Friday, May 8, 2009

Romance Authors and Readers

How do romance authors or any authors reach out to their readers or potential readers?

Last night, before I had dinner with "the girls" of http://www.youdontsaynotogirls.com, I had a very interesting conversation with Terry of http://www.romanceinthebackseat.com. During our quick (longer than 30 minutes) chat, we both talked about how there are lots of groups for authors to meet other authors, or even authors to meet editors, agents, etc. But where are the events where authors can meet readers?

I'm not talking at like a book signing. Although they can be fun the amount of interactive time between a reader and the author can be minimal. And yes, although you may learn a little more about the author, when does the author learn more about his or her reader?

At dinner with "the girls", they noted the same thing, that there are a lot of opportunities for authors to meet authors. This is all well and good, but isn't our goal as an author to reach readers? Not necessarily to put our latest and greatest book in their hands, but to find out what they liked, what they didn't like, and what they would like to see.

Perhaps there is a reader in your midst that has thought of writing a story but has not figured out how to put pen to paper. Is it not our responsibility to help them figure out how to do so, to encourage them, motivate them?

I realize there are some, perhaps many authors that are actually shy, introverted, whatever you want to call it and putting yourself out there can be, um, well, distressing to a few. BUT, don't you want readers to know that you as a person exist behind the name on the cover? That you are more than the bio posted on the book jacket or your website? Please, you can only show so much of you in 100 words or less.

I, personally, love talking with readers and authors. Let's face it! If you write, you more than likely read. Don't you want to have a sit down with your favorite author and ask him or her about him or her self? Yup, I am waving my hands in the air. "I do!"

I would love to have a cup of coffee or a can of soda, even a glass of wine and a chat with as many of my favorite authors as possible. (To name a few, David Baldacci, Linda Howard, Carla Neggers, Suzanne Brockmann, John Sanford, Faye Kellerman, many more!) I would love to share a cold beer with a new author I just read and find out why she wrote that story as her first.

I'm not talking a friendly chat in an auditorium. That is an oxy moron if I have ever heard one! A friendly chat would take place at a local coffee shop, pizza place, winery, where everyone can sit around in comfy chairs, and be themselves. No suits or ties, or dresses (unless that's what makes you comfortable), but a T-shirt and a pair of jeans so you can sit back, cross your feet and have a conversation as if this author and reader was your next door neighbor. Who knows, maybe they are.

I would be willing to drive a distance to sit down and talk with readers and authors, wouldn't you? Wouldn't that beat standing in line for a 5 second blip and a signing by an author who doesn't even know your name?

Anyway, after all that longwindedness (not sure if that is a word), my point is, I'm an author and a reader and I want to meet readers on a more personal level, talk with them, hear their stories, share my stories, and just have some fun.

With that in mind, I would love anyone's input as to:

A. Does this sound like a terrific idea?
B. Would you as a reader want to participate in this?
C. Would you as an author want to participate in this?
D. What place would you recommend for a cozy author/reader chat?
E. How often should these take place? (once a week, once a month, more)??

Share any thoughts and ideas. And yes, I plan on following through on some form of this in the VERY near future. Hopefully, other authors will want to participate or start something similar in their area!

2 comments:

Colleen McCready May 9, 2009 at 8:38 PM  

Hi Denise-- What a great idea of getting writers and readers together. And yes, I finally started following your blog.

Colleen

Denise May 9, 2009 at 9:06 PM  

Hi Colleen,

Yea!
Glad to see you here. :-)

D

  © 2009 DENISE ROBBINS | Design and graphics by Will Design For Chocolate | Blogger template 'Contemplation' by Ourblogtemplates.com