Expectation & Desire—Cultivating Fans, Not Just “Readers”

Image via WANA Commons @ Flickr, courtesy of the talented and generous photographer Frank Selmo

Image via WANA Commons @ Flickr, courtesy of the talented and generous photographer Frank Selmo

We talked about this earlier in the week, but when I first approached agents with the idea of a social media book for authors, I was nearly stoned. All readers want is a good book, was their cry. Yes, that was true before our world inalterably shifted with The Digital Age.

In 1993, we didn’t expect an instant reply to a phone call. In 1996, we knew to just go make a cup of coffee while we waited for our dial-up Internet to load a page, because we didn’t expect for a page to appear in a fraction of a second.

In 1999, we didn’t expect our cell phones (the few who owned them) to take brilliant pictures, play music and offer us high-speed access to the Internet so we could make reservations for dinner, buy movie tickets, or do some Christmas shopping while stranded at the doctor’s office.

These days? How quickly would you change Internet providers if you could only open one screen and it took 3-5 minutes to load?

The Difference Between Expectation and Desire

Readers expect a good book. They expect proper grammar, punctuation and formatting that doesn’t look like it was performed by a sloth with a severe Valium addiction. These are basic, fundamental expectations…and they no longer impress people all that much.

Give you an example. I took my niece to a very expensive fine-dining establishment for her graduation. I saved the money to give her a treat. I’d chosen this restaurant because it was the one place Hubby and I would go to celebrate big events, like our wedding anniversaries.

Why?

Because, the first time we went there, we were greeted as if we were the most important people in the world. Instead of working middle class, we were A-Listers. A hostess guided us to a candle-lit table scattered with fresh rose petals and an artful bouquet of flowers. There was a card telling us Happy Anniversary and it was signed by all the staff who told us how grateful they were we’d chosen their establishment.

I am not a fan of seafood, but decided to give it a try. Everything they served had been swimming in an ocean 24 hours earlier and was fast-tracked to Central Texas. I never knew fish could actually taste soooo good, namely because all I’d ever been served was frozen mush that tasted like a freezer.

The waiter tended our every need. When I mentioned I had food allergies, the head chef came out to the table and worked out a special dish just for me. At the end of our meal? The staff arrived with free desserts for both of us. The chef had personally crafted one for me to accommodate all my allergies.

Now THAT is what I'm talkin' about....

Now THAT is what I’m talkin’ about….

*swoons*

Every time after, the staff of this restaurant treated us as if we were the most special people on the planet. I was a DIE-HARD FAN and we rarely eat out. When we did? This was the only choice, the ONLY place I wanted to eat. And we had to plan, not only because the place was pricey, but it was tough to get reservations if one didn’t do it far in advance.

Fast-Forward

It’s May of 2013 and I call for reservations at my all-time-favorite restaurant to celebrate my niece’s graduation (she’d won a scholarship to study abroad for the summer). I told the reservationist how important this event was. My niece has grown up in a family where Golden Corral was about as fancy as dining ever got. I wanted it to be perfect. I spent days telling my niece how amazing this place was.

We arrive and the first thing the hostess says is, “Where do you want to sit?” and points to an empty dining room. No table. Nothing prepared. Every time I asked anyone a question, the answer was, “I don’t know. I haven’t worked here that long.” The table is set with chipped bread dishes and dirty glasses. I call over one of the staff and hand her my bread plate and say, “You guys might want to throw this away.”

“Why?” *blank stare*

“Because there is a chip and I don’t want food poisoning.”

“Oh.”

When the waiter arrives, I explain in detail about my food allergies and order a dish that is simple. All they have to do is leave off the butter sauce. I tell my niece to order whatever she wants, it’s her special day. She orders the lobster, which was $90. Our food arrives and guess whose food is swimming in butter?

We had to sit and wait twenty minutes while the food was remade. No visit from the chef. No apologies from the manager.

In short, I was fuming by the end of the night (and mortified). $220 for a meal, and the service would have been better at Mexican Inn for $30.

See, when we first went to this restaurant, we expected clean glasses, plates that weren’t chipped, servers who could answer simple questions (or make an effort to find the answer), who could take basic instructions. We expected excellent food. That alone? We would have been happy. But the original restaurant gave us more than expectations, they gave us our DESIRES. 

Meet expectations? We create customers. Meet DESIRES? We create a cult following.

We desired to feel special. We desired above and beyond…and they gave us what we desired. THAT was what made me willing to save for two months to go to THAT dining establishment.

How Does This Apply to Books?

Readers expect good stories, just like we expected clean glasses. But what do our readers desire? The same thing we desired at the restaurant—to feel special, to connect, to have someone focus on us for a change.

This is why social media is such a game-changer. When we blog, we serve others. We have books to write. We don’t have to blog, but we’re going the extra mile to inform, connect, engage and entertain. Readers are expecting to be spammed by authors, yet they desire to know them and connect with them. 

