Reader Question…

question-markA while back, when I was in a mood, I was going to do a post about the best/worst author blogs and websites. I had been doing updating or something, and I was hitting a brick wall on a lot of author pages and it was driving me insane. If the author couldn’t keep up to date with their upcoming releases and info, how could bloggers like me ever hope to do so? I got over my snit before I finished typing my post, but I started thinking about it again when Kim Shelt made a comment over on my Facebook page.  She said…

          I was thinking that it would be cool if you did a post on authors that would respond to their readers.  Awhile back I sent a message to an author on Facebook saying how excited I was to hear she was writing a certain characters story and she responded back saying how cool it was that someone was as excited about that book as she was. I thought it would be cool to see if any other authors were out there that responds back to readers comments or inquiries, either through letters, email, facebook or their website.

Personally, I have been very lucky when it comes to authors responding to any queries I have sent them. Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Cynthia Eden and Jennifer L. Armentrout have always responded quickly, kindly, and happily.  I think the only authors I can think of that didn’t get back to me were Tessa Adams and Lora Leigh, both times when I was asking about the state of their PNR series (hello, new Breeds book anytime soon-ish. Hello?) And believe me, I am amazed when one takes the time to answer back, and I really do appreciate it. C.L. Wilson has responded whenever I have asked her a question, but I think I annoyed her when I asked if The Winter King was still on schedule for January since I couldn’t find any coverart (the answer was no).

I think one of the most awkward online arrangements is Lora Leigh’s however. You can scour the blog, website, forum, Facebook – and can’t find much in the way of up to date info. Nada. Makes me nuts. I am not a big fan of author pages that have fan-forums, either, since you can get some very interesting (obsessed) people. I am a bigger fan than a lot of people, but in no way do I feel the need to post every detail of my day on the author’s page, or describe my dreams I had about their characters.

So, back to Kim’s question – which authors do you find to be the most connected to their fans, who makes it a point to get involved with their readers, and the most helpful at answering questions? And on the other side, who have you had no luck with no matter how many times you have tried to make contact?


23 thoughts on “Reader Question…

  1. Kim says:

    Wow I didnt realize when I wrote you that I used ‘cool’ alot. lol She isnt a PNR author but Cindy Gerard is the author I was talking about. I did send a message to Ilona Andrews on facebook after I read Steels Edge, pretty much begging for them not to end the Edge series but I never heard back from them. It wasnt a small note either. Ive also sent a few messages through email to Sherrilyn Kenyon and if I get an answer it was from an assistent of hers not Sherrilyn herself. Gena does get back to her reads quite a bit, even if they are just telling her they loved one of her books.

    • kaleigha says:

      Yours is cool, mine is really. I have to double check everything that I write that I didn’t use it in every sentence.

      I did notice Gena seems great about responding, too, and her website is usually very up to date.

  2. Cassandra Bales says:

    I have only written to an author once and I never received a reply (she was a historial, not PNR author). While I still enjoy her books, I am not as enthusiastic as I was before. On the websites, I more loyal to authors that take the time to update their websites. As soon as I started reading this post, I immediately thought of Lora Leigh. Her website has always frustrated me. It is rarely up-to-date and there is very little helpful information for readers. Nalini Singh has a great website. Kresley Cole keeps her website up-to-date but lacks the extra tidbits you get on Singh’s. I am a fan of Laurann Dohner and her various series and she is always getting readers up-to-date on various works in progress on her blog. I really enjoy the Heart Mates series by Robin D. Owens, but her website is not at all helpful for readers (Amazon is better at getting up-to-date with what she is doing). Shelly Laurenston’s website is okay, but I appreciate her monthly or quarterly (can’t remember which) newsletters that keep me updated.

    • kaleigha says:

      Good lord, Robin Owens site is so far behind I don’t know why she has one. Christine Warren’s was horrible, too, but she has since done a re-design and now seems to be keeping up a bit better. Terry Spear is very good about having the latest on her coming releases and coverart, too.

  3. Lydia says:

    The only author I’ve ever had a response from was Julie Garwood.I asked about a story for one of her characters and she responded promptly and was extremely kind and helpful. I actually did ask Lora Leigh about th Beeds, but never heard from her and I agree with the general opinion that her website sucks as in there is no helpful info on anything. Nalini’s site is great in keeping up with what is going on in the series; I’ve also had a sippy response from C L Wilson and it wasn’t even a response to a question; all I did was on an Amazon blog ask other fans if they knew when her book was coming out and surprise of surprises she must have read the comments and gave me an answer but rather cold and a bit angry.

    • kaleigha says:

      Ha! C.L. Wilson’s annoyed response was enough to make me remove her author page. Now I am sure she doesn’t lose any sleep over that fact, but I figured between the being annoyed over a legitimate question and the slower than dead publication schedule, why should I bother?

