Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Readers Come First

I was just thinking … today I attended the GRW (Georgia Romance Writers) monthly meeting, and it did not disappoint!  If anything, it got me to seriously thinking about whether or not I’m really ready to become that “kick butt” romance writer I’ve dreamed of becoming!

Diana Love and Barbara Vey, guest speakers, did an outstanding job.  They discussed building reader loyalty, and brought across some things I had never thought about.  Though I walked away from the meeting feeling informed, the part that stuck with me the most was when they stated that if you’re not ready to do the book signings, connecting with readers, and some of the  other PUBLIC things you need to do to build reader loyalty – don’t even show up.  Stick with doing things online. Don’t  do book signings.  Don’t go out in public telling everyone you’re an author – if you don’t love that part of the  business, and if you’re not ready to love on your readers.  They said that readers can tell if you don’t care anything about them.  That was so powerful!  I  immediately thought about a bestselling author, whose work I use to read.  I won’t go into details about the brief conversation we had via email – but her response told me that questions or thoughts  from her readers (even somewhat good ones) meant nothing to her.  I had asked…oops, I said I wouldn’t go into details…

At any rate, Diana (hopefully she doesn’t mind me calling her Diana) said that you have to be “on” the moment you walk out your house because you never know who you will come in contact with.  Your readers need to know that you value them!

Though I think I would be overjoyed to have a “following” and to do book signings, I’m not sure I’m ready for all that is involved in
doing “successful” book signings and guest appearances.  Diana Love has a massive following and I loved when she said that when they (co-authors) do book signings, they stay until the last person’s book has been signed – even if the venue hosting  the event has closed – her and her co-authors will move their table outside and keep signing.  Even if there are hundreds  of people (and this is no exaggeration) waiting to get their book signed or to get a picture with them – they stick it out until the last person leaves. How cool is that?

It actually reminds me of a book signing I attended recently – the great Brenda Jackson.  She was gracious, funny, and took her time talking with all of us, and posing for pictures.  Ms. Jackson got it right!  I will be one of her loyal readers for a long time coming.

Thanks Diana and Barbara for giving an aspiring author some things to think about!

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May 21, 2011 - Posted by | Authors, Reading

4 Comments

  1. Hey Sharon,

    I’m not familiar with this Author but I appreciate her Readers first attitude so much that I’m going to check her out.

    Thanks

    Comment by Carmen Ray | May 22, 2011

    • Hey Carmen,
      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you do get an opportunity to read one of Diana’s book or visit Barbara’s blog. …actually i know you’d enjoy Barbara’s blog – she has a great sense of humor! BTW, she’s a Wisconsinite!

      I’ll be posting something soon regarding another author who I know you’d enjoy. Stay tuned…

      Comment by Sharon C Cooper | June 5, 2011

  2. This is yet another reason to consider e-publishing. I connect with hundreds of readers every week, only I don’t have to do the public appearances. We connect by e-mail, blogs, social networks. Now that I have my third book released, I have readers that contact me regularly.

    When you develop a connection with your readers, it doesn’t matter if you’re standing behind a podium, sitting at a signing table or chatting with them directly on Twitter. It’s the contact that matters, and readers love being able to talk to an author directly. This is the most important of marketing and promoting your books.

    Comment by Chicki Brown | June 3, 2011

    • I agree Chicki, actually there are so many reasons to consider e-publishing. With that said though, I remember meeting one of my readers (of a published essay that I wrote a couple of years ago), and I have to admit, the face to face intro. was way cool. And I think for her, it was an opportunity to put a face…and maybe even some personality with the story. It was very clear that she appreciated the face to face.

      I personally think I’d like to do both. A couple of book signings…but since I’m an introvert, I’d probably be more comfortable keeping in touch via email, blogs, and social networking avenues.

      Thanks for stopping by! Your comments are always thought provoking!

      Comment by Sharon C Cooper | June 5, 2011


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