reader history book

There’s a famous song, sung by a famous British born Canadian singer, at the end of a famous film about a famous English bandit played by a famous American actor, dear reader. To cut a long intro short, ‘Everything I do, I do it for you.’

Did you guess the film, actor, singer… well, never mind, the point to this intro is that my writing is for the benefit of my readers. Yes, you dear reader. You are the object of my writing work.

But the message I’m trying to get cross is for my indie author colleagues.

I was once a young lad (I know, hard to believe, isn’t it) who got his first job in a greengrocer’s shop in the heart of England. Oddly enough, not too far from old Robin’s famous haunt, Sherwood Forest. But I digress, dear reader. My Saturday job taught me a very basic lesson. The customer is always right. Even the awkward buggers! Ninety-nine percent of most customers walking into a shop don’t do so to be awkward. They go into the shop to buy something. Simple concept, but true. The same applies to book sales. Exactly the same concept. With one little proviso. Once purchased some of your readers will want to make a comment. Nothing wrong with that, we need to encourage our readers to comment on our work, especially by placing a review online, at Amazon for example. Some will love your writing; some will hate it. Some will even comment on it. But not all these comments will be the same. So, if the customer, think reader, is always right, how do you square that with taking those diverse comments into account for your next book?

Well, you can’t. But what you can do is apply the common denominator, if there is one, and mostly there is. If you’ve written books that everyone hates, there’s your common denominator, staring you in the face. Equally, if all your readers say they love your books, then that too is a common denominator. So that’s what you act on. Either improve your writing if everyone hates what you write, or, carry on doing what you do best if reviewers give you the thumbs up every time.

But where you get a mixed bag of comments, some very poor and some that say you’re a great writer and they love you work, then you have some work to do. You must get an overall feeling for what your readers want. It’s your readers who are your customers, just like those customers I sold tons of brussel sprouts to at my Saturday job at the greengrocer’s shop all those years ago.

“I don’t want that one,” the old lady said pointing to a Brussel looking a little jaundiced.

“Okay, I’ll change it for a nice plump one, just for you.”

She was more than happy at my response and the little bit of banter made her day a little better.

It’s what we writers and authors do. We give our readers what they want. All you have to do as the writer/author, is work out exactly want your readers want and give it to them in spades… or Brussles!

Go on, make your reader’s day.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2021

Now, who is going to make my day and buy one of my incredibly great reads?

 

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