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!
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.
- 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!
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!
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.
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.