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Writing is a fairly difficult business to be in. There are several places an author can go to for input on their manuscripts. Some of those places include writer’s circles at libraries, personal author websites, social media groups for authors and so on. However, one of the best resources we have as writers is in the unconditional support of our readers.
What makes writing worth the time and effort are our readers so why not reach out to them? Several authors will write a ‘Dear Reader’ page in their manuscripts or leave a note at the end of their book to encourage readers to review the book if they like it.
There are actually some other, more personal ways to reach out to your readers. One good way to find out what your readers are thinking is by opening an author’s page on a social media website and placing a thread that followers can converse in. You may be surprised at how many great ideas come from readers and how many actually go unnoticed because they go unacknowledged by the author. In order to maintain our reader’s attention, we must pay attention to our readers and let them know their time is appreciated.
Another avenue for reaching out to readers is by creating a forum for just that purpose. A forum is a little bit different than an author’s web page because you can create different threads for different books or subjects. Along with the author’s pages and forums, an author can also create a blog to update their readers on whatever they are working on. Regardless of what blogging platform is being used, readers can easily comment on or add advice to anything the author posts.
If you are one of the many authors who strive to keep your readers entertained but want to know what your readers are thinking about your work, any of these avenues would certainly help you accomplish that goal.
To be completely fair, with everything there are pros and cons. The pros have been outlined but the cons, on the other hand, can get a little bit iffy. One of the major problems that a writer can run into is people using foul language or innuendos that might offend other people on the web page, forum or site. It is fairly simple to deal with this if you take care of it before it starts.
First, you can always list a set of rules and policies for your page so that everyone is well aware of what type of language and behavior will be tolerated. Second, you could get other people to moderate for you when you’re not available. Third, don’t forget to practice what you preach. If you prefer others not use foul language then you, the author, must remember not to do so either when interacting with your readers.
Above all, the whole point in interacting with readers is because we care how they think and feel about our books and because their time and ideas are priceless assets for us. While there are several right ways to engage in conversations with readers, there are just as many wrong ways. Keep that in mind when you begin to reach out to your readers and everything should go smoothly.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Amy Raines