Florida Romance Writers was lucky to have Columnist Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly speak to us about What Readers Want. Basically, they want authors to be polite and respectful toward them. They want their expectations to be met. And they want to know if you’ve reissued a book they might already have.
Readers may be disappointed if an author breaks her promise to readers. For example, the reader expects a certain type of reading experience, and the author takes a favorite series in another direction. This might sour the reader toward buying any more books in this series.
Readers may not like it when an author switches genres and the reader is expecting the same type of book as before. Either use a pseudonym or indicate by the cover that this is a different genre.
Readers aren’t happy when they buy a book only to find they already have it on their shelves, because it’s a reissue. Have it say so somewhere on the cover or inside the front pages.
Readers blame the author for anything and everything: bad covers, bad editing, etc. They don’t understand that publishers may be at fault. All they know are authors.
Readers hold authors in high regard and expect courtesy and respect in return.
Avoid politics online (and religion) or you’ll risk alienating your fans.
Readers who post reviews shouldn’t give away significant plot points.
To gain reader interest, Barbara advises authors to interact online with readers, put out questions, chat as though with a friend, and be yourself.
Readers, what would you add?
I was pleased to receive Member of the Month award from FRW. Here’s a photo of me with FRW president Rose Lawson, and another one of FRW Board members Heidi Lynn Anderson, Rose Lawson, and Lisa Manuel with lifetime achievement award winners Linda Conrad, Heather Graham, and Joan Hammond.