Discussion: Author-Reader Interaction


Recently, I picked up Paper Towns by John Green – a book and an author that are very hyped. Everyone loves his books and his YouTube endeavors, such as the Vlog Brothers. I, on the other hand, was not a huge fan of The Fault in Our Stars and had DNFed his other two books. But I still loved John Green and everything he had out there on YouTube. I finally get to Paper Towns, mostly because of the trailer. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the book. It was great and made me reconsider my previous DNFs. But there was just one problem with it…

Because I watched his videos, I already knew some of the big twists – more specifically, what a Paper Town was.

It didn’t ruin my reading, but it did damper it a little bit. And this was not the first time an author interaction made me less excited about the book overall. For example, I went to an author signing for Marissa Meyer for the book, Fairest. And she talked a little bit about what would happen in the book, gave a longer and more detailed summary, and answered questions about it. And after leaving the event, I was less excited to read it. I still was a fan of the series, but it wasn’t as big of a deal as it was before the event. I still haven’t read Fairest. 

I think that too much author interaction can either really hype up a book, or change the entire feeling towards it in the opposite manner.

Talking to authors on Twitter is a great way to get questions answered, show support, and know whenever your favorite authors have a new book out. But sometimes, it can be a little bit too much. Personally, I still like some of the mystery to be there when I start the book. I very rarely read summaries, and when I do, I try to push them out of my mind as much as possible. I want the book to fully take me away with its words and the story and the characters – not the influence of the author.

I love talking to authors on social media, but sometimes, it can get a bit much.

Especially being so close to an author’s actions, Twitter can showcase the best and worse of author interactions. Recently, I have decided not to read many books because of an author’s behavior. I think there is a fine line between author-reader interaction. Of course, it should be kept to a professional basis, although I do like seeing posts about what an author is doing. But when it starts infringing on my reading experience, that’s when I have more of a problem with the side effects of Twitter.

What have some of your author-reader interactions been like? Have you ever experienced this type of un-hyping from too much interactions?



5 thoughts on “Discussion: Author-Reader Interaction

  1. I’ve never felt anything close to this, to be honest. I kind of understand where you’re coming from but most authors [or at least the ones that I know] would keep things under wraps or would give small comments to break the internet. However, for John Green, I get that. If you’re filming a video and a book you’ve written is about to come out soon, what are the odds that something will be said as a spoiler of sorts?

    Since I don’t go to signings, there aren’t many opportunities for this kind of this. However, I don’t really think that this would be called “author-reader interaction” because that term is SO WIDE. I’ll admit, I thought you were talking about authors using social media to talk to their fans and fellow bloggers when I read the post title

    • Thanks! I thought finding a term for this was pretty hard as well, but it does deal a little bit with how much authors say on social media. I think my main point was that sometimes, the hype from authors can be too much.

  2. What an interesting idea! I’ve never really thought about it, but I can see how knowing more about a book before you read it could affect your opinion. Things that should be surprises are not and they make the read less exciting. (What’s funny is I’m totally opposite with John Green books. Hated Paper Towns, but I liked TFiOS and Looking for Alaska–LfA better than TFiOS, though.) Before reading a book, I almost always read the synopsis, just so I’m not starting blind. They don’t give away too much generally, and I know what to expect. I like not to know any more though.

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read | Neon Yeti Reads

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