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Books as a social medium

Social media expert Chris Grogan makes a great point about books and their authors in the era of social networking:

Fans are no longer silent onlookers in the experience of books (or art of any kind). They are participants.

[…]

[A] book is a media where readers and sometimes authors congregate– CONGREGATE –it means that authors get the opportunity to build relationships in a whole new way with readers. It means that the stories don’t have to stay linear, that the ideas don’t have to stay on one side of the page, that the experiences don’t have to end at the edge of the page.

[…]

[The] opportunity to empower your audience to actually be a community is a huge one, and shouldn’t be shrugged off without consideration.

I’m an avid reader of books—not e-readers or Kindles, but books.  But Grogan’s post makes sense.  Lately with books that I’ve read I find myself searching Twitter or Facebook to see if the author is in the larger conversation–whether it’s to complain or to commend.  This type of familiarity with writers was unheard of a few years ago.

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