Book readers – it’s time to get in touch with your authors

I recently came across an excellent blog post by Dublin author Laurence O’Bryan. Aptly titled The Accessible Author it summed up, better than I ever could, how the dynamics have changed between reader and author. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot and have wanted to share with readers in the hope that contact between the story creator and the end user will increase.

Laurence provides the perfect backdrop for the debate. Click here to read his blog in full and to check out that I’m not plagiarising his thoughts!

Authors can no longer afford to be isolated from their readers. The instant connectivity available these days through a host of social platforms means they don’t have to be. You’ll find most authors have their own Website, or Facebook page, or Twitter profile or Blog site. Most will have them all – and many are also unafraid of publicising their email address.

You can be forgiven for an initial cynical reaction that puts you in the camp of those who believe authors use these mediums for the sole purpose of promoting themselves and their books in the hope that you will add to their income.

Although this might be the sole motive in a number of cases, I’ve seen enough evidence to suggest there is an earnest attempt by the majority of authors to create a relationship with their readers.

Authors, by nature, are a hard-working, semi-reclusive lot who need to withdraw for long periods into the worlds they create. When they emerge with a finished product they can’t wait to put it in front of the masses, and to discover whether or not it finds universal favour.

Believe it or not, the litmus test for authors is not the money they make, because in most cases this won’t amount to a hill of beans. No, the real discovery for authors is in learning what readers actually think of their work.

Feedback is what authors thrive on. Like everyone else, they like to be praised for their work, and will even use constructive criticism to help improve their next book.

I’ll let you in on a secret. If you post a book review or leave a message on an author’s website or blogsite, he or she will read it, even before the proverbial ink dries!

And ten chances to one, they will reply to you.

Reader feedback sustains authors in a way like never before. The book market is becoming a cluttered place so everyone is looking for a distinctive edge. The only way they can achieve this is by showing genuine interaction with their readers.

Even the biggest and best names in the industry are setting aside time every day to check on reader feedback.

If you’ve recently read a book why not go an extra yard? Revisit the Amazon site, give it a rating and leave a review (a few lines will do). Or look up the author’s Facebook page or website and tell them what you think.

It really will make a difference.

Please let me know what you think. Have you posted a book review? Have you attempted to contact an author? Have you visited an author’s website recently? Use the ‘Leave A Reply’ box below.

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11 Responses to Book readers – it’s time to get in touch with your authors

  1. Louise says:

    Couldn’t agree more Joe. And good to have some fun along the way as well:)

  2. Robin Levin says:

    I have sometimes tried to contact an author but have never had any success in getting a response. I would really like to have a conversation with Vaughn Heppner because he’s the only other author I know that wrote a novel of the Punic war. (Although he dealt with the first Punic war and I wrote about the second and third.) but I have no idea how to contact him. Doesn’t appear to be on the social media.

  3. Oleg Medvedkov says:

    Yep, most of the time they talk back. I’ve talked to a few writers whose books I’ve read Twitter and FB. Though sometimes all you get is “Buy my book” automated message, which is pretty funny, I find 😛 .

    • joemccoubrey1 says:

      Oleg – good to hear you’re getting a response, even if the ‘buy my book’ replies are mixed in with the others!

  4. Diane Capri (@DianeCapri) says:

    You are 1000% correct here, Joe. I love hearing from readers, and I love connecting with my favorite authors, too. The internet has made this all possible. Every writer I know is profoundly grateful for the connection. Thanks for a very thoughtful post.

    • joemccoubrey1 says:

      Thanks Diane – I just know that what you’re saying is right on the money. Authors ARE connecting with readers – we just need to persuade readers this is happening.

  5. Lil Gluckstern says:

    I enjoy being able to contact authors and the interactivity that the Internet has afforded. Authors are my heroes; they have the stuff to change how I feel, to educate, and generally improve my world. How wonderful when I receive a response. It is appreciated.

    • joemccoubrey1 says:

      Lil, thank you for leaving a comment. It’s good to hear your views and experiences – I hope others will follow your lead.

  6. joemccoubrey1 says:

    Thanks Paul – I’m with you on this one. Writers need to keep on top of their obligations to readers.

  7. Paul O'Brien says:

    I think you’re bang on the money here, Joe. I personally love hearing from readers – their thoughts, their wants for the next book. Writing and writer accessibility go hand in hand now and I think it’s great.

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