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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Staying Connected - Vicky Adin

Picture this. A birthday party for two littlies then seven of us at the dinner table: two grandparents; four middle generation…. and one 11-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter (she having deemed she was too old to eat with the three younger grandchildren who were now watching a movie).

In talking about the current sci-fi movie ‘sensation’ her 30-something uncle said he hadn’t enjoyed it. Her quick response was something along the lines of old people are not meant to like movies designed for young people. When the laughter died down the conversation turned to the latest boy band that had all the teenagers swooning over them (her included. When did she get to be a teenager I wonder?).  Needless to say only the 11-year-old - and maybe her mother – knew the names, hairstyles and quirks of all five of them.

I thought I was doing OK knowing which movie they were talking about – adding my piece of information to the mix that I’d been told by a young man in his early 20s that the book was much better (hooray for the book!) – and I knew the name of the boy band. I also knew there were 5 of them and that they were Irish, and the titles of their debut song and album, but the fact that I didn’t know each of their names was a total fail.

Making some comment in defence (or was that retaliation) that I couldn’t keep up the response I received from the middle generation was something along the lines of – well you should!  Stay connected was the message. The only way to reach people today was to stay connected. Whether by Facebook (I manage, just) and any or all of the other social media options available, one must be connected. Know what they like and why.

So, I wondered what did people do to stay connected before all of this technology became available? How did someone find out about something new and interesting? The answer then was word of mouth. Is this modern technology and social media the new word of mouth or do we still need people to actually talk to one another? Certainly, there were three generations talking and the discussion ranged from what the youngest liked to what the oldest had just written.

Do you know which movie I am talking about? Or which boy band (and their names and the titles of their music)? How do you stay connected? Only through ‘word of mouth’ does news of the latest ‘in thing’ travel.

It is only by being connected can we spread the word of our writing to the wider audience. Are you connected? Am I?


  1. O-o-h dear! Are we oldies in trouble, or what! I'm assuming the book you were talking about is The Hunger Games but the boy band is a total mystery. Last boy band for me was the Beatles. Of course, if you're appealing as a writer to the teenage market then you'd better know what they're "into". Each writer should stay in touch with the age-group or interest group for which they are writing. Today, however, the way to stay connected to any group appears to be pretty formulaic: facebook, twitter and blog. youtube may be useful but a bit of research showed me that not many viewers of youtube watch book trailers (between 6 and 550 for the dozen or so I viewed). I still like the word-of-mouth idea but its a bit slow. Any other ideas?

    1. Yes Jenny, the movie was 'The Hunger Games' and the boy band is 'One Direction'. My little darling tells me she 'looooves' Liam. Thank goodness for google! At least through that I can now sound a little bit informed. I try with Facebook but suspect I'm not using it to its capacity, blog here and on my website, can't get my head around twitter, have Daniel on Amazon and Smashwords and have little result through any of them. So am left with selling one book at a time and hoping that word of mouth gets around!

  2. All I can say is 'I'm trying.' I actually remember my father hating the telephone. He would get anyone else to do his 'ringing up' for him if he could. Generations eh? We all have to live our own history. being a part of all these 'in touch' methods today is hard for me. I do it - not well - but I try. Much to the consternation of some of my Grandchildren! But, Oh Vicky - how I love my quiet times. Silence is so precious these days and it is in silence that I re-focus. It's a new world of communication out there indeed.

  3. I think we do very well overall, Jean. We have embraced the internet and use email, can do amazing things with websites and telephones and communicate more with people now than ever before. But lives are so busy that people can take many months to get around to reading a book they bought and full of meaningful intentions to recommend the book to someone else or to give feedback to the author, time passes and nothing is done. So we are left to recommend ourselves.
    I, too, love my silence - to think, to regroup, to write. I love writing the stories, or whatever the genre is on any one day. I don't like marketing, but only through the marketing struggle will we get readers.
    I think what we need is an independent marketing co-operative that sells only independent published authors, but authors are too busy and for readers its too easy to pop into the local bookstore and buy what is on the shelves, rather than search the internet for something new and different.
    Am I sounding despondent this morning?