It’s now been five days since I’ve returned from the LCLC conference and I’m still thinking about all of the things I learned there. Pictures are continuing to pop up recording my journey and making me smile. The one with me in handcuffs is a particular favorite (that was super fun).
Almost immediately after the conference I received a nice pm (personal message) about my latest book, The Review. The reader told me this was the first book she’d read of mine and how she loved it. This led to my aha moment about what I could use as a tagline, even though I went there kicking and screaming. Marketing and promotion is not something I enjoy AT ALL! Originally I wanted to use One Reader at a Time, but One Fan at a Time just seemed to roll off my tongue more easily.
I realized that what keeps me writing is the e-mails, private messages, and various posts I receive from readers. Even my debut novel (which tanked) generated several positive responses. My first reader (fan) appeared shortly after my debut when she posted that little old me was her favorite author. I will never forget that post from Gail, it made it all worthwhile. I was shocked, bowled over. and riding high for weeks after that post. The disappointment from the anemic sales drifted away like a puff of smoke. Since then, the memorable posts include that I wrote something they could relate to, touched them, or created an embarrassing moment in the middle of a lunchroom when they laughed out loud and a co-worker asked what they were reading. Lunchgate was born (thanks Sue for sharing that). The passage is now the most talked about non-sex, sex scene. Feel free to ask me about it.
Maybe I’ve only touched thirty people deeply enough to generate some correspondence, but for those thirty people I struck a chord and that is a BIG DEAL for me. When I am at my lowest, I can pick up a book and immerse myself in the wonderful fantasy. If I can do that for others, it makes it all worthwhile.
I am embarrassed to say that in the past when an author touched me, I never had the nerve to write an e-mail or pm them to let them know how their work affected me. I don’t let the superstar status of authors affect me as much anymore. I will step out of my comfort zone and let them know how much I enjoyed their writing or I’ll post my positive thoughts on the various Facebook groups I belong to.
I was talking to my friend and mentor about receiving those special messages from readers and she shared she didn’t receive many and I thought that was a crying shame. I am convinced it is because she is so well-known that perhaps the readers took the stance that I used to take…this author will think I’m some crazy stalker. She wrote one of my all-time favorite series and I never told her that prior to getting to know her. I keep reminding her of that now because she needs to know that her work makes a difference to people.
Of course when readers leave a review it helps the author but nothing can compare to a personal message. I am only 12 reviews away from that magical number of 50 (when they will start to recommend my book) but honestly I’ll take one personal message over 50 reviews any day of the week. Now…don’t get any ideas…I still want the reviews…I’m not crazy enough to ignore their importance.
This past week I picked up 19 likes on my Facebook Page, Annette Mori One Fan at a Time and oh my God, it left me with such a warm tingly feeling, almost as good as….oh never mind! So I guess the one fan at a time post was working at supersonic speed. I know it isn’t monumental like some of the other big name authors, but I would have been overjoyed with just one new like…because it really is about touching people….one reader at a time.
So…if you’ve never read any of my books but are a tiny bit intrigued…y’all know the drill by now…click on any of the links below to check one out and I will have picked up one more reader!