On Saturday, I spent the day at the Montgomery County Book Festival. And wow!! What a blast. I got to laugh, hug and just have fun with so many readers and writers! Mari Mancusi and I gave two panels and it was a blast. I gave away bookmarks, posters, bracelets and I signed books. Lots and lots of books. I loved every minute of it. But the best part was just hanging with my fans. Hearing them compare favorite scene from my books was unreal. I can’t even begin to tell you how great that made me feel. Thank you so much to Natasha Benway and all her team of librarians and sponsors who organized this festival. Anyway, it got me thinking about the reasons I love my fans. And here’s a top ten list.
- My fans are readers. I’m a reader, so instantly we have this one thing in common, and more importantly, without readers I wouldn’t have a career.
- My fans give me a boost of self-confidence. We all have our down days, right? It’s a bad hair day, or that time of the month. And we’re pretty certain we suck. Well, if it’s one of those day, and I run across a negative review, it stings like a paper cut. Logically, I know that my books aren’t going to appeal to everyone. Books are like ice cream, everyone has their favorite flavor, and I can’t appeal to everyone’s flavor requirements. But still …it stings. That said, all I have to do is go back and reread an email from one of my fans who tells me I’m one of their favorite authors and that sucky, stingy feeling fades.
- My fans light a fire under my butt and make me become a better writer. I’ll be cruising along, writing on my next book, thinking it’s pretty good and then I’ll read a comment or get an email from someone who says, “I can’t wait for your next book, because I know it’s going to the best yet!” And right then it hits me. I’d better get off the cruise control and work a little harder. They expect this book to be better than the last one. Yeah, that fire is hot and it can burn! Ahh, but I need it.
- My fans remind me how lucky I am. I get a lot of emails from fans who are also writers. People who are struggling to finish a manuscript or desperately trying to sell that manuscript. Maybe they are just trying to improve their manuscript. Writing is hard and I’ve been there in the trenches. I’ve been unpublished and struggling with the huge goal of wanting my book to be in the hands of readers. I always encourage those writers to never give up, but by encouraging them, I’m made aware of how lucky I am to be where I am. It reminds me to never take my career for granted.
- My fans prevent me from looking like an idiot. Have you ever planned a party and worried no one would come? My public events are very much like parties. And my fans show up to my parties. And the party at the book festival last Saturday was a blast. Thank you to everyone who came!
- My fans post about my events. Not only do my fans come, but they retweet or share my Facebook posts. At my last event in Arizona, I had people attend that learned about the event from one of my other fan’s posts. The fan who posted the event couldn’t even attend, but she put it out there and several people came because of it. So thank you for reposting and tweeting.
- My fans are living, breathing promotion of the best kind. Nothing, no kind of promotion is better than word of mouth. I met several fans at the book festival who told me, I can’t stop talking about your books and now, all my friends read them. And it’s true. I seldom buy a book just from an on-line review, but if someone I know tells me how good a book is, odds are . . . I’ll go buy it. So keep telling your friends about my books.
- My fans remind me of what’s really important. Okay, I have to be honest. I write to entertain, I don’t set out to write stories that will inspire, teach a few lessons in friendship, or to show readers that they aren’t alone in struggling with their problems. However, because my characters are dealing with issues (loss of a loved one, a parent’s divorce, parents who just don’t understand us) then, these lessons are woven into the books. And when I get letters from fans telling me how much my books inspired, motivated, and lifted their spirits, I’m totally blown away. And it reminds me how important relationships are in our lives.
- My fans post reviews and comments. I love it when I pop on my blog and see all those comments. And when I see the number of reviews I have on my books. I’m just tickled pink, guys. Plus, a lot of reviews gets you some free promotion. So, I really appreciate them. And you guys are the ones who do them.
- My fans get me—I mean really get me. Yeah, I know some of you are thinking, seriously, C.C., we don’t even know you, so how do you know we get you? Well, if you are a fan, you enjoy my books, hence, you “get” my books. You get my characters. You probably love my characters. You laugh with my characters. You may have even cried with my characters. These characters are a part of me. I created them. I laugh with them. I cry with them. Della, Kylie, Miranda, and yes, even the guys, they are all bits and pieces of my internal makeup. In those pages you read, and some of you reread, there is my sense of humor, my idea of what’s important, and you’ll find what tugs at my heart strings. So you see, you get me! So just get used to it.
Thanks Street Team and Fans Club!
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m always watching to see who on my Street Team and Fan Club are busy reposting, commenting, sharing and retweeting for me, and especially leaving reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc. I promised I’d send surprises to those of you who do the most promotion for me. So, I have sent out gifts to Taryn Courville, Regina Barnes, Monica Coburn, Gabrielle Saunders and Bethany Avery. You guys totally rock! Now don’t forget, I’ll continue to follow my Street Team and Fan Club members, and I’ll be sending out more surprises to those who do the most to promote me. So, get busy. Next time, it could be you!