Friday, January 09, 2015

How To Please Every Reader

First of all, if you believe I'm really going to tell you how to do what the subject said, I have a bridge to sell you.

Aww, don't go.  Hang in here. I do have some wisdom to share.

First, I want you to see this cartoon. I first saw it on Facebook and then I tried to hunt down the original.  Click here to see all of the sites using it.  Then DUH! I realized the copyright was written on the top left. So I feel it's only right to include a link to BusinessDay. I couldn't find the article to match, but anyway, doesn't the cartoon make a great point?

How often have you tried to make everyone happy with your writing? Oh, yes, you have. And you probably gotten a headache from it.

So what should we do? Yes. Please ourselves. Remember, we're talking about writing.

Sure, you might have to make a few changes to keep your editor happy, but we know they are looking at the market. They want your book to be a best seller. That's how you and the publisher will make beaucoup (spelled boo-coo by us Southerners) of money. It's easy to accept the changes when you trust and adore your editor.

Of course, there will be times you don't want to change a scene or plot point. Then explain how you feel about it and give a good logical, level-headed reason. Remember to be willing to compromise. BUT, if she/he makes so many changes that you feel your story has become lost in shuffle, then it may be time to suggest another storyline.

We're all readers first.

Keep that in mind the next time a contest judge or critique partner tells you, "That will never sell." You liked it, right?  That's why you wrote it. So someone else will too.

I'm curious. Surely, you've read a book out of your comfort zone that you ended up loving. What was that book and tell us the part that was different to you?  The book for me was OUTLANDER. I normally cannot stand time travel. Technically, I didn't read it, but listened to the audio. It was awesome.

Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies and men, and her books reflect that. She currently has three romantic suspense novels with Avon Red and recently sold a hot motorcycle club series to Loveswept. The first book, BURNOUT, is scheduled to be released February 2016. She's married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google+. 

Time Magazine, [Circle of Danger] ". . . involves deadly assassins, drug lords and doing it." 

Be on the look out for giveaways the month of February in celebration of her new novella release, CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE (February 28, 2015 on Amazon. Then end of March elsewhere).


Ali Hubbard said...

Books are like food. Not everybody likes everything, but you won't go hungry if you look around for something else.

You are completely right about not being able to please everyone. I follow Colleen Hoover, who is one of my favorite authors. She couldn't sell her first book, Slammed.

New Adult is something I never expected to like (and many don't). I didn't care for 1st person (love it now). But, it really surprised me. The pace is so fast.

But, one thing I don't do as a reader is criticize an author if I don't like something. I just move along to something else. There's a book buffet just waiting for us!

Carla Swafford said...

Isn't it wonderful to have so many choices, Ali? I never can say, "There isn't anything to read."

Of course, that's usually because my favorite authors don't have anything new out yet. Then again that's the very reason I started writing. LOL!

Aidee Ladnier said...

Great point, Carla! I've lost count of how many authors I've heard say their agent or their editor said their book wouldn't sell in the current market, only to self-pub and find an amazing readership willing to embrace it.

Rashda Khan said...

Excellent point and a good reminder! Sales and fans are important and wonderful, but secondary to being happy with the story you put out.

The book I read and loved, but that was totally out of my comfort zone: The Siren by Tiffany Reisz.

Louisa Cornell said...

Great reminder! So many of the world's great NEW books came as a result of someone deciding to write what they wanted to read. In doing so you will discover your voice and in putting it out there you might just discover an entire choir of voices wanting to sing your song.

Carla Swafford said...

Aidee, I do hear that a lot though I think it's a smaller readership for most. But, every reader counts for sure and time always tells if the author has the chops to stay in there and grow.

And, of course, there are always exceptions.

Carla Swafford said...

Believe or not, Rasha, I read it too, and though the author was a great writer, the story was SO not my cup of tea. Hard to believe considering I love BDSM stories, but not so hard core I guess. The religious aspect turned me off.

Carla Swafford said...

Aww, Louisa, so lovely said. I agree.

Cari Hislop said...

Over the years I've come to realise that most of the books I hate or just can't get into have plots, characters or settings that don't interest me and are written by people with a non-compatible word flow. Just because I don't like a book doesn't mean the book is inherently rubbish! Logically I should say that works vice versa, but all my favorite books are really good! ;)

As for reading outside my comfort zone... I would have to choose Kresley Cole's A Hunger Like no Other (the first in her Dark series). Usually at the mention of werewolves my brain starts to shut down. I am NOT a werewolf fan...probably because it brings to mind a man covered in a cheap synthetic fur. Thankfully I kept reading. I love her werewolves! They're totally different (no fake fur in sight!)...which translates into no coughing up mental fur balls! ;)