The Page a Day Writers Group

Readers Come First

Posted on: May 23, 2011

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!

Sharon C. Cooper

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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