Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Authors and social Media - Michelle Gagnon

This part three of my series where I relate my encounters with authors in social media communities.

Part One, Authors, Social Media and a Confluence of Interests
Part Two, Authors and Social Media - Roger Morris

Michelle Gagnon is forthright about her involvement with social media in a self-depracating, humorous way. Her blog's contact page includes this
Michelle's self-worth is inextricably tied to the number of friends she has on social networking sites. Humor her with an "add" at:
But I didn't encounter Michelle through her web site or any of the sites listed above. I found out about her books in the virtual reality world of Second Life. She sent me an in-world instant message inviting me to an interview at the Athena Isle Writers. I think she found me because I manage Mystery Manor on Info Island. I couldn't make the interview but I went to the location and found a poster for her book, Bone Yard. The Athena Isle folks subsequently posted a transcript on their blog, Athena Isle Writers. Michelle posted about her experience here, My Second Life.

I followed up from Second Life with reviews on Amazon, looked at her web site, and bought her book at Barnes and Noble. Second Life isn't a web-based social media site but I have a broad definition of social media and count this as a successful referral.

Second Life has real possibilities for authors to promote their work. There are many book related sites within Second Life and discussions attract a world-wide audience. It is a bit cumbersome since most discussions are still conducted by texting but there is a strong visual appeal in Second Life with the author as a virtual presence. And there is the potential for a world-wide, real-time audience. The downside is that there is the ever present danger of technical difficulties such as excessive lag when things get very slow and griefers who like to disrupt activities.

She contributes to an author's blog,The Kill Zone on Thursdays. There she recently posted about social media from the author's viewpoint, Social Networking Showdown. She took a useful approach and contrasted similar sites: Facebook vs. Myspace and Shelfari vs. GoodReads. Social Networking Showdown is a good example of how a blog post can become a conversation. As of this moment, there are 30 comments adding to Michelle's original post. If you read this blog post - and I recommend it highly - don't neglect the comments.

Like the two authors I profiled previously, Roger Smith and Roger Morris, Michelle has also used video trailers to promote her book. The trailer for Boneyard appears on her web site as well as YouTube where currently it has 1,785 views. I like book trailers but I can't say that they sell me on a book. For me they add another dimension to the author, round them out in my mind.

Michelle is another author whose use of social media has put her on my "look for" list.

Here are links to her social media identities:
Michelle's web site
My review of Boneyard
Red Room (a writer's forum)
Gather (like FaceBook)