Tag Archives: Love Your Readers

6 Must-Haves For Nurturing Relationships With Readers

I love my readers! 

They say such nice things about me, like:

“Grubb thinks big. And it comes across in her novels. They’re packed with action and romance and great dialogue. But she never compromises. There’s a moral line she doesn’t cross…but they aren’t stuffy or stilted in any way.”

Or, “Entertaining and made the time fly. Hard to put down. I normally read 50-75 novels a year and most of them I read and forget. This one has stayed with me. Quirky romantic hero, well-defined characters, and a great story. There were a few typos and other grammatical issues, but easy to overlook when the story is so good. Highly recommend!”

Six Must Haves For Nurturing Relationships With Readers by Katharine Grubb

There isn’t a better feeling than having readers get you!

Now I know that I can’t please all of them. I do have my share of 1-2 star reviews. But if I look at my body of work in the big picture, I want to nurture this relationship with my readers. I want to love my readers and strengthen our relationship for the long term.

These are six great must-haves for me if I’m going to love my readers.

1.  AN ATTRACTIVE ATTITUDE  I think that generally speaking, people are attracted to lightheartedness. And while there is a place in this world for controversy and strong opinions (perhaps in the books I write), I think our persona as authors should be one of cheerfulness. (This means NO COMPLAINING. EVER.) I know how much I’m turned off by bad attitudes, so I can imagine my readers would feel the same if I were whiny, condescending or rude.

2. AUTHENTICITY Writers are ordinary people who spend a lot of time thinking. We’re not some pretentious, chain-smoking, cat-loving hermits who substitute our stories for actual human intimacy and wear a lot of black. (At least I’m not.) I believe that writers who can show their humanity to others, who can allow non-writerly life to be seen by the public (within reason), who don’t isolate themselves or create a lofty image will be able to identify with their readers. I like to meet people who are real and if they aren’t afraid to show their weaknesses, then I love them all the more.

The FIRST EVER Conference for 10 Minute Novelists will be held August 9-11, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH. We’re featuring Donald Maass, James Scott Bell and Janice Hardy! Come and learn with us!

3. ACCESSIBILITY  We are so lucky in this age to be able to communicate with our readers. It used to be that readers wrote letters to authors and there were no reviews on Amazon and no one could tweet you. Wise writers should take advantage of these communication methods and figure out what works. This would include, among other things, having an email address on a blog and engaging in conversation.

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

4. AN INSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE  So, what was your favorite love song from the ’80s?  Our readers can provide all kinds of answers to questions, but we need to ask them! I found while I was writing, that my Facebook fan page readers have great insight, they have good ideas, they know exactly how feasible it would be to hide a laminating machine in a dorm room. Because I’m asking them questions, I’m starting some interesting conversations, think about things in a different way and outsource my research (all of this adds to my authenticity and accessibility!) My readers know I’m up to another story and so when it comes out, they’re all the more excited. Win-win!

5. APPRECIATION Readers are why I do this. Every time I find out someone read my book or left a review, I am a little humbled. My readers are taking a chance on me. A $3.99 ebook isn’t a very big chance, but still. Out of the millions of things these readers could read, they chose my book and from the response, I’m getting, they are willing to fork over even more. I can’t take this for granted. Perhaps fame and fortune are part of my future. I never want to be so big that I don’t forget who loved me in the beginning. I thank my readers often. You should too.

6. EXCELLENCE (and thus ends the A Alliterative point. Sigh.) If we go to the trouble of writing a book, then we must be diligent in all areas of it. We must take care to make it mechanically sound, not cut corners and not disappoint our readers with sloppy, unprofessional work. Poor editing communicates to the reader that we don’t care about them. I would hate for my reputation to be tarnished because I didn’t take the time to be excellent.

Granted, ten, fifteen years from now my own experiences may change this a little, but for now, I want to cultivate these qualities as a habit, so that I can continue to have great relationships with my readers.

 What else can you think of that readers want? What do you want as a reader? Which of these is hardest for you? Which of these is the easiest?


Did you like this post? You may also like:

Top 10 Ways To Get Your Readers To Fall In Love With You or,

Top 10 Things You Should Be Saying To Yourself That Will Help Make You More Successful


 


I am a fiction writing and time management coach. I help time crunched novelists strengthen their craft, manage their time and gain confidence so they can find readers for their stories.

