Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read? Let’s Discuss.

Posted July 17, 2017 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 55 Comments

I’m wondering if this is a me thing or if others do this as well: There are some authors that I follow closely even though I’ve never read one of their books. I’m not talking about casually following on Twitter because you entered a giveaway somewhere (though maybe that’s where it starts?), but really following them—paying attention to new releases and being excited (or at the very least, intrigued) when they have a new book coming out, interacting with them on Twitter in some way, shape or form, etc.

This idea for a discussion post came to me today when I went to a post for a giveaway of Paula Stokes’ latest book. She’s one of these authors for me: I follow her on Twitter (and actually pay attention to her tweets—I’ve even retweeted her a few times), I always pay attention when there’s a tour or a giveaway for one of her books, and every time I see one of her new releases coming out, I think, “Oh, cool! A new Paula Stokes book! I really want to read that!”  Except I never have. Yet.

Now here’s the thing: I have it in my head that Paula Stokes is an awesome author and this sense that I love her books, even though I’ve never actually read one.

How does this phenomenon occur? I have theories:

  • Hype: I’ve seen Paula’s books around. My blogger friends have reviewed them and thought highly of them. There are certainly authors who get more hype (for instance, Marie Lu, who is another author who I follow closely even though I haven’t read anything by her), but Stokes’ name is certainly not foreign to me. Once you see an author’s work featured in enough places, you kind of start to feel like you know something about their work.
  • Author Events: I met Paula at Anderson Bookshop’s YA Lit Conference and I heard her speak on at least one panel (maybe more?). Hearing an author talk about her book (in person) makes you feel that much more compelled to read it and it makes you feel like you know that author more deeply. Unfortunately, at a big event like that one, it was impossible to buy books from ALL of the authors I was interested in (and still be allowed to come back home), but Paula Stokes moved higher on my radar.
  • Marketing: This is related to the first two things I mentioned, but it’s a bit more specific. The more marketing an author and/or publisher does, the more likely I am to see those new books, right? Especially since I include giveaways and pre-order deals in my Sunday Post, I see them often! (In fact, I happen to know that Stokes has pre-order deals for two of her books going on right now, if you’re interested.)
  • Great social media presence: If an author I follow on social media on a whim is engaging, I’m more likely to pay attention to them later. (One great example of this is Emery Lord, who I have actually read finally—The Names They Gave Us was amazing, just like I hoped).

One of these days, I’m going to actually buy one of Paula Stokes’ books. I’m going to read it too. And I have a feeling I’ll love it. Have you read Stokes? What book should I start with?

Do any of you follow authors you haven’t actually read? Do you almost feel like you have read their books, or is that just me? I want to know!


This post has been linked to the 2017 Discussion Challenge.


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55 responses to “Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read? Let’s Discuss.

    • That would be the worst. If you really loved an author on social media and were all excited about their books—and then you read one and you’re disappointed. Luckily that hasn’t really happened to me yet. At least not for an author I followed closely like I describe in this post.

  1. I don’t think I consistently and legitimately follow authors I haven’t read, no. I mean, I suppose I might at some point if they wrote really great tweets or something, but I can’t say I feel like I’ve read or love any author’s books even when I haven’t. But then, I’m not one to pay much attention to hype and don’t go to author events, so maybe it has to do with that!

  2. I follow several hundred self-published authors who I haven’t read. I only follow them because they follow me, and I always try to follow back. I don’t actively pay attention to what they post. I think all the other authors I follow are ones I’ve read. I don’t remember. My social media accounts tend to be a disaster because I follow so many people.

    • I have some authors like that too. That doesn’t seem odd to me. It’s this crazy idea that I’ve built up in my head about an author I’ve never even read that seems weird. (I actually think this is one case where I AM just sort of weird.) 🙂

  3. I’m not really aware if I do this! Sure, sometimes I spot releases that look interesting that other bloggers have read, but I don’t think I religiously follow authors who I don’t read. I have a hard enough following the authors I do love! Haha, great discussion, Nicole! 🙂

  4. danielle hammelef

    It’s funny that you focused on Paula Stokes for your example because I’m this way with her too. I haven’t read her books yet, but they all seem to get great reviews. I also follow other authors on goodreads and add their books to my TBR list which I also call To Be Remembered to read list.

  5. I do! I have to say, though, for me they have to be saying something fun or have a position I care about. Then it’s their non-book tweets I’m more interested in.

  6. Jen

    This has only happened to me once. Years ago I started following Chelsea Fine because of her ‘about me author section’. I don’t even remember why I ended up on that page. When I started seeing some of her interactions on Facebook or Twitter, I realized yet again that she was hilarious! I finally binged her books and loved every single one. It hasn’t happened again, but I hope someday that scenario plays out all over again.

