Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Connecting with Readers
I enjoyed all the workshops I attended at RT. One in particular I attended came to mind in the past couple of days. While I wasn't that keen on the title of the workshop; Read a Book, Save an Author, I don't think it's our job as readers to save authors, I do have great admiration for them and much appreciation of the hours and hours of enjoyment I get through their work. And I did enjoy the workshop. It was run by Toni Blake and Dakota Cassidy was a last minute replacement for Julie Ann Long who couldn't make it. Also leading the workshop were a couple of publicists.
One point I wanted to make was there is a great, largely untapped opportunity out there for authors, at least in the world of the reader bloggers. To many of us, reading romance is almost a religion *g*. I have no doubt we make some of the greatest fans of authors going. Speaking for myself and I think for others comments and posts I've seen around, we are remarkably loyal to those authors we love. We will keep reading their books even though some of them may not be as enjoyable as others.
What got me thinking about this topic occurred when I happened to be doing some author website surfing the other night and I saw at one author's site a quote I did from one of my Recent Read posts on her book/s. I was thrilled beyond belief and quickly sent a squeeing letter to a number of blogger friends. AND I insisted in this email that they simply had to give her a try - because I said so *g*. One of them wrote back that she went out and got the book. Then the next day I noticed another author had a short quote on a review I had done and again I was excited. That was two in two days!!
I exchanged a few emails with another reader blogger friend. In the exchange of emails, and the point I wanted to make in this post, is us readers are very tickled when an author 'drops' in to visit our blogs. I don't mean it a way of pimping their books, but just dropping in to leave a comment on any old topic. The friend I exchanged emails with had this happen when an author commented on how cute her dog was and she has bought every book this author has come out with since then. I know I would do the same.
If I'm in a book store, looking for something to read and not being sure what, and there is a book on the shelf by an author who has stopped by here, you can bet that will be the one I'll pick up to take home with me. I've also noticed Ramblings on Romance listed on sidebars of a few author blogs and that's another factor that will cause me take their book home. I get such a rush when I see that.
When I made this point in the workshop, about how thrilled we readers are when authors drop by and how very likely it is that when that happens and we see one of their books in the store, we will buy it, knowing the author took time to visit us, it was brought up that some authors aren't sure how welcome they would be. While I can't speak for EVERY reader blogger, still I think the odds are very good, that the authors are very welcome.
It's hard to put into words my feelings on authors. I know I hold them in high esteem unless they prove to be total dickwads. They do something I wish I could do. They create people and stories that entertain me ever so much more than most television shows or movies. I even appreciate authors whose books I don't read. At least they are doing something they love - I would think you would have to love it to be an author. The vast majority of them aren't getting all that rich in their chosen careers I think. I think the closest I can come to the feeling, is the way I felt about the kids teachers. It was a job I couldn't do and by the very nature of it they earned my respect.
And also, in most cases, before they were writers, authors were and are still readers. With that fact in mind, it makes them very welcome visitors here.
And I'm curious. Do you like having authors dropping in and joining on discussions? Would it have any effect when you're shopping for books? Or would you rather they stay away? I'm talking general discussions, not discussions on their own particular book.
So when an author drops by I get a real thrill that they 'visit' me.