Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reader Loyalty

Reader Loyalty
All About the Reader Series by Annette M. Irby

The round table was encircled by writers. All of us at various stages. This one, a writer of chick lit trying to find a new genre which would work for her fantastic voice. That one published in POD. Another one hoping to break in. Someone else multi-published and well received. And then, her. The one I pestered for the autograph over breakfast. The one who posed for a picture before she signed, book in one hand, pen in the other. Big smile.

I confess I don’t remember reading this author’s early books. She’s written several. Okay, a quick perusal of her name’s list on Amazon and I discover, wow, I did read her early novellas. But back then I didn’t know her name.

Now, if I see a book by this author I don’t even hesitate to buy it. Why? She’s earned my loyalty.

We’ve talked about reader trust before, but here’s today’s focus: your name is your brand. Mention Nicholas Sparks and bam—you have an idea in your mind of the types of books he writes—love stories (not to be confused with romances). Books they may at this point be immediately contracting into movies. And if you’re a fan, you’re thrilled to see his next one coming out; you make plans to buy the DVD.

I’m waiting with bated breath for my favorite author’s next book. Why? She’s earned my loyalty in her writing. She gives me what I’m looking for in a good book. We’d all fill this sentence in differently; how would you fill it in? “I read fiction for the ____ and the _____. The only kind of endings I want to read are ____.”

There are other authors who have my loyalty—those whose books garner my attention immediately. But only a few are at the top of the list where “I have got to have their next book” can be said of them.

As we write and publish our books, let’s keep in mind this idea of reader loyalty. It’s another way we bless our reader. It’s all about the reader.

Your turn: Think about your favorite author. You don't have to name them, but tell us what you love about them and how they inspire your writing.

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