Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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What Writers Wish Readers Knew

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by Sandra Elzie

 

Recently I was talking to one of my reader fans and she asked me a question that I had to ponder a moment before I could answer. Her question was: What do authors wish readers knew?

 

Wow…what an open-ended question. Before giving her my answer, I gave her a disclaimer. I would only be speaking for myself. I’ve listed below what I told her, plus what came to mind later that evening.

 

  • Authors fall in love their characters and the stories they write about the lives of these characters…and hope the readers love them just as much.

  • Selling books isn’t the only reason we write…most serious authors MUST write since characters and stories are clogging up our brains…screaming to get out and come to life.

  • We love talking about our books and hope we don’t come across like that grandmother who ALWAYS has tons of grandchild pictures to show everyone who they can corner.

  • Most authors (well myself, anyway) love to connect with readers who love their books. That’s why we Facebook, Tweet, Blog and put a “Contact Me” tab on our websites.

  • We all really appreciate getting reviews on Amazon from readers who liked our book(s).:)

  • Most authors (that I’ve talked with on the subject) would rather have their wisdom teeth pulled than do all the promotion required now days We’d rather be writing our next book, but we do what needs to be done to get our “babies” in the hands of those who we hope will enjoy them.

  • Not many authors get rich writing books…but we do it anyway. (If I had to depend on writing income to eat…well, dieting wouldn’t be an issue in my life…I’d already be thin)

Well, there you have my list. Care to add to it? Whether you’re a reader or a writer…or both…I’d love to hear your opinion.

 

And there’s more !

One person who comments today will be chosen to receive one e-book download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords…choosing from the two releases writing as Sandra Elzie or from the eight releases writing as Sandra McGregor.

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Also, tomorrow is the last day to leave a comment on my Blog Page to be entered in the grand prize drawing that takes place tomorrow at midnight.  Quite a few people have shared it on their Facebook and/or  Twitter without leaving a comment…and that counts also!!!      So drop by and get your name in the drawing.   Sandra McGregor Blog

Starry Night Amulet

Marilyn Baron - July 30, 2014 - 3:48 am

That is an interesting question. I agree with all your answers, especially the one about the Amazon reviews.

Sandy Elzie - July 30, 2014 - 9:53 am

I don’t think readers understand how important they are to us as authors…and I don’t think they understand what they should be considering when they assign a number of stars. They’ll say the writing/story was great but it should have been longer…then give it a 2 or 3 stars. Frustrating.

Piper - July 30, 2014 - 11:08 am

Readers matter. Period. One of them gave me a great idea for a blog post. I’m new to all of this, but I have enjoyed my interactions with them. And there is a lack of understanding of the star system. Oh well…:)

Connie Gillam - July 30, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Sandy, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve listed. I can’t think of anything more to add.

Piper, readers definitely need to be educated about the star system. Very frustrating.

sandra Elzie - July 30, 2014 - 1:53 pm

Hi Piper,
Yep, wish there was some way to educate, but I noticed the other day when I got an e-mail from Amazon asking me to rate a book that I’d bought, that when you hover over the stars, the four stars showed “I liked it” and the five stars showed “I loved it.”
(sorry, I didn’t look at one, two or three stars…but I will soon)

Maybe Amazon is listening to us and trying to help the reader.

sandra Elzie - July 30, 2014 - 1:54 pm

Hi Connie,
Thanks for commenting. I love my readers and wish I could connect in some way with more of them. Sometimes I feel the only link is the books I write that they keep buying.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - July 30, 2014 - 4:09 pm

The Amazon star system goes like this;
1 – I hate it
2 – I didn’t like it
3 – It’s okay
4 – I like it
5 – I love it

They’ve been that way as long as I can remember, but it doesn’t seem to help. The book gets dinged on stars for everything from Amazon’s service to length, which is often stated for the reader to see before purchase.

I wish more of them would talk with us on blogs and FB and such. We spend too many hours alone with our keyboards not to appreciate interaction.

Your list was pretty darn accurate, Sandy.

Sandy Elzie - July 31, 2014 - 7:11 am

Thanks Carol,

I had since seen the list, but hadn’t gotten back to the blog to list it. You’re right, it’s still not enough to keep people from judging our books by Amazon service or the length. Guess they don’t realize that a full-length novel can be like 50,000-120,000 words and if they don’t noitice the number of pages in the book when they buy it, why is it our fault? (sigh)

Walt Mussell - July 31, 2014 - 9:54 am

I think the promotion one is the biggest one. I’ve got a list of things I know I will have to do when the wonderful day arrives. (I’ve stopped saying “if.” I’m being positive.) Still, we love to write. My younger son had football practice last night. I spent the first hour of his practice walking the track around the field to get some exercise. I spent the second hour jotting down 600+ words to my latest manuscript. My characters are screaming at me to finish their story so they can get on with their lives. (And the villains decided to do something really surprising last night that I hadn’t imagined before.)

Maxine Davis - July 31, 2014 - 10:43 am

Wow, I agree with your list. Yes, I wish more people understood the “star” rating. I dohope I will get good reviews when I do publish a novel. Good post, Sandy!

Tamara LeBlanc - July 31, 2014 - 11:45 am

It would be great if more readers understood the star rating! And like Maxine, I SURE hope I get 5 stars when I’m published again.
Have a wonderful weekend!
tamara

Sandy Elzie - July 31, 2014 - 4:41 pm

walt,
You wound like me! I try to write when I have “free” time. I take my Neo with me to doctor’s appts or things like that. I try to get in extra words. Congrats to you for having that positive attitude…your books are going to sell because they’re very well written.

Sandy Elzie - July 31, 2014 - 4:42 pm

Hi Maxine,
I’m sure you will…after all, I’ve read some of your work. (g)
Can’t wait until that day.

Sandy Elzie - July 31, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Hey Tamara,
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I can’t wait to see your next book out. I can’t wait to see you go forward at M&M and tell the world!! Hope your weekend is good also.

Trudy - July 31, 2014 - 6:04 pm

I was wondering how you were writing more than I could keep up with, but now I know those stories are “screaming to get out and be told”. I just love that love that explanation! Keep up the good work. I’m enjoying the Dad Next Door.

Mary Marvella Barfield - August 1, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Great ideas, Sandy and others. The ratings and comments don’t always match, but we need to chill about the stars and the numbers. If a reader says she loves the story, that should help. I never buy a book based on reviews. Sometimes negative reviews would influence me more, makes me curious.

sandra Elzie - August 3, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Hi Trudy,
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, sometimes they scream…right now they’re screaming for me to hurry up since the characters in my next planned book to write are screaming louder and louder each week that passes. (g)

sandra Elzie - August 3, 2014 - 1:57 pm

Hi Mary,
Thanks for the input…very insightful. Yes, I’ve been told before that they loved the story idea and the writing, but then they gave me 1 star. Another did the same…even said she really enjoyed it and recommended it, then gave me 3 stars. I don’t get it, but at least they enjoyed the book.

sandra Elzie - August 3, 2014 - 1:59 pm

The winner of a free download is Tamara LeBlanc. Congratulations!!!

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