I posted this to the Morning Links, but this is such a cool story that I wanted to elaborate further. Goodreads has added an intriguing new feature called ‘Ask the Author’ which allows users to post questions to favourite authors, get answers, and read the questions and answers which other users post.
The initial launch features 54 authors, including Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, Michael Cunningham, Arianna Huffington, Douglas Preston and other big names. Eventually, it will be available for all Goodreads authors.
So, how does it work? You can go straight to the blog post linked to above to browse the initial author offerings and ask a question. Or, you can go to their author page. I went to Margaret Atwood’s page just to check it out, and the ‘Ask the Author’ section was about a third of the way down the page and already has four posted questions. As more authors join, you can look for that section on the page of any author.
I think it’s a potentially very cool feature. I wonder if the authors have any sort of veto power to hide or reject the questions they don’t want to answer. I can see how a really popular author might find something like this a huge time suck.