By Richard Jay Parker
Read an article this week about an ebook q&a facility being road tested. It basically allows the reader to address questions to the author while reading their work.
It's another example of how the relationship between readers and writers is being changed by technology. Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are prime examples. Obviously the bigger name the author the less likely it is that they will have the time for regular dialogues with their readers. International bestselling authors usually operate under enormous pressure. There's constant demand for their presence on book tours, at signings, for interviews etc not to mention the limited time they have to deliver another book that will have to tick all the boxes for their readers.
I think this new device will allow a writer to connect with readers on a wider scale. It also offers an opportunity to do so without being tied to a particular timetable. The author can respond when convenient rather than having to speak about their work when they'd rather be immersed in it.
Meeting readers face to face should always be part of every writer's life. They are, after all, the very people who allow the author to earn a living from their imagination. I've spoken to authors who say they have started to feel out of touch with their readers because of deadlines and other promotional commitments. It's good to see that as technology offers ways for writers to make their work more instantaneously available it's also offering imaginative solutions for maintaining this increasingly vital connection.
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