If you stumbled upon me through the A to Z Blog Challenge, welcome. If not, check out the challenge and all those participating at their site.
Readers are the most important part of being an author. If no one is reading your work, then why are you writing it?
Don’t get me wrong, I know there is intrinsic value in the writing itself. I’ve even said that it’s cheaper than therapy, and I really do mean that. I use writing to cope with events in my life that might drive others to a therapist or at least a friend or family member that can take on that role. But that part of things aside, readers are the whole point.
So my advice to authors, new or old, is to respect your readers. If you do that, everything else should fall into place reasonably well. Write something you think will be enjoyable. Write something you would enjoy as a reader. That’s one of my benchmark tests with a project. If I can set it aside for a couple months, come back to it, and actually enjoy reading it myself, then odds are, there are readers out there who will enjoy it too.
When you do get to the point where your readers are reaching out to interact with you, remember that it’s because they liked your book. If they ask questions you can’t answer (because it’s a spoiler) tell them which book to expect the answer in, rather than just telling them you can’t answer or ignoring the questions. You don’t have to respond to each and every comment or questions if you get enough to be overwhelmed (we all dream of that, don’t we?) but at least send out a general response thanking your readers for their interest and questions.
I come to this topic primarily as a reader, since my presence as an author is still fairly small, but I want to remember that even if I get to be hugely popular. I want to remember that the readers are the most important part of the whole thing, and that without them I wouldn’t be popular and I wouldn’t be receiving all the attention. I want to remain gracious and grateful to my readers always, whether I sell a hundred books or a hundred thousand books.
*Title Photo incorporates two Stock Images, Not entirely my Work