Katharine Grubb is a homeschooling mother of five, a novelist, a baker of bread, a comedian wannabe, a former running coward and the author of Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day. Besides pursuing her own fiction and nonfiction writing dreams, she also leads 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook, an international group for time-crunched writers that focuses on tips, encouragement, and community. 

Top 10 Ways To Get Your Readers To Fall In Love With You

According to an interesting article on WikiHow, “How To Fall In Love” you can find yourself in a satisfying relationship in a few not-so-easy steps.

 I’d like to suggest that authors follow their advice to be “in love” with their readers. And hopefully, readers will fall in love with them too!

Top 10 Ways To Get Your Readers To Fall In Love With You by Katharine Grubb 10 Minute Novelist

  1. Boost Your Self-Esteem. For those looking for romance, this means exude confidence, know who you are, and stop comparing yourself to others. This will make you attractive to others. Writers should do the same thing. Take the time to make yourself into a good writer.  That means that you need to seek out challenging mentors and coaches that can push you to be better. You may need to take classes. You may need to have a critique partner who makes you cry. No one wants to follow a loser. So train like a winner. This also means looking good. You need to make a good impression. All of your social media personalities should be consistent and reflect the emotional goals of your brand. In other words, act like a professional! 

2. Consider why you want to fall in love. The article suggests that if we are looking for a romance to “complete” us or give us validation, we may be in it for the wrong reasons. I totally agree. I also think that writers who pursue publication for fame, fortune or any other reason may need to reconsider. Being a great writer who can live off their income takes a lot of work. Only you can decide if you’re doing it for the right reasons.

3. Consider what you’re looking for. If you are looking for a romantic partner, then you need to put some thought into what kinds of people you enjoy. You also need to think deeper than a pretty face or huge biceps. Writers need to be just as thoughtful. They need to know what kind of writers they are. Do they write mysteries? Romances? Thrillers? Steampunk? They also need to know what kinds of people read their genre. If you don’t know who you are or what you want, you’ll have a lot of trouble finding readers.

4. Meet people. This should be the most obvious. If you want healthy relationships, romantic or otherwise, you have to get out into the world. For writers this can be terrifying because we often like hiding out with our laptops and our cats. You can do this in real life, such as with a writers’ group or book club. You can also do this online, where we care far less about personal hygiene. My personal favorite group is the 10 Minute Novelists group on Facebook. Join us. 

5. Open Yourself To New Possibilities. This is good advice all the way around, for any part of your life. To have what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done. For lonely singles, you may want to try a local meet up or ask your friends to set you up. For writers, this means you need to stretch yourself. Try signing up for a new social media platform. Try joining a chat. Try calling your local library and asking them if you can drop off one of your books. Get over your fear. Take chances. You’ll probably be surprised at how fun it is.

6. Give Things Time. This is the best thing on the list. Writers absolutely cannot expect to be best sellers overnight. That’s as ridiculous as a lonely woman arriving at a singles dance expecting to meet Prince Charming, getting engaged in three months and married in a year. Be content to start at the beginning. Don’t be afraid to fail.  Write every day that you can. Don’t give up because it’s hard.

7. Develop The Relationship. Now this is where the article assumes you’ve met Mr. Right, (or at least Mr. Right Now). The author suggests that you talk, expressing interest in the values and experiences of this new person in your life. This is great advice for you as a writer too! I totally believe that if we are going to have life long reader fans, we need to start with our friends! This means talking to them. It means asking good questions. It means getting your focus off yourself (and your book sales) and work at this new relationship.

8. Open Yourself Up Emotionally. This is also great advice! Now in a romantic relationship, you need to take risks and be vulnerable. Sometimes that’s really scary! Writers have to take risks too! With each reader that reads your book, you have to be willing to get a mediocre or bad review. You have to be able to handle rejection. You need to not take it seriously when they say, you’re not my type. There are plenty of readers out there, so if your heart gets broken, keep trying! To be successful, you must deal with bad reviews like a pro. It also means understanding that art is subjective and what one person loves another will hate. The artistic nature of this business makes everything wonderful and everything harder. Sigh.

9. Build Trust. All relationships are built on trust. How do you build trust? You keep your word. You communicate gently. You don’t antagonize. You don’t criticize. You don’t judge or condemn. You don’t ignore. An affable, approachable writer who is trustworthy to his readers will be in greater position for long term success than one who is disrespectful and lacks integrity. This means absolutely no misrepresenting yourself! No manipulating numbers! No fudging reviews! No underhanded dealings! Any shortcuts you may take to “gain readers or followers” will someday come back to bite you in the butt. Don’t do it.

