Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Authors and Social Media - Roger Morris

My series on social media, authors, and how I have been personally affected started with this post, Authors, Social Media, and a Confluence of Interests. I go into detail what I'm up to and recommend you start there.

In the first post I wrote that my participation in social media has affected what I read and how I read. I depend on social media sites to learn about books and authors and reading blogger reviews helps sharpen my analysis of what I read. I also noted how authors are using social media to promote their work and connect with readers.

British author Roger Morris is one of The Two Rogers (the other being Roger Smith) who inspired me to begin documenting social media and its effect on authors and readers.

I discovered Roger Morris through blogs. One of my favorite crime fiction blogs is Crime Scraps run by Uriah Robinson (his blog name). Uriah posted that Roger Morris was giving away copies of his new book, A Vengeful Longing. I followed the link to Roger's Plog and tossed my name in the hat for a copy. Roger was kind enough to send me one, autographed no less. He has taken Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and gave him his own historical, crime fiction, police procedural, series. A Gentle Axe, set in 1866 about one and a half years after Crime and Punishment, is the first book. The concept was intriguing and the author's style pleasing so nothing would do but to buy A Gentle Axe and start from the beginning. How long would it have taken me to find these books if I didn't follow crime fiction in the social media?

Roger is an author not afraid to explore the use of social media to promote his work. Currently he is experimenting on Twitter by serializing A Gentle Axe. He calls it twitterisation. Every hour Roger's followers get a sentence or fragment from the book. The experiment has had mixed reception but as a reader I find it a bit of fun having a sentence from the book appear amidst all the other tweets I receive. It is interesting to me how a single isolated sentence can arouse curiosity, pique interest, and even take on an identity of its own. Here is an example of what shows up in Twitter.
He was not one of those men who are afraid to confront the tears of women, or who shy from the pain of life.
about 7 hours ago from Twuffer

Twuffer is a web application that allows one to schedule tweets. With Twuffer, Roger doesn't have to stay up twenty four hours a day posting tweets.

In a comment on The Kill zone Blog, author Michelle Gagnon writes how a publisher expects you to develop a marketing strategy- much of which you'll be personally responsible for. It isn't surprising then that authors are turning to the various social media channels to promote their works. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a trend yet but Roger is one of the authors moving past the printed word and into multimedia by producing video trailers for his books. There is an imaginative trailer for A Vengeful Longing as well as Roger's Writer's Life series on YouTube. His blog and MySpace account have other videos (see links below).

Michelle also says how social networking can also become a tremendous time suck drawing valuable hours away from what writers should primarily focus on: their manuscripts so I am all the more appreciative when an author puts in the time to explore these avenues to promote their work.

Where you can find Roger:
Roger's Plog
My review of A Gentle Axe
My Review of A Vengeful Longing
Roger Morris on Facebook
Roger Morris on MySpace
Roger on YouTube
Roger Morris on Twitter
Roger Morris on Crimespace
Raskolnikov Twittering this isn't one of Roger's projects but it does relate somewhat to his books and is amusing.