What Authors Do
As technology changes the role -- and lot -- of authors, there's a strong temptation to define what authors do and do not do, then cling to it. Circle the wagons. We saw this ten years ago when news organizations struggled to explain why bloggers didn't belong in their club, and we see it today in the image of the lone, luddite author who eschews social media in favor of prolonged, monastic attention to his or her masterwork. This image is ahistorical, of course -- so much so that it brought forth a charticle.
Here is a short list of famous authors and how long their collected letters are, in pages. Poe and Bronte died relatively young, so they only managed to pen a thousand pages of letters each. Dickens is the champ with over nine thousand, which -- by my estimate -- comes to over 81,000 tweets. But Twain isn't out of the running yet. His collected letters haven't been completed. He's almost to five thousand pages -- or 44,000 tweets -- with 35 years left to go.
Pass this on the next time someone tells you authors don't have time for social media." Plus Ça Change" is a daily column on (but almost never about) Google+. For archives and email subscriptions visit http://jimhanas.com/pluscachange .