  7. Stokes is awesome and I love her books. There are a few authors I follow in Instagram and I even get a few newsletters from authors I have yet to read. I actually own some of their books, but I am total trash, and have not read them. Mindy McGinnis is one I follow on like three platforms. She has a lot of things to say, and I like reading it.

  8. Paula is SO nice, so it makes total sense. Her books are also awesome though! I just read This is How it Happened and LOVED it. And I have done the same with Emery Lord, actually! Holly had RTed something of hers, and I was like “Um, I need this person in my life” hahah. I think if an author is sociable and kind, I am MUCH more likely to follow them, and share their stuff even if I haven’t read it- because I want them to just succeed as a person?

  9. shooting

    Good discussion – and yes, I do this too. I haven’t read Stokes either but I see her on Twitter and blogs all the time, so I know I’ll love her. 🙂 One of these authors for me WAS Hannah Moskowitz. I followed her for years – her blog, Twitter – I even bought her first novel, Break, but it wasn’t until a year or so ago that I read a book by her (and no, it’s not the one I own, though I do plan to read it).


  10. I honestly didn’t realise that this way something I did until recently. I am terrible for following authors who’s books I’ve yet to read. I find myself getting all excited about their new releases but somehow fail to actually pick it up. It’s a weird cycle I go through but I think getting to see an author’s personality and excitement over social media gets me excited and makes me want to support them, even if I don’t end up getting the books immediately.

  11. I have newsletter subscriptions from authors I haven’t read, but I don’t actively follow them. In fact, I’ve been thinking I need to unsubscribe myself. I’m really bad about following authors anyway. The worst fan ever.

  12. I’ve have casually followed a number of authors because of giveaways and such, BUT I have also followed authors because I want to READ their books. Not that I have actually gone and read them, but still! I’m not really a Twitter person and I basically just gave up on it and interact there only once in a while 🙂

  13. I haven’t read Paula Stokes. I want to though. I think it is cool that a writer’s social media presence can make you want to read them. I think it goes the other way too. If I start to follow an author and find out they are a political snob or make rude comments, I am less likely to want to read their new releases. I love this post and that you found great reads through social media. That is just awesome (and probably what is suppose to actually happen).

  14. haha I actually do follow authors I haven’t read. I don’t know why? I think its a mix of wanting to be in the loop but also to be reminded about their book and how I WANT to read it. Like a TBR of sorts lol

  15. I feel like this happens to me quite a bit! I usually have the author’s books on my radar/on my TBR, but I haven’t gotten around to reading their books but I’ve seen them at an event so I then feel a sense of camaraderie with them and pay much closer attention to them on social media. I feel like this happens a lot too after large bookish events where I meet a lot of authors in a compact amount of time!

  16. I do this too. I followed Heidi Heilig for a while because I thought her tweets were interesting, and I followed Rainbow Rowell before I read her books because I saw her speak at a writers’ festival and thought she was pretty cool. I don’t know if I feel like I have to read their books, but I’m probably more likely to check them out since they’re on my radar!

  17. I do occasionally do this, but not very often – generally because someone else’s posts/tweets/etc. have gotten me interested in the author. Before long, though, I hope I will actually read their books!

  18. I follow tons of authors that I don’t read, or at least haven’t read yet. Most of them are on my TBR list at least though. Or I find them on social media and they have such a great personality and presence that I can’t not follow them. Great post. I’m glad I finally got some time to come comment on this one. I’ve been saving the email so that I can come read it when I got time!

  19. I follow authors that I haven’t read all the time. One of my goals for this year was to read more diverse books and read more books by authors I haven’t read before. So in following these authors, I can stay up to date their releases and then read whichever one catches my interest.

  20. Nicole! I have a bunch of Marie Lu books. If you ever want to buddy-read her series, please let me know! For me, I don’t follow many authors because I feel too shy around them. Who are some of your favorite authors to follow? That would be a neat post. I follow John Green, Tahereh Mafi, Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, Angie Thomas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo. Maybe I should venture into friending more authors. I just get bogged down by all the political stuff/debates that make me anxious.
    I guess now I will look up authors I have heard of and see what their Twitter feed looks like.

    • Sometimes politics can get stressful. It’s a hard balance because I want authors to stand up for what they believe in—I’d like to believe I’ll still do that when I get published someday (see that positive thinking). 🙂

      I would LOVE to do a Marie Lu buddy read! Would you want to read the Legend series together? I’m pretty sure I own all of them.

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