On writing

What you write on the internet defines you as a writer

I recently read Daniel Abraham’s A private letter from genre to literature over at SF Signal.  I enjoyed the article, and the comments with–I love it when the commenters comment in the spirit of the writing.

I hadn’t read any books by Daniel Abraham before.  But based on that one article I’m definitely going to.

One thing writers are told is is in order to be a writer they must have an online presence. And most of them do. They have a website, and a Facebook account, and maybe a Twitter account.

But there are other places online where people see your work.

One place is guest posts on other blogs, like Abraham’s.

Another place is the forums.

I get a lot of my ‘to read’ authors from comments they post in reply to other works.  I’m a member of (not very active) some of the GoodReads groups, for example.  GoodReads has a surprising number of authors in their lists.  Or maybe that’s not surprising, given that authors are also readers.  I’ve picked up a lot of new authors from there, mostly because I like the comments they make in the group.

Another place was the old Harper Collins Voyager Online site. It gets very little traffic nowadays, but before I arrived there I didn’t realise many Australian (and New Zealand) authors actually wrote fantasy. I’d pick through the comments in the forums–most of whom were authors, and a goodly proportion of them published–and choose the ones I liked based on the comments they made.

Of course, you can hide yourself under a different name and never the twain — the author and the commentor — shall meet, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. These comments are another another way for you to get your name out there.

If people know you are a writer and like your comments, they will look you up.

I do.


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