  4. dougmeeks says:

    Most authors respond to me but as a reviewer I imagine some do it for more self preservation, I am not vindictive about such but they don’t know that. The author’s I have had the most interaction with and genuine conversations would be Ilona Andrews (that includes both of them) ,Diana Rowland, Diana Pharaoh Francis and Elizabeth Hunter. That is exclusive to the many indie authors I correspond with who are more actual acquaintances in many ways because we have very mundane chats about things like TV shows and such 🙂 Some of the big names never return your requests or they have a aide do it.

    • kaleigha says:

      You know, it is true that online presence has become part of the job description for many authors. I read somewhere that things like Facebook friends and Twitter-whatevers are actually looked at by publishing houses, and can go towards making or breaking a lesser author or series. And like you say, you never know how temperamental a reviewer can be…

  5. Pamela Patterson says:

    I have recently sent comments about adding as a friend on facebook and asking when their books will be available on amazon for the kindle and these three authors responded back same day and with lots of information for me. I am now there biggest fan they are Laurie Roma, Sara Humphreys, Laura Wright. They are wonderful authors to there fans.

    • kaleigha says:

      It does leave an impression when an author takes the 5 seconds to respond, and if you are like me you don’t forget it. It helps them in the long run, too, since they now have your loyalty. I do wish they all tried as hard, though.

  6. an says:

    There’s one author I left a message for on her blog, but she never responded. The author also doesn’t have any email address for readers to contact her. You can only contact her via FB (only useful for people who use it).

  7. Amber Hughes says:

    I’m on my third try (tried again 15 minutes ago) on Sherrilyn Kenyon’s FB page to find a hopefully very simple answer, but I’ve never gotten a response on the last two. I just want to know if the next book in her League Series (Born of Fury) was going to come out in a regular HC edition. All the links say “large print” edition. I don’t care if an assistant answers me, I just want to find out before I order the book. I haven’t tried the email thing yet though. We’ll see how this one goes. I know there’s probably hundreds of others writing questions/comments to her as well. I’m just frustrated…

    • kaleigha says:

      It is frustrating, since it is of benefit for her to answer. You are trying to find out how to buy her book, not looking for a freebie or anything. Good luck.

  8. Michele says:

    I have only written to 2 authors, both of them UF writers who had not updated their sites in a while. Jenna Maclaine (Cyn Craven series) had not updated her site because, unfortunately, she had lost her publisher support and was trying to decide if she should continue writing or not. She was very nice and excited a fan had written. Jes Battis (OSI Novels) responded the same day and he was also really nice. Both made me love their work more since they responded and did so I felt they appreciated that a fan had taken time to contact them.

    • kaleigha says:

      It does make you feel more connected to the author if they can take that little bit of time and answer back. It is a shame when authors do lose the opportunity to be published and have to look at alternate means. Must be quite a blow to the pride, too.

  9. Lizzielvr says:

    When I first started reading PNR a few years ago, I always wrote the author if I liked their book. Some responded, some not. Some of my favs are Carolyn Jewel and Jill Myles. They are really great about responding. I know there are others, but I can’t think of them now.

    I’ve given up on authors blogs, I don’t have the time now, so I rely on my fav bloggers (yes, that would be you K) to keep me informed!!

  10. Haylo says:

    I also tend to lean favorably towards author’s that have a website that lends itself towards ease of access and who interact fairly regularly. I’m not suggesting that an author spend all day every day replying to fans, but know that they see what their fans have to say and care to update their fans means something. I love Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh for this in particular. Both of them are a presence on their websites. Blogs are updated with enough regularity that the information is always recent. Both respond to at least some fan every day, even if not every fan’s response get’s answered. I think it shows something special when authors seem to appreciate the fans that buy their books.

    Authors who have no or in my opinion frustrating interactions with their fans and have somewhat turned me off are: Christine Feehan (I know she has a member’s only section, but you shouldn’t have to go through all of that), Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward and most definitely CL Wilson.

    • dougmeeks says:

      “author’s that have a website that lends itself towards ease of access ” – I HATE it when I go to an author’s website and I have to hunt around to find the reading order for a series (the main reason I visit them other than to get a release date). Most authors have clearly mapped sites but a few have no clue and list all their books on 1 page by release date, NOT what I am looking for ever.

      • kaleigha says:

        Heh, you should have been here when I was doing the series reading lists. Some were quite straight forward, but for many I had to search author blogs, amazon, Goodreads, author interviews, or all of them at the same time. The worst was trying to find out where to place the e-novellas – it amazed me how few authors had an entire, comprehensive reading list for their own series.

  11. Emma says:

    Sorry for the last response: I’ve found 2 of my favourite author’s very good in communicating with fans; Adrian Phoenix and Lauren Dane are both very active in fan communication.

    I hate it when I go to an authors website and their website is so out of date it has cobwebbs!

    • kaleigha says:

      My favorite is when you check under something like “upcoming events”…and they are for 2011. Uh, ok. I will be sure not to miss that one.

      On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:37 AM, Wicked Scribes

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