Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Much Is Too Much?

You'll want to swing by more often than normal for the next week or two. I'll be announcing a contest in the next day or two and after that there will be cover reveals for the next Alec and Adri book (Forsaken) and the third Guadel Chronicles book (Brittle Bonds).

In the meantime, I have another topic that has been rattling around in my head for a few weeks now. One of the challenges that comes along with social media is exactly how much familiarity a given individual should incorporate into their ‘professional’ persona. I've debated this a little and it seems like it’s probably past time for me to formalize what I've been doing so that you all have an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish.

One possible route would be to do like David A. Wells has done and have no interaction with his fan base (at least not that I can see). He has a webpage and occasionally adds an update post, but I couldn't find anywhere that he had an e-mail address and I haven’t seen him respond to fans on the Amazon forums yet.

Another route would be to just throw everything about me up where you could all see it. Some celebrities seem to get a lot of mileage out of that approach, but I think it requires a personality type that I don’t have. Plus I’d rather you just buy my books because that’s what you like to read, not because I've created some kind of personality cult (even assuming I could pull that off, which is very doubtful).

In between those two extremes is an almost infinite continuum. Obviously I’m not interested in the flamboyant cram-me-and-my-opinions-down-your-throat approach, but I’m also finding that I legitimately enjoy interacting with my readers to the extent that time permits. I like responding to the occasional e-mail and getting your take on a given book. As more and more of you arrive, there may come a time when I have to take a more David A. Wells approach, but for now this is my general plan:

My mailing list e-mails will just be straightforward communications to let you all know that something I've written is now available for purchase, either because it’s a new release or because I've managed to get it out in a new format. I won’t tell you when I found a new series I like, I won’t go on and on about my writing process or anything else that you might not want to hear about, but you’ll always be the first to know when I've got a new book up for you to go take a look at.

My blog will be a bit more familiar and you’ll get a bit more of ‘Dean’ in it. I’ll stay away from religion and politics, but you’ll probably get semi-regular updates about how things are going with my latest work in progress; and when I find a new epic fantasy, urban fantasy, or YA paranormal romance series that really blows me away, I’ll probably let you all know. You’ll always find out when something new goes lives, but generally a few days behind the mailing list, mostly because I tend to batch blog information so there isn’t a new post every couple of days.

Twitter will tend to be a bit more random. You’ll get the occasional ‘Holy cow I just added x,xxx words to xyz manuscript type posts and a bit more interaction with some of you readers that choose to drop me a tweet from time to time.

I hope that helps a little and gives you all a chance to ‘self-select’ what kind of information you get from me.

If there is something you would like to see added to the blog please let me know in the comments to this post. Some of you have e-mailed asking more about my writing process and I've answered those as one-offs, but if a lot of you are curious about something, I’m happy to try and work in a blog post about it, it just make take a while for me to get to it (Sorry Louise).

I've considered trying to add some forums in here (possibly on a new site entirely), but I’m not sure if anyone would be interested in them, and right now I don’t have time to take on another side project. Let me know what you think :)


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