The Reader Writer Connection: Guest Blog by Sue Moorcroft

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reader writer connection with Sue Moorcroft

Today, our guest blogger is Sue Moorcroft, an award-winning author and writing tutor who sets the gold standard for the rest of us in the art of making the reader writer connection.

At Liberta’s request — we imagine we’re not the only ones who are looking for hints to improve our links with readers — Sue’s blogging about how she interacts with her readers.

Over to Sue…

Sue Moorcroft Connects with Readers

It’s always a good day when I receive a message from a reader.

Partly because I’m lucky enough to receive a lot of nice messages, which gives me a warm glow (you may prefer to call this ego-feeding!), but mostly because it proves my work’s being read and enjoyed.

reader writer connection

 

I think back to my teens and writing to a couple of well-loved authors via their publishers. One missive was met with silence and the other by a one-line reply that my letter had been passed to Ms X and she’d no doubt be delighted. (Was she? Who knows?)

In contrast, in this wonderful age of electronic communication, readers can interact with me via:

And I reply!

Not because I have to, not because I don’t want adverse publicity if someone objects to being met with silence, not because it earns me money or pleases my publisher and agent. It’s because I want to.

Readers talk to me about my characters, books, settings, work day, my puppy-in-law, courses and covers, and even help me with research when I talk about it on social media

reader writer connection via Milo

But what should writers actually DO?

My philosophy is simple and straightforward.

  • I make myself available online.
  • When readers talk to me, I reply.
  • When readers ask me questions, I give a considered answer.
  • I ask them questions in return, because they’re a valuable source of insight — straight from the reader’s mouth, as it were.
  • When readers help me with research, I thank them and acknowledge them in my book
  • I accept invitations to events where I’ll meet readers whenever I can.

Somebody asked me recently whether being active on social media sells books. Well, yes, I think it does. Not just because when a book’s on promo people tell me they’ve just bought it, but because friendly connections keep me in readers’ minds. I interact with book bloggers, too, who review my books and invite me to guest on their blogs. I’m lucky enough to have both readers and book bloggers as members of Team Sue Moorcroft, my street team. (Learn more about/sign up for my street team here)

But I really I like connecting with readers because I like them. I’m thrilled when they share their thoughts on my creations; it’s fascinating to discover what kinds of people read my books.

I’d like to finish with an anecdote about a lady approaching me at a book signing. Having been very ill, she was resting and reading every afternoon and told me that her current book was All That Mullarkey and it was “saving her life”.

As it happened, her husband bought her the rest of my books! But it was more important to me to know I’d made a difference to her during a bad patch. It was a privilege to meet her.

Many Thanks to Sue Moorcroft for sharing her insights

Sue makes it sound so simple but, boy, it really isn’t. Sue has put hours of work into creating those links and getting out there to make contact with her readers. Clearly her readers appreciate it and the connection really works. So it gives the rest of us something to aim at.

About Sue Moorcroft

books by Sue MoorcroftAward winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. The Wedding ProposalDream a Little Dreamand Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013.

Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.
Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing “how to” and is a creative writing tutor.

Sue’s latest book is: The Wedding Proposal

8 thoughts on “The Reader Writer Connection: Guest Blog by Sue Moorcroft

  1. helenajust

    As a reader I think Sue is right that being active on social media sells more books, but with reservations.

    On the positive side, readers know when your next book is out, and if they feel a connection with you they are more likely to buy it. But I don’t engage with everyone who is an author. I have to have read a book of theirs and liked it, first. I believe that nothing sells books like writing good books (as long as people also know that the books exist).

    On the potentially negative side, I think a happy medium and moderation is important. If you’re all over the place all the time it can be annoying, and readers might wish you’d spend the time writing books instead! Also, be careful what you share and what you say, in case you alienate readers. Of course you shouldn’t be untruthful, but if you hold unusual or extreme views you might hesitate before airing them!

    1. suemoorcroft

      I agree with all of that, Helena. 🙂 I have unfollowed an author myself because he was always banging the drum for his political viewpoint. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Sue McCormick

    I am a reader you likes to connect with an author; but I am more likely to do so through a collective blog such as Liberta or the Word Wenches blog (the Word Wenches sent me to Liberta). I learn much from these collectives. And I hope my responses help the authors in return.

    1. suemoorcroft

      That’s really interesting, Sue, because I would have thought that readers like the writer’s own blog or their FB or Twitter feeds! Just goes to show that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to making connections. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. Barb

    Helena, well said. I am a reader looking to be a writer. Over the years I have connected with quite a few writers. I wanted to let them know how much pleasure their books had given me so yes it is good to pick and choose your connection. However I have often also connected with writers who wanted to know more about why I liked or disliked (from reviews). Yes it is subjective but sometimes there are also other things getting in the way. I want to be as good as I can when I finally push the big P for publishing and hope that people like Sue (comment above this one) also reach out and tell me how to make it better.
    Sue Moorcroft, this is a great blog and has made me think. I haven’t yet read one of your books but look forward to the experience.

  4. Elizabeth Bailey

    Great blog, Sue. I agree that it’s key to respond with interest and be polite. It is a good time when, via social media, one can see authors as real people, and be seen as real by readers in reverse. I also love being in contact with so many other writers, and we should never forget that writers are readers too!

Comments are closed.