How To Communicate With Your Readers
'I recently had a wonderful opportunity to talk, actually text, with an enthusiastic reader while she read my Look For Me series. This was a special insight to what a reader feels, thinks and has questions about while they are reading. I was able to answer questions, explain my thought process on certain characters and enjoy the feelings and response to certain scenes in each book.
We talked about each book as she read them. I enjoyed discussing the research I did for the books. In Look for me, I had walked the battlegrounds of Gettysburg and knew the town and area I included in my story. I felt the ghosts that walked the fields, heard the cannons and smelled the smoke. You cannot go there and not be touched by those who died. For book two I interviewed veterans of WWII. I have to admit I shed some tears and had to compose myself a few times when hearing what these brave men and women went through during that time. There is a history in Wait for me, about the women that went to war. Nurses healing under enemy fire, marching across Europe, prisoners in the Pacific, some wounded,some died, many forgotten. Book three Find me again touches a personal note as I was working in the D.C. area on 911. As a nurse, we waited for wounded that never came. A personal friend was in New York during the attack.
I was able to enjoy the viewpoint of a fresh pair of eyes. Her comments and suggestions only helped to sharpen my writing as I love giving the best story I can to my readers. My series was not one that she usually reads and once finished her review of my books was positive and heartfelt. Please remember your opinion counts to an author. Reviews mean everything to us. It only takes a few moments to leave a review. If you don't have a lot of time for a wordy review then a star rating is available.
If you have never had the opportunity to talk with an author about a book you loved then I suggest a book club or discussion group. Take the time to approach authors at book signings. We love to talk and usually have goodies at our table to giveaway. Remember there can be numerous opinions to the meaning of the book and how it is perceived by other readers. Sometimes other readers see something you didn't or it touched them in a way you hadn't thought about in that chapter.
The indie authors I have met are very approachable. You might be surprised if you ask an author to come to your book club or group. She or he might just say yes.
New authors are always inquiring how I manage to have such a great turn out and experience at my events and book signings. This is a little tidbit on how that happens.
Book signings are an awesome time for authors. It allows us the opportunity to present our work and to meet readers. It can be a scary time for you, too.
I love to talk to people and enjoy explaining how and why I wrote my series. The more knowledge you have about your books the easier it is to present them to a reader.
First, you will need a welcoming table. You want a reader to feel at ease to approach you. Some places provide a table and colored table cloth. I have a lace cover I put over them which changes the environment.
In the past, I have had flowers in a teapot, an old suitcase filled with goodies, a lantern with a battery operated candle. If you have something unusual or different people will stop. You will also want to have items to give away, pens, magnets, book markers. I have recently had small heart sachet soaps to give out.
If you are nervous with your first signing bring a friend or family member to sit with you. You will find that they can help engage readers and it's nice to have someone who can say, “Yes, I’ve read the book, series, etc.”
Remember to smile. Dress appropriately for the signing. If you are at a bookstore be professional, at a winery in the country, jeans would be nice. If you have a costume that has something to do with your book wear it! You will be approached and people want to know why. Awards are another draw to your table, bring them, display them. Be proud you have worked hard and won an honor.
The main thing about Books signings is no matter where they are , bookstore, winery, gift shop, book fairs, just have fun. People remember the person who smiled, laughed, provided a memento, and was passionate about what they had written.
I love an adventure, to travel and discovering new places.