Authors as a Reading Challenge
It is a very exciting time to be a reader, don't you think? I'd say that it's because of the ease with which my contemporaries and I can acquire copies of virtually any book we'd like to read. But for many others, the real draw is how accessible authors are these days. And that leads to questions about author-blogger relations. I don't think you'd find too many bloggers who'd care for some advice from 1860 . . .
I wonder what the authors would say to this. Would they feel relieved . . . or stifled? Maybe a bit of both: relieved in offline company but stifled on the Internet? A lot of authors have to reach out to readers these days, whether because their contracts demand it or because it's the only way to get the word out on their self-published books. I do get why it's necessary, but sometimes I find it intrusive . . . or even hucksterish.
When thrown into the society of literary people, do not question them about their works. To speak in terms of admiration of any work to the author is in bad taste; but you may give pleasure, if, by a quotation from their writings, or a happy reference to them, you prove that you have read and appreciated them.
-- The Gentlemen's Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness
by Cecil B. Hartley
A few years ago, I won a self-published book in an author-sponsored giveaway and decided to feature it in one of my posts. After I did, the author showed up (without my having extended any sort of invitation) to thank me for helping her to promote her book. It was very courteous of her, and I could tell that she really appreciated my positive feedback on her writing, but I was quite put out. I had reviewed the book for my blog, not for her sales--and I didn't like the subtext in her comment that I had become a fly in her marketing web.