these do.


Graphic novels: If not originally graphic novel creations, I’d recommend reading the novels in the format they were first published first.

For fun, here are my favorite graphic novels:

  • French Milk by Lucy Kinsley
  • Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
  • Mercury by Hope Larson

So, what are your favorite formats?

*Logo Amber of Shelf Notes

28 comments:

  1. I love talking to authors on twitter, even ones that I have reviewed. One was very gracious and took my negative comments in stride and thanked me for the feedback. She even promised me the ARC of the sequel.

    Great post!

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  2. Audio books have rocked my world since I started my blog as well. I wonder how I got by without them.

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  3. Yep, distance is good. LOL When I was a newer blogger that wasn't the case, but nowadays I find it comforting, actually.

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    1. I rather believe they never read my blog, even if they do! I get nervous.

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  4. I've only recently discovered the joys of audiobooks and I love them. Other than those, 99% of what I read is digital. Books in any form are wonderful! :)

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    1. I'm reading a lot more books on my reader. It's so much easier.

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  5. I keep wanting to get into audiobooks but I think I just haven't found the right... thing yet. I tried it on long drives (which works) but I don't take those often. I guess my question back to you is *when* do you listen to audiobooks?

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    1. I can answer that! I listen when I'm alone at home cleaning, or when I crochet, or when I take the dog for a walk. I have to be doing something, something simple, or I can't concentrate.

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  6. I wish I could get into audio books but I just can't... I have noticed that I have been reading alot more on my ipad thanks to the kindle app and I never thought I would.

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    1. An ipad is a good size for reading. My ipod is too small. Glad I have my Kobo!

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  7. Librivox is awesome. some narrators are so so, but some are really as good as profesionnals

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    1. I looked up a couple narrators and one was an actor. It must be good practice for them!

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  8. Hey, Chris! Glad to see you participating in Armchair BEA! These are great thoughts. "By only following authors I’ve already read and enjoyed, as well as the ones who say interesting things, I keep my feed fairly clear of “Buy my book NOOOOOOW” tweets." <--Love that, and totally agree. I follow a lot of others, but most are either ones I really, really love or those who I have worked with in the past. I have never been to any kind of book or author event... isn't that crazy? I've been doing this so long, and love it so much (and just love READING so much, for crying out loud) and yet, I always avoid the fairs, fests, conventions, readings, signings, etc. It's hard to say way...part of it is social anxiety, I think.

    I also envy all of you who are into audiobooks and the like. I really, really tried to get into them, but I just can't. Poetry, sometimes, because that's meant to be read aloud anyway. But I've given some of my favorites (like Harry Potter & E.A. Poe's stories) a shot, as well as books I've never read, new authors, comedies, etc... just doesn't work for me. I wish it did, because I'm in the car a lot.

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    1. Glad you're visiting! I've been to a book fair. I had to drive 5 hours to attend! I met a few other bloggers there. It was nice but yeah, I know what you mean.

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  9. I haven't read it yet but I've heard that A Visit to the Goon Squad is one that is better on paper than audio because of some of the extras. Though I was glad to have my copy of Bossypants so that I could see the hilarious pictures that Tina Fey included! I still need to go check out Kaling's memoir as I listened to it.

    Yup, blogging changed my perception of what reading is, too. Such an awesome thing!

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    1. I'm going to have to look at the photos in Bossypants. I did miss that!

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  10. Great post, I haven't heard of Librivox, I'll be checking that out now.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Tamara (Shelf Addiction)

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  11. Oh wow, I didn't even think about how some authors can be very pushy about buying thieir books. Maybe it's a good thing I have super fun and thoughtful authors? Oh~ I've never heard of Librivox before, I'll have to try that out , not that I want free books but, who wouldn't want free books? ;) Wait, it is free right?

    And thanks for stopping by Doing Some Reading!

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    1. Yes! It is free! It's a great way to listen to some classics.

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  13. I tend to keep that distance between myself and authors too. I follow several on Twitter, but I generally don't talk to them, I just lurk. (Although I did have my own fangirly moment when my favorite author followed me!)

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  14. Ha! Love that .gif.

    I'm often a bit grumpy with reviews and get a little paranoid when authors I've *just* reviewed follow me on Twitter. I know they probably have google alerts set up, and I was probably nice to them in the review, but it's unnerving!

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  15. I've still not listened to an audio...but I'm all about the graphic novels! I just don't seem to have a place for audio books to fit into my life. But I do want to give one a whirl...one of these days :D

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  16. Nice post and yes author interactions can indeed be tricky.

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  17. I was thinking about trying out audiobooks in the car now I'm driving, but I'm worried they'll be too much of a distraction.

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