OMG! My Favorite Author Went Radio Silent! by Marie Lavender

OMG! My Favorite Author Went Radio Silent!

by Marie Lavender

 

So, there’s this cool author you love. You enjoy his or her books, eagerly anticipate each new release, revel in their jokes, and even follow some social media channels. Maybe you receive monthly newsletters. Except one day, you realize there’s been a lack of communications for quite some time. You also haven’t gotten one of those lovely emails from Amazon, announcing any new books by that author.
           
In most cases, you won’t need to worry that something horrible has happened to the author, such as their house was ground zero for the zombie apocalypse. 

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In reality, there are many logical reasons that an author may go silent for a specific period of time. 

1.     Writing is harder than it looks.

Believe or not, for the writers who aren’t blessed with a knack of writing on a deadline, it still takes time to finish a book. Depending on its length, a published work may take months to a year, even a little longer to complete. It’s easy to judge when we just see the final product on the market. A lot more goes into the process too, such as research, character development, editing, formatting, and promotional endeavors. These projects are time-consuming. Plus, even if authors have deadlines, unforeseen events still happen, which are well beyond our control, and that can push back a book’s release date.

2.      Life gets in the way.

Authors are people too. They have families, and other obligations that have nothing to do with writing. There are ups and downs, just as we all have in life. Cars break down, or emergencies happen. 

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You know how infuriating it is when the heater or A/C stops working correctly at your house? Well, these everyday problems exist for writers too. Contrary to popular belief, we’re not superheroes and we don’t have magical powers. Deaths in the family – God forbid – occur as well. We’re all human, and we just have bad days. Or busy weeks. For example, around any holidays, you can always expect people to be more unavailable.

3.     You encountered a preference conflict.

Most authors have a set range of social media avenues that they use. Some only pick one or two. This usually has more to do with their comfort level rather than time constraints. Would you believe that some authors are under the impression that direct inbox messages on Twitter are filled with spam requests, so they avoid checking those notifications entirely? For myself, I can’t handle more on my plate than four main social media channels – Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. I am listed as an author on a lot of sites, and I host three blogs, but adding Pinterest, Instagram or whatever platform is popular at the moment is just something my limited attention span can’t take on right now. LOL. 

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Just keep in mind that your favorite author likely didn’t drop off the planet, but is rather touching base with their followers in other locations. It’s easy to gauge an author’s preference by checking the timestamp of posts in each channel and comparing how often they post over time. Also, allow for technical glitches. Maybe their website is in the midst of being redesigned. Last year, I had to pay for more storage with my email host, because I wasn’t receiving everything. Since then, I haven’t missed any communications. And if all else fails, subscribing to the author’s newsletter might be the best solution, thereby ensuring you’ll stay updated on new book releases or writing projects. Which brings me to the next possibility…

4.     Book release preparations are chaotic.  

Unless an author has a publicist or has hired a promoter for it, he or she may spend a lot of time setting up all the details pertaining to a book’s release. Whether the author is indie versus traditionally published is also a factor. Plus, if a publisher is too small to be directly involved in book promotion, the author may end up doing it all on his or her own, almost like they’re publishing the book themselves. There are many details that go into a book’s release – setting up a release date, organizing a release party or book signing event, submitting ARCs (advanced reader copies) to official reviewers (or at least review requests), emailing materials to bloggers or site managers to promote the release, and building a book trailer or paying someone to do it. 

That doesn’t even include the editor or formatter that were hired to polish and finalize the book. Then there’s uploading and submitting the book to distributors. Will the author or publisher offer pre-order or a limited time discount? There are numerous decisions and tasks involved in the process, and I’ve only named a handful.

5.     Most authors these days are juggling a side job (sometimes full-time) to make ends meet.

The publishing industry has changed considerably over the past ten or fifteen years. No longer can an author have the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality. Writing books is only a small portion of the whole. Sometimes a writer is a blogger as well, or maybe they work in another professional industry besides publishing. Half of them choose other professions on top of writing; that makes them very busy people. 

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Plus, some writers are parents, so after work they have various responsibilities. Writing, as well as all the book release details – even checking social media notifications – gets pushed into more manageable times, such as before they go to bed, or even well into the wee hours of the night when the rest of the family is asleep. This is another reason why it takes time to write a book. 

If you follow your favorite author diligently, you may have noticed him or her talking in an interview about how they would like to write full-time. That usually means their plate is pretty full with a million other things, whether they have a family to take care of, or a full-time job in the real world. Even bestselling authors struggle to keep that work-life balance.

6.     Decompression is a thing, I promise.

Authors can get encumbered by what’s going on, feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Some more than others, depending on how well they handle life’s stressors. Maybe your favorite author informed the world that he or she is going on vacation for a while. Remember, they don’t have to say anything about it (after all, it’s their private life), but certain ones who don’t want to keep you in the dark might tell their readers anyway. 

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Just like everyone else, an author needs to recharge, to take a break every now and then. Life just got too crazy. Or organizing the book release – however much they loved touching base with readers and meeting new people – was stressful. Whatever the reason, writers are human beings too. Clearing their proverbial heads is paramount to getting a fresh perspective. And that break will really help the author when he or she decides to sit down and start writing another book. Some even write or read other books while on vacation. 

So, relax. This much needed hiatus is just what the doctor ordered, and as a reader, you’ll reap all the benefits in the long run.

7.     Try to be kind.

Shocker! You may not believe me, but there are actually individuals out there who will go so far as to leave tons of negative reviews, spread the word all over social media about how terrible the author is, and much more, simply because that person decided not to wait for an author’s next book. Believe me, I've seen the fallout from such reader behavior with other authors.

JUST DON’T GO THERE. 

What will it really gain you to be so petty? Sure, there is a certain give and take in an author-reader relationship, but you shouldn’t write the author off just because they got silent. And whatever you do, don’t become a crazy stalker. Even at the cost of losing a sale, nothing will get you blocked faster than nasty emails or rude social media messages, especially if you send offensive pictures. Just be nice.

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So…are you still upset that your number one author in the world went AWOL? You shouldn’t be. It could be for any number of reasons, all of them very personal to the writer. In any case, just give it some more time with that email or Facebook message before you decide the author has disappeared from the world for good. The bottom line here is that people get busy. And for many authors these days, they don’t have a whole team of individuals constantly handling the finer details. They’re likely doing everything on their own, and are swamped with hundreds of notifications and emails. No joke. 

Just breathe. Take care of your kids, get some chores at home done, tackle items on that DIY list you’ve been meaning to finish, or go shopping with your best girls (or instead have a beer with your buddies…whatever is your favorite thing to do). Enjoy your life! Before you know it, you’ll see a new post on social media, or receive a newsletter in your email. And perhaps you’ll hear from your friends about a great book coming out! :)

Authors are people too, and the numerous details of life sometimes slow everything down. That doesn’t mean you should panic and give up on them as a reader. Hey, I get it. I do. Besides being an author, I have authors that I follow as well, and it’s great to see the occasional post on social media about an upcoming book. But the world really isn’t going to end if the next release takes a while to come out. Life will still go on, regardless of how we behave. 

Give your favorite author a chance to balance everything in this crazy world, both personally and professionally. You won’t regret being patient. ;)
 

Blogger Bio

 

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title - winner of the "Broken Heart" themed contest and the "I Love You" themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers' Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. She is working on fully revising and re-releasing all the works from her backlist. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

 

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