…for my writerly friends out there, specifically those of you who have been published, who have people reading your book(s), who might actually be receiving some form of fan mail:
What question is most frequently asked of you by your readers?
And when I say ‘readers’, I’m not talking about people like me, i.e., someone who is working on joining you on the ‘published author’ side of the line. I’m talking about actual readers, people who don’t necessarily read with one eye on sentence structure or character development, people who aren’t parsing your words because they’re reading to improve their own writing even as they read for enjoyment. I’m talking about people who read for the sake of reading, goshdarnit, people who have no ulterior motive other than enjoying a good story. What is it they want to know?
Earlier this week, agent Rachelle Gardner did a post over at her agency’s blog about privacy, and she talked a bit about the connection between reader and author. That made me ask a question in the comments section (one that she hasn’t answered yet, though I’ve found her to be responsive in the past), which I’ll repeat here:
“Does the average reader really care that much about making connections with authors beyond what’s on the page?”
I really wonder about this, hence I asked the question, and hence I asked the question of my published friends up top. See, here’s the thing: when I finish a book that I really enjoyed, I don’t immediately hop on to social media and seek the author out. I don’t look for their website, or their twitter feed or stalk their facebook page. What do I do? I move on to the next thing in my To Be Read pile. If the book is by an author I’ve never read before, and that book is more than a couple of years old, I might go to the web to see if they have something newer–which will probably lead me to Amazon or Wikipedia, maybe an author’s personal webpage. But even if I do go to said author’s webpage, I’m not off to follow on twitter, etc.
Am I just a holdover from a bygone era, a dinosaur in a world of mammals? Am I totally off my rocker? Does the average reader really want something more than just a good book from a favorite author? I’m curious what you all think about this, and I’m curious about your experiences with actual readers (who are not writers).
|Yeah, this could be me.|
I’m looking forward to hearing what you think. Meanwhile, how are your NaNos or other projects going? I hit chapter 10 in BARTON’S WOMEN last night; it was a slow night due to other things happening, but I’ve shaved about 1500 words from the manuscript so far–and I still like it. Have a nice weekend, all.