Making the Connection: Author-Reader

Photo credit: New Media MK on Flickr
So you’ve gone through your manuscript and you’re sure your characters are making the connection. They’re alive—smart, funny, stupid at times (and they’re NOT any of these). They make you laugh, cry, and scream in frustration. Good. You’re halfway there.

Now you need to make another connection—one that many writers (as many of us are introverts) struggle with.

The Author-Reader connection.

I don’t need to tell you how the world has changed in the last ten years alone. You already know that there used to be a time when authors wrote books and chose whether or not to connect with their readers after publication. If they did, they’d go on book tours and sit through hours of book signings and the especially nice ones would conduct interviews and host book readings.

I’ve touched on this before. Now I’m really going to dive into it.

Things are different, my friends. Long gone are the days when the Author-Reader connection didn’t begin until you had a book on the shelves. Now it doesn’t matter. Thanks to social media, you can begin to build relationships with your future potential readers now. It doesn’t matter if you have a published book or an agent. Hell, it doesn’t even matter if you’ve finished writing your first novel. When it comes to forging that connection, you can’t start too soon.

It took me a while to grasp that. I read this post by Nathan Bransford and protested the notion for months. But who would want to follow me? I thought. I don’t even have an agent looking at my work. I’ve never been published.

Who the hell would read a blog post written by me?

Well, as it turns out, at least 68 of you. Plus many more Twitter followers than I ever thought I’d have.

Things are different now, fair readers. I have at least one book in my TBR pile that I discovered not because of raving reviews, but because I thought the author was an awesome person. I should read her book, I thought, not because of a stunning blurb or a gorgeous cover, but because I liked her as a person. The fact that it did have an amazing blurb was a bonus.

The time to make a connection with your readers is now. I don’t care what stage of writing you’re in. If your eventual goal is to be published and you aren’t reaching out to your potential future readers, you’re missing out.

Start now. Don’t wait.

Take it from someone who was, at first, too scared to jump in. People will be interested to hear what you have to say, I promise. Go out there, just be you, and your personality will shine through. People will see it and they’ll gravitate towards you.

Then, before you know it, you’ll have a nice boost to your confidence as well as a circle of wonderful new friends.

What stage of writing are you in? Have you started forging your Author-Reader connection? If so, what reservations did you have before jumping in?


S.P. Sipal said...

Ava, you're so right. It took me a long time to jump into blogging and social media because I just wanted to write. Plus, some of the stuff I tried first I didn't like. But once I figured out my niche with the Harry Potter for Writers thing, something I truly loved and that people seemed interested in, then it just zoomed for me. And I like the combo of Blogger and Twitter together. Now I'm trying Google+, but just dipping my toes in for the moment.

We really can't ignore it. Not even JK Rowling does. She doesn't have to do as much as the rest of us Muggles, but she's got two Twitters now and is using social media to get the word out on Pottermore.

Laura Pauling said...

I agree totally. The earlier you get started the better. Of course, it should never take the place of learning craft or your writing! :)

Jennie Bennett said...

You are one of my most favorite bloggers ever. I totally want to read your book whenever you get to that stage. I am so glad you decided to start a blog because I love to come read it!

I wasn't afraid to start a blog, but now I think if my book ever gets published, how am I ever going to be a good marketer? I guess I've already taken the first step :)

Hope Collier said...

You're spot again, chica! Making friends and building a platform is a beautiful thing and for so many reasons. I opposed Twitter and blogging for such a long time for the same reasons! Nice to know I'm not the only introvert ;) I believed I didn't have anything worth sharing yet. It seemed so presumptuous to think anyone would care. BUT I found it helped *me* more than I ever imaged. I connected with a multitude of readers who are always encouraging, a ton of great writers who I've learned SO much from, and just some truly amazing friends!

Great post :)

Krista said...

I had reservations about the whole social medua thing because I'm an introvert.

But I have come to like it because I can socialize in my terms and revert tomy hermit ways for a day or two if I wish. I am loving it!

Gabe (Ava Jae) said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone!

I was a little astounded myself when I discovered others who were just like me--scared to jump into the social media fray. Some of my favorite tweeps and bloggers admitted to feeling the same way and I thought you? But you're awesome!

I love the connections I've made through twitter and blogging and I can't wait to make more! :)

Unknown said...

I'll go ahead and be the odd duck.

I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA. It's yet another way to connect to people, which I love. When I first joined twitter, I thought: I'll start building my writing platform because that's what I need to do now.

Surprise surprise. Now I'm just having major fun and not even thinking about it. I've met amazing people, and can I just say that I too didn't think anyone would want to hear what I had to say. I still find it odd. Hehe.

But I have to say Ava, from all the blogs I follow, this is one of my most favorites because.. well, you know this, but you've a way of connecting to people. So cherish this gift and keep mongering. You can do it all, girl! <3

Gabe (Ava Jae) said...

Just wanted to add another comment here to thank everyone (again) for the awesomeness you left me here. You guys are great. Thank you thank you thank you.

I've never been more pleased with my decision to jump in. You guys are amazing.


Unknown said...

Just jumped on board your blog because I have so much fun engaging with you on Twitter. I'm a newly agented YA novelist, but I started blogging a couple years ago because it was fun. Then I realized it was a way of promoting authors whose work I admire. Then I started connecting with more people who I appreciate. The reason list just keeps growing and growing.

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