Those new to Twitter often see the authors they love as just a tweet away – but are soon disappointed at the lack of response to their 1001 questions, usually because said author is too inundated with a steady stream of @mentions to respond to any of them individually.
Amazon is trying to cut out the noise on Twitter and give readers a platform to connect to the authors they adore in a meaningful way. Announced on Thursday, Amazon’s @author program allows readers to tweet questions to authors using their Kindle – and actually get a response.
@author is launching in limited beta on both the Kindle and Amazon Author Pages, and features such writers as Timothy Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek fame and New York Times writer Susan Orlean (who we interviewed about her Twitter habits a few months ago).
Readers who have made at least one purchase from Amazon can participate in the @author program.
If using a Kindle, the reader can highlight a passage they’d like to ask a particular author about, and then enter their 100-character-or-less question, beginning with @author (i.e. @susanorlean, etc.). If the reader doesn’t have a Twitter account connected to the Kindle, he or she will be prompted to create one.
You can also access all of the questions that have been asked, and ask your own, via the web if you don’t have a Kindle. You just have to visit the author’s page on Amazon by either searching for his or her name or checking out this list of participating authors and clicking on the profile you’d like to visit.
You’ll receive an email when your question has been answered.
This is a cool way to interact with authors, in an intersection between Twitter and Amazon.com. Although many of these authors are already active in Twitter as it is, Amazon is bringing together pertinent tweets about their writing, and is making it more likely that those authors will get around to answering your tweet. So what are you waiting for? Ask your favorite authors your most burning questions, and hear the answer straight from them!