Thursday, August 16, 2012

Insert Generic Promo Title Here

by Allison Pang

This is a rather timely topic, all things considered. See, last week I was on a panel about Reader Responsibility. In truth, it was supposed to be about the responsibility of readers to authors...but since that seems pretentious as hell and we had no moderator, we changed it up to talk about what an author's responsibility is to their readers.

Much of that conversation was discussing things like accessibility. I felt a tad...underdressed with my own efforts comparatively speaking. Yes, I'm pretty much online at all hours of the day via one form of social networking or another. Yes I blog. Yes I do giveaways and attend cons and make up swag...but some days I wonder if that's just the bare minimum.

Several of the other authors on that panel rattled off about their podcasts, their newsletters, bookstore or library readings, street teams, workshops, etc.

None of which I really do. I felt a bit lame, but I also can't say that I felt a great urge to rush out and start podcasting. For one thing, I just don't have any more time. For another, I'm not fond of cameras or voice recordings - it's just not my thing. Probably the same reason I haven't done any local bookstore signings. The introvert in me just...can't.

At least not alone.

(That's that nightmare of "what if I show up...and no one else does?" I suppose I'll have to get over that at some point.)

But online? There's a wall that allows me at least some semblance of bravery. Sort of like wearing a costume with a mask. I feel like I can be more of myself without worrying if I've got something in between my teeth.

That being said, I did want to point out a tool that I think may be the wave of the future --> Shindig. I got the chance to try it out last night (my agency hosted one for their clients). I dug it, because unlike having to record a video of me saying something and being all self-conscious about it, Shindig allows you to log into "rooms". Everyone has a camera and speakers/mic...and you can either type or chat with each other directly, in groups or in private. Yes, there would be a moderator/main speaker who can answer questions and the like, but that doesn't stop users from creating little rooms for themselves...or for the moderator to go and visit these rooms for a little one on one.

And it's transparent. Everyone can see who is chatting with who.

This appeals to me - regardless of what I just said about cameras and recordings. But that's because this is less of "me standing on a stage with spotlights on" and much more going to a cocktail party or informal get together (like the gatherings at the con). I'm much better at chatting with people when I can see their faces...and far more comfortable sitting in my office in my PJs.  Plus you can connect with people all over the world, which I find particularly appealing.

So I'm definitely going to look into hosting some sort of informal author chat/reading at some point when A Trace of Moonlight comes out (complete with requisite giveaways and all that).

Hope to see you there!


  1. Interesting! I hadn't heard of Shindig before. Let us know when you plan the TRACE chat!!! :)

  2. Shindig sounds very cool - it would be fun to host a Word Whores event!

    1. And we totally could. It's in beta right now, so it's free. :D

  3. I haven't had much luck with author chats cause they move to freaking fast! by the time I read something and type a comment the group as moved on to something else I have never watched an author's podcast either...I did have an author do a video interview. I sent him the questions (you know him James, Stephen Zimmerman) and he answered them on video for me to post.
    It would be cool to have one for everyone here

  4. Shindig does sound cool. I would be game if I can figure it out.

    I think your promo should be just what you enjoy. It read more authentic that way and in the end, if you ain't you then you ain't anybody.

    I always invite other authors along to my gigs. It makes things a LOT easier.