How to Keep Track of Your Favourite Authors
Authors are not predictable creatures.
Often, we release books on a schedule that makes no sense unless you're lodged inside our heads, meaning readers could easily miss out on new books from their favourite authors or grabbing the next book in an enjoyable series.
My go-to way for keeping up with authors in the past was via Twitter. However, having taken the personal choice to move away from the platform, I've been struck by how many readers might be struggling to connect with their favourite authors and keep up to date with what's going on.
With that in mind, here are five ways to find out what authors are up to.
If an author has an active newsletter then it can be a great way to keep track of their projects, as well as finding out a bit more about them.
Author approaches to newsletters vary, with some sending them out regularly and others just when they have something new out.
I go for the first option. Readers get a weekly newsletter from me that notifies them of new releases or discounts, offers occasional shorts and extra stories, plus it gives them an insight into my writing process and some of the irreverent things that flash through my mind.
The best thing about an author newsletter? If you're not getting anything valuable from it, you can just unsubscribe!
While BookBub is known as one of the best places to find discounted book deals, it's also a place to follow authors in a non-stalker kind of way. Many authors have added their books to the site, whether they use it extensively or not, so it provides another way to keep in touch.
Once you follow an author on BookBub, you'll get a few things:
Notified when they release a new book
Notified if any of their books are in current BookBub deals
See their other published books on their profile
Find out which books they recommend and which authors they follow
I'll admit, at this point in time I haven't made as much of my BookBub profile as I should have, yet it's on my to-do list (after that pesky writing and editing thing). Some authors are really good at using it, though, and it's an easy win if you're looking to keep up with multiple authors in one place.
Many authors and readers agree that Goodreads could be much better than it is. As a place to keep track of books and authors, it has an important use, but it hasn't aged well and the owner (Amazon) don't seem inclined to invest in it.
Goodreads still offers some useful features for readers, however, such as the ability to ask authors questions (seriously, ask me a question over there!).
Once again, my Goodreads profile is sparse but plenty of authors have a much better presence than me.
I know there are alternatives for readers in terms of keeping track of their reading life, but I'm not sure any of them cater to the author/reader relationship in the same way.
Authors who publish on Amazon will have an author page that readers can follow. This will provide alerts when the author releases something new or has something on special offer, plus it will improve the recommendation algorithm.
Amazon isn't for everyone and I know many readers who prefer not to engage with the platform to this extent. That's fine - it's just an option to be aware of.
Social media still has the potential to connect readers with authors. I just don't think it can be relied on 100% in the current climate.
Authors are active on a variety of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok, plus thanks to the Twitter exodus, Mastodon is also taking off as a mainstream social network.
The way these work and their strengths are often quite different, but they do offer a way for readers to keep track of what their favourite authors are up to.
Part of the problem, though, is that some social networks will suppress the reach of normal (unpaid) posts in favour of paid advertising. This means authors might have to pay to reach even the people who have already "liked" their Facebook page instead of that content simply showing up in their followers' feeds as it did a few years ago.
So, as far as keeping up with what authors are doing, social media can be hit and miss. Just because you follow someone, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to see their posts.
I'm personally trying to stick to social networks that I enjoy posting on and I'm using each platform differently. Whereas in the past most of my stuff would end up on Twitter, I'm now posting images to Instagram, videos to TikTok and I'm also using Pinterest to post links to my blogs and share the inspirations for my projects.
Experiences may vary, but that's what is currently working for me.
Authors are found all over the place if you just prod around a little.
The thing to remember is that authors want to connect with readers and we'll generally try and make it straightforward to find us.
At the end of the day, you want to read and we want you to read - that's why this reader/author relationship works so well!