Let’s talk about Readers and Writers.
Famous and the less famous
As a published author, I’m intrigued at what draws a reader to buy a book and what authors do to promote their books. Certainly when a book gets in the news, sales rise. A famous person, an actor, a TV personality writes a book and even if he or she uses a ghost writer and many do, they make big bucks. Tremendous credit goes to those wonderful authors who are on the best seller lists over and over again. Talented small press or self published authors, however, often remain undiscovered, except in their small circle of admirers. Wouldn’t we all love to write the next great American novel or be picked up by a major New York publishing house? We can’t stop trying!
Fame and quality does not always go together.
Just recently, I purchased a book because the author received instant fame and wrote a number of books in a short amount of time. I was drawn in to buying it, but I really couldn’t get into it. The book presented a great deal of character emotion; in fact, the ongoing pain presented over and over again was a bit over the top. I wanted more action and less moaning. I lost count of the number of sex scenes. I like a good story, captivating characters, and an intriguing plot. Throw in some sex, that’s fine, but when half or more of the book takes place in bed, I’m turned off.
I love when I find a book that I don’t want to put down and when I have to, I can’t wait to get back to it. I put the book mentioned above down many times and only finished it because I thought I must be missing something. After all, the author is in the news and making all these guest appearances. I was sorely disappointed. In my opinion, books like these written quickly with repetitive sex scenes are not examples of quality writing. They’re written for other reasons that can be satisfied by renting one of those bad porno flicks. Sorry, I may have just offended a few authors or readers. Who am I to judge? Everyone has different tastes and if it works for you…. The truth is, “Sex Sells.”
I remember enjoying one popular author’s books until I realized that all her female characters are rich, beautiful, have green eyes, and wear espadrilles. They shop in the same upscale stores, fall in love with father figures and have overbearing mothers. After awhile, it became boring, but I’d love to have her bank account. Romance, especially historicals, are still my favorite genre but I enjoy many genres now, thanks to so many wonderful authors.
What are your reading habits?
What turns you on to an author or genre? What turns you off? Do you stick with one genre and a few favorite authors? Why do you choose to buy one book over another? Do you read reviews, the first few pages, or the back blurb? Do you pay attention to the promotions online by authors on Twitter and Facebook? I’d love to hear your comments.
And what about authors?
How do you publicize your books? Have you found the magic pill that authors can take and get an instant smile on their faces when book sales go up? Do you find that Facebook or Twitter or other sites help in sales? Do you wonder if you might be wasting your time with online promotion? I have many friends on Facebook and I appreciate that they friended me, but my bet is that only a few have taken the time to read about my books or purchased them. Unfortunately, I can prove that. Have I friended another author in the hopes they’ll buy my book without reading at least a blurb about what they write? I’m guilty. Not because I don’t care, but time is always the issue. Authors need time to write!
Do you buy the books of author friends who are close group members? We all want to support our friends and thank God for those who support us. Even with loyal friends, our success is up to us. How much time are we spending promoting rather than writing? Has you publisher helped or do you feel alone in a small boat in a big ocean? If you’ve found success, why do you think that is? Do you have thoughts that you might be a better writer or a better promoter than an undiscovered author? Hard question. Is self doubt you worst enemy to success?
I realize that I write in the distant shadow of great writers. I wish that I could be more prolific, more creative, have more of a gift of putting words and phrases together that cause a reader to be awed. I’m happy to say my novels have received excellent reviews (4-5 stars) from readers –not just my loyal friends and that my first novel, Regal Reward, finaled in the NJRW’s contest. Warmth to my soul!
Reviewers say that my books are engaging and capture them enough to want to keep reading, but I don’t kid myself, not everyone likes Regency romance. My books include sensuality without blatant sex scenes. I like to leaves what’s not written, to the imagination of the reader. Regal Reward, A Convenient Pretense, and my upcoming release, A Kiss of Promise all have wicked villains as passionate in their evil deeds as my heroes and heroines are passionate in their desire for love. I like to say that I write historical romance with an edge and that a man might enjoy reading my books as much as my female readers.
Perhaps someone who is reading this blog and enjoys historical romance will take the time to review my website, read the blurbs of my books and read the reviews. If they like what they read, I hope they’ll click on a Buy Now button. I will be forever grateful, dance a happy dance, and pray for you, just send me your name.
It is so important to all authors to pass on their names and their books to others if their books have moved you. That’s the way authors, like me, paddling about in our little kayaks in a big ocean, will make a difference and that’s what we really want, to know our endless hours of writing may have touched hearts and given readers a few hours of pleasure.
.Along with my website, www.elaineviolette.com , I hope you’ll also visit me on Facebook. www.facebook.com/elaineviolette.author
I look forward to your comments and questions!