Friday, November 2, 2012

Where do the readers hang out?

Oh, this poor neglected blog. I always have the best of intentions to write at least three times a week. Instead, I'm working on once a month. *sigh* Well, I'm here today. And boy, oh boy, do I have something to talk about.

I read a blog post today about writers and readers. The point was made that the writing industry isolates the readers. It got me thinking about all of my favorite blog stops and websites. The blog in question posted a quote from JA Konrath:

"Here’s the deal: Readers are my customers, not writers. Readers don’t even know who the Big 6 are. They don’t care.

I’m mentioned a lot in the publishing community, which is small, closed, and uninteresting to anyone who isn’t in it. But because we’re in it, and we care about it, we incorrectly assume that because writers know who I am, readers must as well." (Emphasis by the original blogger. Read the full article here.)  

Now, it's only 7:33am, and I've only had one and  a half cups of coffee so bear with me this morning. I'm sure this entire post will be riddled with mistakes and I may rattle on. If we're insulating our readers, how the hell does a newbie like myself reach these lovely people?   We're told, as writers, to have accounts on any and every site out there: Facebook, Myspace, LinkdIn, Goodreads, Google+, Wattpad...the list goes on and on. I've forgotten half of my passwords for these accounts. But are the readers on these sites, or are they only good for networking. Of course, most writers are readers, but a majority of readers aren't writers.

A voracious reader would have no reason to check out my LinkdIn profile. Why would they? Nor would they head over to She Writes to see what I'm up to. Notice I'm not linking these pages to my personal profile. I guess it would be smart to, but other than fellow writers, no one cares.   I have enjoyed getting to know so many people on Facebook, and get the opportunity to chat with authors whom I greatly respect. But, other than hardcore fans, readers aren't going to scour the social network for a new book. They're going to ask their friends for suggestions. They'll go to Amazon and scroll through the first few pages for a good read.   There is so much on the Internet about how to find readers, how to find your particular market. But these sites are almost always geared toward the writers, not the actual readers. Where are these people? Where are they hanging out? And, if you're not Stephen King, or JR Ward, how do the lowly newcomers get the people to come. If you write it, they will come? Nope. Doesn't work that way.    
                                                      If you build it, they will come.

  We spend countless hours researching, traveling to conferences, attending online classes, improving our craft, reading EVERY SINGLE BOOK out there about writing and marketing....they don't help. Okay, they help with our writing, but they don't help us find the people whom would buy our books.   Does anyone know the answer to these questions? Have you found the secret room where the urban fantasy fans, or the paranormal lovers are hanging out? Are they peeking through the windows laughing at us? And, do they care if we're on the radio, or are interviewed on the morning news? Could they care less if we're highlighted on someone's blog? Sure, review blogs are helpful, but how many readers go to them? Are they, too, geared toward the writing world?   Please, if you have an answer to any of these questions, feel free to point the rest of us in the right direction.