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.
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:
- Twitter @suemoorcroft
- Facebook profile or Facebook author page
- My website
- Comment on my blog
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
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
Award winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream, and 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