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WINNING OVER READERS

I drop in to have a look at other author blogs from time to time. Mostly this is a huge waste of time. Here’s my take on the near hysterical rantings on many blogs. There is an obsession with marketing and promotion. Where someone ranks on Google or MySpace is not what writers should be worried about. What is getting lost in all the competition for attention is what readers want. They want someone who spends time not studying marketing techniques but a book that is a product of studying the human condition.

That means getting out among people of all kinds; and not sticking to close friends and family. Imagination must be fed by curiosity otherwise it dies. The life-blood of a good to great novel is one inspired by heartfelt experiences, ones that the author is able to articulate and weave into an overall story. The current preoccupation blogging authors have with marketing gimmicks is turning a generation of writers into junior sales reps who spend a great amount of time thinking of new ways to sell additional books. Of course an author needs to be concerned about selling enough books to keep his/her publisher wanting to publish the next one.

The clue to making this happen is to deliver a book that no one else could have written, because you were the only witness on the scene the day you got up from your computer, turned a corner, and found an aspect of life that rang true and inspired a vision of life yet undisclosed, one that you could make your own through words. If that isn’t your goal, save the forest, save the trees, find a line of work where you never have to leave your computer and your latest search of where you stand.

If you are an author, shut down your computer. Get out of the house/apartment/office wherever you are, and walk over to a place you’ve never been. Observe, listen, take in the full swell of life that moves around you, embrace it, reflect about it, and above all find that small telling detail in the way another person moves, talks, or sighs and remember this moment as a reflection of a larger story yet to come.

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