But then I read a pair of posts by SF/F author Amy Sundberg on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America blog. (Check her out - she also has a great post on Twitterquette today.)
Amy wrote about benefits/drawbacks of Facebook and Google+ for authors. She suggests a Facebook presence is more critical for established authors. But for new authors - especially SF/F authors - Google+ presents a rare opportunity.
If you are an sf/f writer, being active on Google+ right now is a no brainer, because guess what? Your fans make up a large portion of the current user base. Google+ is known to be particularly popular with the high-tech crowd, many of whom enjoy science fiction and fantasy. So the potential for building your fan base is very good.
Who knew? This was enough of a nudge for me to give it half an hour of what is typically my "wine down" time. You can get a skeleton up even faster than that, but I wanted to launch with at least a little bit of content.
Folks familiar with FB probably will have no trouble setting up a profile. There are some key differences, such as Circles and Hangouts, that I haven't completely grokked.
But I *really* like that they prompt you to categorize your connections as friends, family, acquaintances, and/or people you are "following" (equivalent to "likes" in Facebook). You can create your own categories too, such as "fans." Makes for some pretty robust (and intuitive) control over content sharing.
|(boo! click me)|
From my perspective, anyway, this completely gets around the FB need to have an author page in addition to my profile, which has always been clunky and confusing to me. I am not two different people! Okay, maybe that's debatable, but you see my point.
A pretty small difference that is big to ME is the fact you can edit something after posting. No need to delete and repost. Because I have certainly committed some embarrassing grammatical and spelling fouls in FB posts.
It *is* a little quiet over in Google-land right now. I have looked for some of my favorite bands, for example, and none have profiles yet. Most of my friends and writing colleagues don't have profiles. But if Google+ catches on (and/or continued Facebook updates and privacy concerns drive off some of their users), it's only a matter of time. I did find SFR cohort Lisa Paitz Spindler over there, and my paranormal/sf/f author pal Skyler White.
I consider myself still in beta with Google+, so I'll report back in a week or two. Meantime, if you decide to give it a go, consider adding me to your circles and we'll see if we can silence those crickets.