Monday, January 22, 2018

There Might Be Dancing . . .

I love to get books - and gift cards for them! - as gifts. When books I request from the library are ready to pick up, I want to rush over, scoop them up and bring them home. And I probably get waaaaay too excited when a favorite author has a new book coming out. (There might even be some dancing involved. And not by the tortoises.) 

But I thought of those things as a reader, not so much as a writer. Until now.


WHEN YOU THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE,
DON'T THINK ABOUT WHO'LL BUY YOUR BOOK.
THINK OF WHO WILL READ IT
AS IF IT'S THE GREATEST GIFT.

It shifts the focus. It's no longer about what we as writers can get from our readers but becomes more about what we can give to our readers. And what can we give them? So. Many. Things. In the pages of our stories, we offer adventure, romance, new friends, mysteries to solve, trips to the past and to the future and to places incredibly different from our own. 

And in my case, I (hopefully!) give my readers goose-bumps and heebie-jeebies. (Okay, the real gift is that no one has to see me dance. Other than the tortoises, and they just hide in their shells until it's over anyway.) 

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So, what do you give your readers? Do you get excited about books? Are you a good dancer? 

*****

I'm taking a short blogging break. I'll still check in, but no new posts until Wednesday, February 7, when I will once again be co-hosting IWSG. 

34 comments:

  1. This white boy definitely can't dance.
    By my second book, my focus did shift to what I could give the fans, so I guess I did that right.

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    1. For our wedding dance, my husband and I pretty much swayed in place. :)

      That shift in focus, in mindset, is really interesting.

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  2. Like all good books, they deliver on a promise. That's my greatest hope--that I delivered. :)

    Enjoy your time off!

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    1. I hope my stories deliver, too.

      Thanks re the time off. Just trying to buckle down a bit and get more writing done. :)

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  3. I have told writers before that we always must remember that readers aren't there to make our dreams come true; we must be there for the readers and do our best to never waste their time or their money.

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    1. And yet readers make writers' dreams come true, too. :)

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  4. I absolutely love new books and gift cards for books! Between my big 40th birthday and Christmas, I got so many new books this year, and it has been so much fun working my way through them. Not that I suffer a book shortage normally. :p

    I love that way of looking at writing. Thanks!

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    1. I love having piles of books, picking and choosing what to read next. It's like having a big box of chocolate candies and that delicious feeling of deciding which one to try. :)

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  5. I hope I give my readers a great adventure, but I'm not always sure. I don't dance well. At least my dogs say so. Enjoy your break.

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    1. I don't know that we can always be sure, but we can always hope that we do and give it our best shot. :)

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  6. That's a great way to look at it. I especially like Elizabeth's comment above on making sure we're not wasting our readers' time or money.

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  7. Great list! I love everything about books - receiving them as gifts, giving them as gifts. I love browsing the stacks in the library, used and indie book stores (places that still smell like books). And I hope some day someone will be delighted to receive and read a book authored by me. Dancing? I'm more of a "sway" to the music girl. :-)

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    1. Love this - "And I hope some day someone will be delighted to receive and read a book authored by me."

      Oh, and I can sway with the best of them. :)

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  8. I definitely get excited over books, and I'm a horrible dancer. I don't have a lick of rhythm!

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    1. If only our excitement for books could translate into rhythm. :)

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  9. I've taken a few dance lessons in my time, so I can cut a rug pretty decently. :) I think I need to switch my mental gears to think of my book as a gift rather than a burden. Unfortunately, my passion is my big books, and many people have told me how they never have any time. It's a bit of a confidence killer.

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    1. Sometimes I enjoy reading fast-paced and/or shorter books but there are times when I want to immerse myself in a huge, sweeping, story (THE STAND, anyone?!)

      Your readers are out there, Loni. Don't doubt that and don't doubt yourself! :)

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  10. I'm like you about books. Just put in six requests for new books at the library. I hope I give my readers heroes and heroines that they love and want to see live happily ever after.

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    1. I'm waiting - rather impatiently! - for the new books I requested from the library to arrive. And the two books I pre-ordered - new ones by Kristin Hannah and Lisa Gardner. :)

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  11. I'm a happy dancer, that doesn't mean it's pretty. :) I just have fun anyway.
    I love this way of looking at our writing as a gift.
    Best wishes on life and writing while you take a bloggy break!

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    1. Love this - "I'm a happy dancer, that doesn't mean it's pretty. :) I just have fun anyway." Definitely going to remember this and apply it to myself. :)

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  12. What a great way to think about our books :-)

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  13. Totally agree! I'm always after more and more books!

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  14. I'm an unrepentant glutton when it comes to reading, too. :)

    I've always thought of the things I create as gifts to give away. (Which is why I never cared about making a lot of money. Good thing, too... HA!) Writing is no different. I want to touch hearts and make connections. Make readers say, "I feel like that, too!" Or simply to make them laugh or cry. Make them feel. The nice emails they send me and the reviews they occasionally write are their gifts back to me.

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    1. Love this phrase - "unrepentant glutton when it comes to reading." :)

      It really is about making our readers feel something, whether it's like you said, about making a heartfelt connection, or giving them the creeps.

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  15. I love going to the library and getting a stack of good books too. I have to be careful to not put too many on hold at the same time. Yes, it's more about what we give as writers to readers, not what they give us.

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    1. We're only allowed 5 Holds at a time but my husband lets me use his card for some of my books. :)

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  16. I definitely get excited about books. I wish there were more authors whose every release I awaited with eager anticipation.

    As for dancing, only my kitties know the truth.

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