Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, November 25, 2013

Just write what people want to read

 Connecting writers and readers has never been simple. Yet because of social media, there's the mistaken idea that it's now a done deal. If only authors put enough information out there about themselves and their books, readers will find them. And buy them. And love them.

Twitter, Facebook, blog, Google +, Pinterest-- whatever it is, get on and promote your book! Anyone getting tired of this merry go round yet?

Especially when it doesn't work to sell books?

No, it does not. Seriously. Now don't get me wrong--once the book is out, you've got to give it a fighting chance by letting your potential audience know about it. But what happens if you've done all the social media over and over and over, and the book just isn't taking off?

Then it's not a book people want to read. Doing more social media won't change that. I'm not saying it's a bad book, it's simply not connecting with an audience. It may sound harsh but truth is, not everything flowing from our pens is golden.

What next then? Keep pounding away on yet another social media site trying to connect with that elusive audience? NO.

You've got to write another book, and maybe this time it'll be one readers connect with. It's been this way throughout the history of writing and publishing books. Nobody really knows what readers want. Who could have predicted Harry Potter, Twilight or the shades of gray phenomenon? Each of those authors just wrote what they wanted and struck gold.

The stupidest thing is to publish a couple books then quit writing and market like crazy trying to sell them. A better idea is to quit marketing and write like crazy.

Or better yet find a nice balance. But keep writing.


  1. You are so right - so I'd better keep travelling, hadn't I, so I have plenty to write about (is there a better excuse?)

  2. Yes - keep writing! Take a breather to get more inspired and keep at it! And good luck!! Totally agree! Take care

  3. In my fourth rewrite of my first novel...still...I wonder even now if it will have an audience. But, if not, I am indeed tucking away notes for novel number two. Reading this post makes me feel better in advance about rejections I may receive. How weird is that?

  4. As they say, more books sell more books.
    And working on the writing thing.

  5. "The stupidest thing is to publish a couple books then quit writing and market like crazy trying to sell them. A better idea is to quit marketing and write like crazy."

    Perfect example^ of why I love your blog.

  6. Write, write, and write. Improvement is on the learning curve. Never self- publish the first book. It is usually not the gem of literature a writer believes it to be.

  7. I agree. Social media helps get our name out there, but I'm not sure it helps to sell books. I see tweets all the time about new books being out and I can honestly say it has never encouraged me to go buy one. That said, I think the communication and relationships we foster through social media will help to sell our books far more than simply trying to use the applications as a straight marketing tool.

  8. I keep repeating that to myself and trying to find the happy middle where I do both.

  9. Hi, Karen. Great advice!

  10. It's probably a good idea to find the right audience for one's book and focus the marketing on that audience. Marketing is still vital to get word out, but money and efforts have to be put in the right direction.

    Also, I think more of us who read books should review them wherever we can, especially if we think they're good and think others should read them. I've seen so many books with limited marketing reach end up with only a few or no reviews. Reviews help sell books more so than social media efforts. And if you get a free book that you actually take time to read, then take the time to leave some kind of review to help the author who allowed you to read for free.

    Wrote By Rote

  11. Writing what people want to read. Hmmmm. Sounds kinda boring, somehow. But why does a Bear know about things human?

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Blessings and Bear hugs!

  12. Hi Karen - certainly make sure you engage with your readers .. in all ways and connect ... and I'd agree - keep writing and let the books do the talking .. cheers Hilary