Have you recently changed your social media profiles to erase “book lover?”
Do you feel pressured to leave reviews for books you didn’t finish?
Do you feel roped into a “reading corral?”
Have you ever thrown your Kindle across the room?
Guess what? You’re a Rock Star!
First my disclaimer, I’m a writer and a reader (a hybrid). Once I decided to embrace writing, something I didn’t have the courage to pursue for my career, I entered a twilight zone world. Readers are the new “thing.” Readers have become subjects of polls, targets of Twitter follows, and have been hunted down on Goodreads. There you are in your favorite PJ’s, you know the faded ones, and you’re the target of a massive ‘reader hunt.’ What can you do? Don’t duck and cover. I say embrace the ride up the most sought after lists. After years of no one caring about your personal reading tastes, or at least caring enough to poll you, you (we) have the control.
READERS ARE NO LONGER SIDE SEAT DRIVERS, WE’RE BOOK PILOTS.
The main reason your anonymity has been obliterated is because of self-published writers and e-books. I’m not going to get into an us versus them, I wrote a blog post once asking readers to take a chance on self published books. Self published Indie writers like me don’t have a billion dollar advertising campaign behind us but we do have a story to share. We sought you out and the traditional publishers didn’t like us “luring” you or your dollars. We’re the ones who asked your opinion, and we asked you to share it in a PUBLIC review. Love us or hate us, readers became the new rocks stars because of indie writers. You’re opinion is now important and as a reader I’m glad. I’ll get to see more of the books I like, plus, the series I got interested in, won’t suddenly be dropped. While you’re doing your beach reading, I wouldn’t doubt if unpaid interns aren’t hiking the beaches to check out what you’ve packed to read for vacation. That’s the true measure of rock star status! Just don’t become a diva, stay cool.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP:
1. You don’t owe anyone a review. Yeah, they’re nice for indie writers because we can’t get picked up for advertising without them. Did you know that? Still, you don’t owe us one, period.
2. Don’t leave your public library behind. I wish they carried more self-published books, but they saved my life once upon a time. I want them to thrive. Please renew your library cards.
3. I’d love you to refer my book to your friends by word of mouth instead of written reviews. My best-loved and favorite books came to me that way, and I want my next favorite book to come in the same manner.
4. Comment on author blogs if you’re anxious to see the next in a series. We love it!
5. Stretch your reading tastes out of the same genres. If you’re a romance reader, try a fantasy. This is the time to signal your reading tastes are diverse. Make your preferences known.
6. Enjoy your time in the sun, readers and their opinions have been in the shade far too long.
7. Keep your sense of humor. Remember the old adage about the peon whispering in the emperor’s ear. “Fame is fleeting.” At some point writers will quit stalking readers. (Ok, this may take decades).
8. Tip me on a great book in the comment section. Scrolling through Amazon on a book search makes me dizzy. I’ve even invented a name for it, “Scroll Sickness.”
I’m enjoying my time as a rock star. Whenever, I finish a book on my Kindle, the device begs me to review. In the past, publishers didn’t care if I enjoyed a book, and I like being asked. Still, as a writer I have to hesitate. Amazon has cracked down on authors reviewing other authors. But if you’re not a hybrid like me, give the rating if it doesn’t give you a headache. I’ve taken care of a legion of patients through the years. I can’t tell you how few took the time to thank me for going beyond the norm. Yeah, I got paid to do the job, but a little thanks sprinkled in made the job easier when the going got tough. If you’re the same and a “thank you” makes you smile, consider your review or rating a random act of kindness. You can’t be a Rock Star if you don’t read. For once, readers known world wide as book worms are finally the cool crowd. Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day. What about you?