FANatic Friday: Elley Gushes about Jaci Burton

August 12, 2011

It’s Friday, which means it’s FANatic Friday, a day on the blog where we take off our writer caps and put on reader caps to gush about the authors and books we love.

If you follow me on Twitter, you can probably tell that I’m a fan of Jaci Burton. I follow a lot of authors, but rarely do I engage the authors while I’m reading their books, and rarely do I tweet specific comments about books. This is a personal rule that I have, because I know that enjoying a book is a subjective thing. Even the most highly acclaimed books have readers who hated the stories from beginning to end. So why do I break the rules for Jaci Burton? Because she’s Changing the Game. (Cheesy segue, I know.)

Nobody can argue that publishing is changing. Electronic media has changed the reader’s experience. (I can’t tell you the last time I was in a brick and mortar book store.) Electronic media has changed the writer’s experience too. Websites that were once fancy business cards are now fully operational storefronts, where authors sell books, workshop registrations and transcripts from past lectures. Facebook pages where nibby high school friends once came calling now corral thousands of potential book buyers, giving an author prime access to their target audience.

Let’s face it, as a reader you’re more likely to engage your favorite author on Twitter than you are at a book signing these days. And I’m not thinking that’s a bad thing…

I “met” Jaci Burton on Twitter before I read a single book she’d authored. I read her tweets and marveled at the relationships she seemed capable of building without face-to-face contact in 140 characters or less. Watch and learn. (It’s not ancient, secret advice. We’ve all heard this before.) So I watched Ms. Burton interact with writers, editors, agents, bloggers, reviewers and readers like me. The more I watched, the more I liked and the more I thought about buying one of her books.

The Perfect Play had me at the cover. And while what was between covers—erotic romance—wasn’t exactly the heat level I was used to in a romance novel, I finished the book with a very favorable opinion of Ms. Burton’s writing abilities. It was during reading The Perfect Play that I finally got up the courage to direct a couple tweets to Ms. Burton, and her responses were gracious, filling me with the kind of Sqwee! only a fan can have.

Months later, Jaci Burton is an auto-buy for me. I still blush and hide the iPad screen from my husband and teenage sons while I’m reading Changing the Game next to them on the couch. I still think, “Holy Hemmingway, this book is too hot for me!” But I keep reading, and I will keep buying, because I’m a fan of Jaci Burton. She’s a wonderful role model for authors looking to grow their brand and their books in this new world of electronic media.

Jaci Burton’s latest book, Changing the Game is available in print and electronic formats. To learn more about Jaci Burton, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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