Originally posted in Funds for Writers by C. Hope Clark
This happens at every appearance I make. Someone hears me speak or hold a conversation, then they buy my book, saying, "I don't normally read fiction, but after hearing you talk, I believe I'd like to try one of your books." We then talk about which one to start with, and a sale is made. Hopefully a fan is made as well.
I already know you don't want to appear in public. Most writers don't. Frankly, I'd rather be home in my cutoff sweats and t-shirt with no makeup typing away on a new chapter. I'd rather not put my dogs in a kennel to drive a state away or pack up boxes of books. . . pondering on whether to bring 30 or 130 copies.
But once I am there, I own it. I love someone coming up and saying, "I love your books." or "I've followed you for years." But it doesn't stop there. I ask if they write, or what they read, or where they are from, or what they do for a living. How often do they come to Edisto Beach (I do a lot of signings down there) or come to South Carolina.
Because asking about your readers makes them love you more. Why? Because it shows that you care more about the reader than simply making a sale. People love for others to care about them.
You should care about your readers. These people have offered up to you hours of their finite life, which is a phenomenal gift. A certain number of heartbeats and breaths they'll never get back, all because you were chosen to be a permanent part of their life. . . of their memories.
Y'all, that's what you ought to be thinking when someone picks up your book. So, when they say they've chosen your book, especially if it's a genre they don't normally read, then feel honored and thank them from the bottom of your heart in return.
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