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Archived Author Help > What do the fans need to know?

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message 1: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments To make a long story short, my personal life went absolutely haywire and I stopped talking to everyone, friends, fans, readers, etc. for about five months. I've gotten a lot of emails asking why I haven't been updating, where my book is, etc.

I posted something vague on my website about what happened (personal loss), as I don't want to go into huge detail, but should I? Do the readers have a right to the details, and do I risk alienating them if I don't share?

Any thoughts?

message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments Readers don't have a right to anything.

Tell your story or move along. These are not the droids you're looking for...

I'd make up an amnesia, Rick Castle, excuse/story. Make them wonder if that is what your next book is about.

message 3: by Angel (new)

Angel | 216 comments I agree with Martin. You can tell as little about your reason or nothing at all. It's your business not the readers. You don't have to give an explanation. You don't have to rush into anything. Give yourself all the personal time you need.

message 4: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) First of all, welcome back and I'm sorry to hear that your absence was because of loss.
Second of all, no, no one has to know anything you don't want to tell them.

message 5: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I agree with all of the above. You don't have to share anything with your readers. And if you want to, you can share as much or as little as you want. In the end, it's your choice.

message 6: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Marten | 54 comments I agree with all.....

We live in a world of social media, we should treasure and protect our private lives. Share if you like, don't share if it doesn't feel right.

I'm really sorry for your loss. I hope your five months cocoon was all about your grieving process and healing.


message 7: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Thanks so much, everyone. I'm good with my decision now.

message 8: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Personal loss seems to have been a theme around here this winter. Several of us have endured one. I'm sorry to hear about yours.

Nope, you can tell them everything, or nothing, or anything in between, or whatever you want. Just try not to alienate anyone in the process. :)

message 9: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4271 comments Mod
Jenycka wrote: "Do the readers have a right to the details, and do I risk alienating them if I don't share?"

Welcome back.

Like it seems everyone is saying, your readers do not have the right to know anything about your personal life. That's a privilege and only you get to decide how much or little you're going to share. You gave them a vague story. That should suffice.

message 10: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) Tell them what you want to tell them, and what you're comfortable with. If they're friends and fans, they'll care, but they don't need all the details. You may find the influx of support helps motivate you, and strengthens your relationship with your friends and fanbase. But it's all a matter of personal choice; there isn't really a right or wrong answer in general.

message 11: by Kat (last edited Mar 07, 2016 12:32AM) (new)

Kat No, they don't have a right to know anything you don't want to share.

Look at J.V. Jones. Her loyal readers (i.e. me) have started wondering whether she died 5 years ago, and still no update on anywhere. Sure, I'd like to know what's happening and whether book 5 will ever be finished - but I don't think I have a right to know. If she has other things to do instead, then that's it - no book 5 yet. Period.

I don't like her less because of it. She and you have your reasons.

message 12: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Hi Jenycka,

Nice to see you back and very sorry for what you've been going through. I agree you have no obligation to tell your readers anything.

Best wishes!

message 13: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Mar 07, 2016 08:24AM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments HI Jenycka,
Sorry to hear that you have been having a difficult time.

I would echo that, as everyone here is saying, you owe your fans nothing. Your fans owe you nothing.

Personally, I would love to think that I had some fans, but I can't say that is the case. I have not written enough. I don't get any fan-mail. I have people who have read my work. I have some evidence that people are reading one book after the previous. I have some reviewers that have said that they intend or would read more of my work and I have had a little correspondence with my readers.

Any idea that there is a "relationship" with a large diverse group of faceless readers is, I think, largely illusory.

I would owe my wife an explanation, if I disappeared for a week and then returned. Without it there would be consequences for our relationship.

I feel that I would owe the SIA at least the courtesy of informing them should I stop operating as a mod. Again there would be consequences for my relationship with the SIA and people within the group and team, if I failed to do so.

Perhaps you are concerned that there are consequences that follow from your 'absence?' I suggest that yes, there is: you probably sold less books and gained fewer readers.

However, fans, that I'll define as people who 'love' or ''really like' your work, will not change theit opinion of your books. So, I doubt that you lost any fans, perhaps just a little momentum.

Welcome back.

message 14: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor I mostly agree with the consensus, but I think there is something else to consider. It all depends on how close of a relationship you have with those fans. I know it seems strange to a lot of us, but you can form strong attachments to people you interact with on social media whom you may not have actually seen. Depending on the kind of personality you have, it is possible to consider some of these faceless individuals friends. If you have that kind of a relationship with those fans, then you might want to consider if your news is something you would share with an IRL friend. Even if the answer is still no, sometimes it is easier talking about difficult subjects with people who aren't so close to you. After all, that's why some people go to psychiatrists to work through problems instead of discussing them with our friends or family.

What it comes down to is how comfortable are you with sharing this with your fans. If you're asking if you should, then you probably are doing the right thing by giving them something vague and moving on.

message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles | 148 comments Jenycka wrote: "Thanks so much, everyone. I'm good with my decision now."

Welcome back, Jenycka,
The only one you owe anything to is yourself. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. From your second post, it sounds like you're comfortable with what you've decided to share about it. Just do what you want to do, ignore the "shoulds."

message 16: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
Welcome back Jenycka!

First of all, your author interview is still one of the most popular pages on my website. You do indeed have fans! :) They are constantly looking for you and ending up on my page.

That said, a mere I am sorry for my absence, thanks for your thoughts is really enough. :)

Alternatively, you could just pick without saying anything happened.

Alternatively, you can tell people that you were transported in time back to the 1980s, and couldn't find the right parts for your flux capacitor to get home. Thankfully, after stopping the werewolf rebellion from taking over the time stream (You're welcome btw), you were allowed to return home through the early cryogenic technology of alien marmosets. Not all the kinks were worked out (marmosets are notoriously bad with calendars), so you arrived six months later than you planned.

That's what I'd say!

message 17: by Kat (new)

Kat C.B. wrote: "That's what I'd say!"

I need a like button for your posts.

message 18: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 266 comments hell no, it's none if their damn business. don't even explain why you dropped for awhile. just roll up and do you whenever you feel when you feel up to it. you don't owe them shiz.

message 19: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 266 comments lolz how cute and creative cb! you must be a riot at parties

message 20: by Shari (new)

Shari Sakurai (shari_sakurai) | 64 comments Sorry to hear you've had a difficult time lately. You can share as much or as little as you want with your readers. It's really up to you.

message 21: by Ceanmohrlass (new)

Ceanmohrlass Ceanmohrlass | 69 comments I'm sorry for your loss. You owe no one an explanation. If you feel up to it you can say that you needed some time to regroup and life got in the way. Hugs to you :) relax and go at your own pace.

message 22: by Zoltán (new)

Zoltán (witchhunter) | 267 comments First of all, I'm sorry for your loss.

My view: I'm from a strange species. I'm absolutely up-to-date and sometimes well into the future, but quite conservative with online presence and social media. Just a disclaimer :)

1) You don't HAVE to share anything. YOU are not for sale. Your works are...

2) We are on the Internet. Once you upload something, it stays there "forever". Share only things you are comfortable with. Think how it would look on some high volume, public place (most memes, never wanted to become one). How it will look ten-twenty years from now. If you are unsure, don't do it.

3) If you chose to create a channel toward your fans, it is a courtesy to leave some sign that you will be offline for a while, but you don't have to give reason.

Just my 2c.

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