Friday, June 17, 2011

To Chat or Not to Chat

I’ve participated in several author chats. These chats are sponsored by different publishers or blog sites, and always seem to have a few dozen authors all swapping messages and posting excerpts from their impressive list of published books.

I enjoy conversing with other authors, but I must confess I’m convinced that these chats are a colossal waste of time. I say this because it seemed to me that:

1. Only authors seem to take part. What we are all searching for is new readers, and I’m not convinced that readers would bother to wade through several hundred messages reading the hundreds of excerpts simply to get suggestion of what to read next.

2. There are always dozens of authors all posting excerpts on all their books. There are literally hundreds of excerpts to choose from. I’m convinced that even if there are readers out there looking over all these messages, they must be so overwhelmed that the chance of them finding and liking my two or three entries are slim to none.

So even though I enjoy chatting with my fellow writers, I seldom participate in these chats. I feel my time is better spent on Twitter or FB or writing a blog article.

I would love to hear from other writers who have a different point of view. If these chats are indeed valuable, then I will make time for them. Help any one?


Erastes said...

I'm afraidI am of your opinion, Alan, when there's a general chat, it's mainly authors and all posting excerpts which no one reads.

And invariably, when I participate in a single author chat or a group gay historical chat, we have no visitors at all.

I did one last week, and there was only one visitor, one entry to my competition. If you can't give stuff away, which I can't it seems, it is a waste of time and effort. However, some will disagree - I think Charlie Cochrane has noted that her sales go up after a chat, but mine certainly don't.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

I now look in on them about once a week where before it was a daily event. Rarely is there anything of interest it's just Read My Book...Please! In the end you begin to ignore even the good books with a yawn. I have no idea how we got into this mess or how we can get out of it. We must have reached the end of Literature... Have we?

Gregory G. Allen said...

I tend to chat in non author forums - as you mentioned, just places to meet other 'people' not necessarily writers. From there I've met people who have become fans of my writing when going back to my website.