Wednesday, September 26, 2012

author live chat reflection & advice + ocean reading moments

yesterday, my first author live chat happened at Goodreads 
still a bit wired from that - i started writing this sentence first as "i had my first author live chat", but from feeling, live chats are really like journeys: you can only plan so much. and it's best to have a rough itienary in your pocket, and then go with the flow.

the live chat page is online here:
Worlds Apart: Authors Q&A with Dorothee Lang and Smitha Murthy

the nice thing about Goodreads live chats is that they remain there, and you can read through them in the after-live.

advice for author live chats:
as this was a first time for all involved, some reflections and advice in case you plan an own author live chat:

  • keep it all in 1 thread: the plan was to have a week-long open q&a thread for all who don't have time at the live chat, and to have 1 "live-thread" - which then turned out to be unpractical (where to link to in announcements?). also, with 1 thread, you can pick up from there for the live chat
  • pre-chat I: this wasn't planned, but 2-3 hours before the live chat started, i received some first mails with questions on how the live chat would work, and as i was around anyway, and my co-author Smitha mailed, too, we said we just might gather online for a pre-chat. reading through the whole thread now, it's interesting to see that this pre-chat was of course slow, but at the same time it has an own reflective mood – which i think is due to the smaller pre-chat group, with most knowing each other. so that’s what i recommend for other authors, too, to have a warm-up pre-chat with some friends. it also gives a good base to start, and people who log in early see that the live chat is on and can join already if they want.
  • pre-chat II: in addition, the feedback from Steve, who joined the chat early: "the warm up was a great spontaneous happening.  good for so many reasons, including that people joining have something there to start with and maybe that makes it easier to pick up a thread and engage...  it is a good model for future live gatherings, and I am glad that Jessi is planning to have them."
  • it never got too hectic and confusing, but when 2 questions popped up parallel, we sent a quick mail in the background to coordinate who focuses on which question next  
  • we also prepared a door-prize, as with the international time zones and with the timing, and with some guests having to register at Goodreads first, it's some effort to actually join the live talk. 
  • and we had a highlight: the going live of the first book video - it's the one above, "El Sol". of course, in a perfect world, Goodreads would offer the option to show the video right in the chat, but the video also carries some of this world feeling: reaching out from one's coast.

thanks again to Jessi from Folded Word to organizing this event - there are more author chats planned with Folded authors, and since start of September, Folded Word has an own page on Goodreads as hub for the books and authors, which is a great thing. also: thanks to everyone who joined the live chat! - the thread is still open, so if you have any questions (about the book, travelling, writing, live chats ets) feel free to add them.


More about the book:
Worlds Apart - a true story about 2 friends, 2 journeys, and 10 life lessons:

In the global world, a traveler from Europe and a teacher from Asia meet in the web, share their journeys, and the joys, longings, and life lessons that wait along the road. Captured in letters and photos that reach from China and India to Germany and the Mediterranean Sea, a dialogue across continents and cultures unfolds: Worl(d)s Apart

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