What if you could ask an author a question while reading their book?

Every so often while reading a book I come across a part of it that I want to know more about. Sometimes, I want to know where the author got their inspiration. Sometimes, I just don’t understand what is going on. I know I am not alone in this. So what if we could stop right there on that page and ask the author our questions?

It seems now we can with Amazon’s new @author feature which links the kindle with twitter. Amazon announced their new feature a month ago. The feature is still in limited beta release and only has a few authors such as John Locke and James Rollins testing it out (both of which are quite accessible through twitter or facebook anyway). I am sure in the future many other authors will be joining in. I think this would be particular appealing for indie publishers.

Social networking linking in with your published e-book works, what do you think? What implications does this have for paper books?



About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three who doesn’t really know what she wants to be when she grows up.
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7 Responses to What if you could ask an author a question while reading their book?

  1. Part of me wants to like it, but the greater part of me just thinks, UGH! more technology invading literature, and turning it into something else. Because of course, we could always just tweet an author who’s willing to make theirselves available like this anyway. So why make it part of the book?
    Plus, I think a book should be able to stand alone. If it can’t, is it even ready to be published?
    I recently reread The Road, and I had a few insights and questions come up. But I think wondering about them was part of what Cormac McCarthy WANTED me to do.
    I’ve also heard that e-readers may soon have pictures and sound with them. Hey…isn’t that what we call a movie? Do I really want some other person’s idea of what a character looks and sounds like coming between me and the book?
    Maybe I’m just old fashioned…but I’d like my books to stay, well…just books.
    Timely topic, Billie Jo.

    • I know exactly what you mean. When I heard about e-books having sounds at first I thought it was a cool idea but then I started thinking perhaps it would take away some of the imagination that I use when I read those books. The thought of videos in e-books appeals to me even less. I agree, it will just make them more like a film with subtitles.

  2. tamarapaulin says:

    That’s pretty cool! But my questions are mostly of the smartass variety, so I probably wouldn’t use this function. Ha ha ha. 🙂

    • I think it is amazing that technology has come that far. The only problem is, I would want to ask someone like Shakespeare so many things and last I checked he wasn’t on twitter.

  3. Jo Eberhardt says:

    I think it’s a terrible idea, quite frankly. If only because, can you imagine how many questions Stephen King would get on a daily basis? If he answered them all, when would he have time to write his next book? If he didn’t answer them, how would that affect the way people felt about him? No. Win. Situation.

    • I was also thinking about all those writers who publish traditionally to paper books and then the publisher also happens to do e-books for them. They themselves may have never navigated social media before. It could give them a bad reputation because they don’t participate.

      It also says other readers can answer the questions and join in the discussions too. Isn’t that more like an on-line book club?

  4. Janece says:

    Billie Jo, thank you for the sweet comment this morning. It’s so warming to MY heart to have someone leave such a remark 🙂

    I have mixed feelings about the whole issue of books and authors and technology. On the one hand, through Facebook, I’ve been able to have fantastic dialogue with Oriah Mountain Dreamer…she’s one of my favorite non-fiction writers. On the other hand, I’m in love with real books and have been for almost 50 years. I even look for old/vintage books when I’m treasuring hunting in second hand stores. The idea of reading an entire book off a Kindle or a computer screen doesn’t appeal to me, unless I’m chained at my desk and need something to do! LOL The look of books, the feel of them – the smell! Gosh, even the way my books are arranged in my library is pleasing to me. Not something you can do with an EBook.

    Part of my reading experience is the fantasy. I don’t want or need someone else to interject their sounds and visuals. I want the ones my own mind creates, as I read the authors words.

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