Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gaining Reader Trust

Gaining Reader Trust
Net's Notations: All About the Reader Series, Part 7

It's imperative readers trust you, if you want them to continue to follow you.

They need to trust:

Your name.

Your themes.

Your words.

Your takeaway.

Your values.

What you stand for as an author.

In many ways you have to give the reader what they want.

I picked up what I thought was a romance and didn’t find anything except a truckload of what seemed like extra characters. Immediately my “reader trust” factor was broken.

It’s difficult to keep reading a book like that.

That is not the response you want readers to have when they pick up your work.

You also want to consistently write good books. Take time for studying the craft because you don’t want readers to outgrow your writing one day and look over your work and decide you aren’t what you used to be. They keep growing (hopefully); you should, too.

Be original as much as you can, even when it comes to your own work. Don’t recast characters you’ve used before. Don’t insult your readers this way. They’ll know.

Give you readers the kind of prose they expect from you—your voice, your values, your Christian worldview.

Earn readers’ trust by remembering it’s all about the reader.



  1. Good points! I get especially disappointed when I enjoy a good handful of books from one author and then the next one doesn't quite seem to fit in the same genre. That's why I fell in love with the author and his/her books in the first place.

    I love that you mention values, too. This is one thing that definitely makes me trust the author. I love consistency--it's happy and safe!

  2. Thanks, Cindy. Sometimes I think genre switching works, so long as the reader knows that's what happened. As a writer, I don't want to be in a box. But I agree that readers deserve to know what they're getting and if someone has written 20 books in one genre and then switches, it could be a disappointment. Thanks for commenting!



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