For reasons I won’t go into, I do not have a personal Facebook page.  Nor will I join LinkedIn or any other social network or media. I have so far been able to respond to all emails, as well as any inquiries posted on the “Questions for the Author” section of the site — provided, of course, that a valid email address is provided.  I cannot and will not respond through Facebook or social media, however, and, since I’ve recently received some messages which can only be replied to by Facebook, I thought I should make this clear.

11 thoughts on “Messages/Facebook”

  1. Nordom says:

    I salute you, sir.

  2. R. Hamilton says:

    I believe anyone with Facebook can have a Facebook-provided email address too, if they wish – that you could reply to by conventional email.

    It is of course up to them to investigate how to obtain one and access it.

    No idea whether that might encourage your replies ending up on people’s Facebook pages (thus perhaps resulting in future pressure to interact there).

  3. Jim S says:

    I remember when it was novel to be able to actually communicate with an author whose writing you liked. Harlan Ellison, among several other authors, has shared in a variety of places horror stories regarding expectations fans have of writers. (“Can I have one of each of your books, signed, free” being one of the less obnoxious and intrusive… as frightening as that might be…)

    I figure that it’s pretty much a privilege that you interact here. But your life is your own; I have no right or reason to expect you to share more of it than you wish to — any more than you have the right to expect that of me.

  4. For established authors with established fan bases, I think there’s absolutely no need to use either Facebook or Google+ because your readership will already seek you out on your own terms, and your friends, editors, associates, etc, already know the best ways to contact you. Whether it’s e-mail or paper mail.

    For up-and-coming authors, I think it’s different. Facebook can be time-consuming, but it’s the number one way for me to keep in touch with my tiny-but-growing fan base. It has also been useful for professional reasons, as a number of overseas short fiction editors find me there initially, and it can be a conduit for professional communication between other writers, either established or emerging.

    My #1 mistake is in letting myself get sucked so far into the various conversation(s) that it becomes a chronic time-waster. That, and Facebook is something of a political toilet during election season. Everyone and his or her dog seems intent on spewing political vitriol into the universe via Facebook right now. Something I’m actually working harder all the time to avoid, though there are moments when I simply can’t keep my trap shut.

  5. Mayhem says:

    AS Brad says, there is little need for Facebook for an author to communicate with their fanbase. With their friends now, it could be useful. For their fans .. a blog is one of the best mediums I am aware of.

    For example John Scalzi & Charles Stross both have very healthy communities forged around their blogs. You have another, if differently focussed.

    For a new author, the best approach is probably the various author hangouts, like Baen’s Bar or the Tor website where you can get known before stepping out on your own.

    The key is always publicity, but a new author is likely to be drowned in the minutiae of a person’s facebook feed where a portal site like or a regularly updated personal blog is much more effective at reaching the kind of person likely to try your books.

    At least, in my view anyway. But then I often care about an author’s message, so am automatically an outlier 🙂

  6. Tim says:

    I now also have no Facebook account and after some struggle finally killed my LinkedIn account as I was fed being contacted by people I did not want to interact with.

    But I am not a successful author.

    Your blog is controversial and thought-provoking but the typical responses number the10s or less. If you used Twitter or Facebook, you would be overwhelmed by the fringe crowd.

    So I suspect wisdom is part of the reason.

  7. I’ll stick with the thoughtful crowd, thank you. The others don’t much care for what I write in any case.

  8. sid dembowski says:

    Just finished solar express very very disappointed. On a par with empress of eternity. To be read once and discarded unlike the many other books of yours that I have read many times.

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t like it, but many others have.

  9. Toperz says:

    I think you may underwstimated the Facebook. It can be used as a personal communication/invigilation tool, but there is also another usage for this platform.

    You can connect with your fans through it, share your latest thoughts, photos in a similar way to the blog or page where we are now. But the power of it lies in numbers of people who use it.

    While this page is dedicated to your readers and fans, FB gives you a pool of other people who might get to know you because of other FB users. Social media gives a really powerful engine for advertising and sharing information.

    It could give you an additional pool of fresh readers.

  10. Sean C. says:

    Please, please tell us what happened to Slowpoke!

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