10. Appreciate what you’ve got. No one likes to be taken for granted, not even readers. Once you have readers who are willing to buy your books, keep them posted on what’s next for you. Say thank you by sending personal messages. Do your best to remind them that they are important to you. This will go a long way to building a great writer/reader relationship. You must understand that your readers’ attention is precious.  They will  have no trouble finding other books to read. Respect this. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t answer questions hatefully or sarcastically. Be warm. Be generous if you can. Get to know them, don’t just make it all about you.

To get our readers to fall in love with us, we’re going to have to work. We’ll need to take our art seriously, their relationship seriously and give everything our best.  

There are no shortcuts. Sorry about that.

Each bullet on this list is a long tedious task that can only be accomplished with hard work. Discouraged? Don’t be. Good relationships and enthusiastic tribes take time. And it starts with what’s inside you!

Readers are worth it. 

#Top10Tuesday Making Your Readers Fall In Love With You In 10 Not-So-Easy Steps By Katharine Grubb

Recently my group had a one hour chat on Facebook about how to get a readers to fall in love with their work. We had one hour!  That’s  like bringing a baby home from the hospital and saying, “I got five minutes, how can I be a great parent?” 

If you’re one of those writers who wants to woo readers quickly, then you need to move along. This post isn’t for  you. 

There are no shortcuts. Sorry about that.

Each bullet on this list is a long tedious task that can only be accomplished with hard work. Discouraged? Don’t be. Good relationships and enthusiastic tribes take time. And it starts with what’s inside you!

#Top10Tuesday Making Your Readers Fall In Love With You In 10 Not-So-Easy Steps By Katharine Grubb

1. You have to be committed to excellence. That means that you aren’t satisfied with mediocre work. That means that you need to seek out challenging mentors and coaches that can push you to be better. You may need to take classes. You may need to have a critique partner who makes you cry. No one wants to follow a loser. So train like a winner.

How Do You Find Help?

  • Buddy Day! Every Tuesday, my Facebook group has Buddy Day and you can ask for critiques, beta reads, proofreads, or a hand to hold. Over 1200 writers worldwide have joined my group and dozens have benefitted from Buddy Day.
I am a 10 Minute Novelist and I Have Amazing Friends
Click the image to go to our Facebook group! Join the fun!
  • Scribofile critique group. Scribofile is a social media platform to help writers get insight from other writers. Private and public groups are designed to make this experience a win-win for everyone.
  • Get a qualified editor. We have a list you can choose from here. I am fortunate to know several excellent editors who would be happy to help you make your project shine. Click the links and check out their prices and availability. You can find our editors here.

2. You must write every day. Or, write every day that you can.  You absolutely can’t be a star if you won’t practice.

3. You have to have low expectations for yourself.  You will not be famous overnight. Nope. Be content to start at the beginning. Read all you can get your hands on about the writing craft and learn from the pros!

“The difference between genius and

4. You have to read. Reading is your intellectual fuel. If you don’t put beautiful words in, you’ll never get beautiful words to come out.

5. You HAVE to stay humble. Now you have to do this both publicly and privately. You don’t have all the answers, so don’t pass yourself off as an expert. Instead, be teachable and open to new ideas and suggestions.

6. You need to make a good impression. All of your social media personalities should be consistent and reflect the emotional goals of your brand. In other words, act like a professional! 

A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it.
A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.

7. You need to deal with your readers HONESTLY!  No misrepresenting yourself! No manipulating numbers! No fudging reviews! No underhanded dealings! Any shortcuts you may take to “gain readers or followers” will someday come back to bite you in the butt. Don’t do it.

8. You need to take your lumps. That means dealing with bad reviews like a pro. It also means understanding that art is subjective and what one person loves another will hate. The artistic nature of this business makes everything wonderful and everything harder. Sigh.

9. You must understand that your readers’ attention is precious.  They will  have no trouble finding other books to read. Respect this. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t answer questions hatefully or sarcastically. Be warm. Be generous if you can. Get to know them, don’t just make it all about you.

10. Be authentic. It never ceases to amaze me the power of humility and honesty. If all you show the world are your strengths, then no one can identify with you. But if you’re real about your struggle and your failures, then more people will be willing to follow you. It’s kind of like your weaknesses are your super power! It’s weird, isn’t it?

To get our readers to fall in love with us, we’re going to have to work. We’ll need to take our art seriously, their relationship seriously and give everything our best.  

Readers are worth it. 


