Friday, December 15, 2017

A Panel of READERS

One of the best ideas to come my way popped up at a recent MWC, Midwest Writing Center, programming meeting. MWC wants to put together a panel composed only of READERS who will give writers and authors a chance to learn, first hand, what it is that READERS want. Sounds rather Freudian doesn’t it?

But, psychology aside, it is a solid concept and worth pursuing. Because I’ve been on the receiving end of this equation for three years now. I’ve written before about the benefits of joining LIBRARY book clubs.

My first reason for joining book clubs was to let someone else choose new titles for me. I’d done a round of reading first novels by mystery writers and I was ready to move on, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. So … let someone else pick. LIBRARIANS are a natural. Plus, book clubs sponsored by libraries are, like, FREE for card holders. It was a total win, win situation.

Then I discovered something else. Another freebie. If I went in to a book club meeting, made a few remarks about the monthly book or short story, and then sat back to LISTEN to what the others had to say—I LEARNED something—every time.

Such as:
Character was primary to most readers.
Keep the plot moving.
Write well.
Magical realism is a tough sell.
So is too much sex.
Characters must change and grow.
Don’t kill the dog.
Not everyone will like the book or story.

These topics are familiar subjects of workshops and conferences, but it’s good to hear about them firsthand from knowledgeable, and prodigious READERS. These are the folks we are after. The ones who might buy the books we write. Who will certainly talk about them to their friends. Who will follow our development as authors.

Like I said, a panel of READERS and LIBRARIANS handling questions from an audience of writers and authors is a great idea.

And just to be clear—don’t kill off that dog.

No comments:

Post a Comment