 

I am a fiction writing and time management coach. I help time crunched novelists strengthen their craft, manage their time and gain confidence so they can find readers for their stories.
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Author Katharine Grubb  lives in Massachusetts, homeschools her five children, bakes bread, does a ridiculous amounts of laundry and sets her timer to write stories in ten minute increments. She believes in this so much she created a Facebook group for it (10 Minute Novelists) and she runs a website for the group: http://www.10minutenovelists.com. Her favorite type of books to read and write are quirky, imaginative tales of romance, faith and humor.


 

Starting in July, a new weekly newsletter, The Rallying Cry,  will be released from Katharine Grubb. Sign up if you need a weekly dose of encouragement covering all of your life, not just writing. The Rallying Cry  will be an honest, kleenex-worthy, you-can-do-this, faith-filled message of hope for those who need it. You can sign up below.

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Love Your Reader, Love Your Art, Love Yourself a Guest Post by Jude Knight

When this post goes live, Valentine’s Day will be right around the corner, which is good, because this post is about love. Not romantic love, of course. Did you know that the Feast of St Valentine originally commemorated two or three different saints, and was associated with the beginning of Spring?

The connection between Valentine and romantic love is only a few hundred years old (700, to be exact). Before the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer made the link, the love that we celebrated on the Feast of St Valentine was not romantic love, but the love given by one who serves.

#EthicalAuthors Weeks Feb 1-14

As writers, we serve readers and, in a sense, we serve our stories. This post is about the love that we bring to that service.

Love your reader

As writers, we need readers. A living story is a collaboration between a writer and a reader. We provide the plot and the characters in our words, and the reader creates the pictures, the smells, and the input of all the other senses; feels the emotions; adds in the descriptive details we’ve left out.

Our readers are prepared to take time out of their busy lives to go on the story journey with us. They even pay hard-earned dollars to take our characters home with them. They deserve our respect. We love our readers by working hard to learn our craft; by writing, rewriting, and rewriting, until our work shines like the gem we know it can be; by giving them the very best we have in us.

We love our readers by thanking them for taking the time to leave a review; even one we don’t much like. Some people will not like what you write, and that’s okay. They have a right to express that opinion. (Jan O’Hara has written an excellent post on how some famous writers have set limits on that right when it impinges on the enjoyment of others. Some people forget that your right to wave your fist in my face stops just before my nose begins.)

Loving our reader doesn’t mean agreeing with them. Trying to agree with every single reader would be a swift road to insanity. The book is yours, and loving your reader requires you to first love your art.

Love your art

Your writing is part of you; the child of your brain and heart. Love your work the way a good parent loves their child. A good parent teaches manners, honesty, and hard work, not to be mean but because one day the child will be an adult, facing the world without the parent’s protection. If you want your book child to succeed, don’t accept bad spelling, continuity errors, and lost plot points. Write, rewrite, and rewrite.

And love what you do. According to Rob Parnell, you have the ingredients for success if writing is something you just have to do; if you get anxious when life keeps you from your keyboard, if the story is burning inside you to get out.

In order to be successful, you only need to love what you do. You don’t necessarily have to be any good at it – at least when you start.

Over the years I’ve seen this play out frequently – especially in writing. Technical proficiency and literary mastery pale into nothing when compared to sheer enthusiasm and drive.

Love yourself

I’ve been advised to tell agents, publishers and reviewers which other author I write like. I’m very uncomfortable with that question. Part of loving ourselves is finding – and being true to – our own voice. I can be a good Jude Knight. As I practice my craft and learn more and more, I can be a better Jude Knight. I’d be a mediocre Grace Burrowes or Stephanie Laurens, which is okay, because those two roles are already taken.

So love yourself. Believe in the voice you have. Trust your belief that your story is worth telling, and that the way you tell it is the right way.

Also love yourself enough to learn your craft. You wouldn’t enter a marathon without training, and you wouldn’t expect to win an Olympic gold medal without training a lot. Treat yourself with respect, and practice, practice, practice.

And finally, as the Desiderata that was popular when I was a teenager says, beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. We make plans, and sometimes they don’t work. Life happens. Or we make mistakes. There is a touch of arrogance in expecting more of yourself than you do of anyone else. So be kind. Love yourself.

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Jude Knight has spent a career in commercial writing, and is now writing historical romance novels. She has a novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair, available free at most e-retailers, and is publishing her first novel, Farewell to Kindness, in April.

Free download links on my book page: http://judeknightauthor.com/books/candles-christmas-chair/

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