All you need is love....

All you need is love….

The writer who automates pre-programmed tweets and never talks to anyone, is like that restaurant who thought they could keep business by simply having a fancy menu and doing the bare minimum (and not all that well). I would venture to say the empty dining room should have been my first warning to RUN! 

When we give others (readers or potential readers) what they desire, this is when we differentiate. There are scads of other social media experts who have books. Go to their Twitter and it takes a half a second to realize it is all pre-programmed, self-serving fluff. This is why if you see me on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else on social media? It is ME.

I don’t want to eat spam, so why would others? Yet, by looking inside, I know what I desire—meaning, connection, fun, engagement, recognition, and to feel someone cares. That is what I desire and I’m not any different than most of you or even the people who might buy my books (or even yours).

By serving people more than what they expect and, instead, seeking to give them what they desire, THAT is how die-hard, lifelong fans are made. A good book is what people expect, but search inside and ask, “What do readers desire? And what ways can I give that to them?”

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of December, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

I hope you will check out my newest book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World on Amazon or even Barnes and Noble.

Also, here is a list of WANA International classes and Christmas specials.

About these ads

, , , , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by cris on December 6, 2013 - 6:20 am

    I guess the hard thing is figuring out the readers desire, mainly because different people have different expectations and desires from a book. Also, for me it’s hard to connect on Twitter, I feel like I don’t know what I’m really doing there.

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 8:13 am

      It isn’t what they desire from the book, rather the author. We have to engage and be people. The days where we could hide in a writing cave are over.

  2. #3 by Sharon Rawlette on December 6, 2013 - 6:48 am

    When I read a book that I’m just head-over-heels for, I usually try to drop the author a fan email. Because I know how lonely writers can get, up there in their heads. And if I ever write a book that really touches people, I’ll want the fan mail to prove it. But I know that writers are also very busy people, and I don’t expect replies. When a reply DOES come, however, even if it’s just a couple of lines long, suddenly my connection to that author whom I loved before jumps a few more notches. Now I know I will be buying and reading every book they publish from here on out. (And telling my friends!)

    So, yes. Connecting personally is great PR.

  3. #4 by DC Lozeau on December 6, 2013 - 6:54 am

    As always, Kristen, your advice is greatly welcomed. I love the analogy you used for this one. I hope my conitnued writing will create desire for my readers, just not sure I want a CULT following. *grins from ear to ear*

  4. #5 by vertebraequeen on December 6, 2013 - 6:54 am

    I’ve had a similar experience at a restaurant and with a book! I’ve started up all my social media and love interacting with other authors! It really is icing on the cake!

  5. #6 by Marialena on December 6, 2013 - 7:03 am

    I love how you make the distinction between expectations and desires, readers and fans, automatic and engaged. The restaurant analogy is perfect.

    (So sad that the service and quality of such an awesome restaurant went so badly downhill. Change of management?)

    Your books have helped me a lot as I explore social media as well as your timely posts. Thanks, Kristen!

  6. #7 by Alan Chaput on December 6, 2013 - 7:05 am

    A friend once told me that his driving business philosophy was ‘fill a need’. I suspect his point was very close to yours of ‘give them what they desire’. Great blog, Kristen.

  7. #8 by Laura Drake on December 6, 2013 - 7:05 am

    Kristen, I feel about good promo like the other ‘P’ word – porn. You can’t quite nail down a definition, but you know it when you see it. When I follow back on Twitter, and get a “check out my book/blog/jewelry/underwear, instant block. Sometimes I feel like Twitter is a vast, unpopulated billboard. No humans in sight.

    Honestly, there is good information out there – like your book and WANA – why are people STILL doing this? UGH!

  8. #9 by Romy Sommer on December 6, 2013 - 7:07 am

    I am completely with you on the automated tweeting thing, Kristen. When I see the same tweet 3 or 4 times from the same author, even if it isn’t “buy my book! buy my book!” I immediately unfollow.

    My latest pet peeve is also those long #FF lists. I avoid Twitter now on Fridays because I don’t see any value in long lists of names clogging my tweet stream. Or is that just me?

  9. #10 by Julie Affleck on December 6, 2013 - 7:29 am

    Loved your post! Understand the expect/desire with the restaurant. Now to put it into writing………

    • #11 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 8:22 am

      And social media ;). Just take a couple minutes a day to TALK to people. A little goes a long way.

  10. #12 by Dennis Langley on December 6, 2013 - 7:51 am

    This sounds a lot like a conversation I had recently with my wife. She asked my why my tips vary so much when we would go out to eat. I have left anywhere from one penny to as much as 50% of the bill. The penny shows them that I did not forget to tip them. Anyway, this post definitely makes me think about some of the content decisions I’ve made on my current WIP. Good post.

    • #13 by Gry Ranfelt on December 6, 2013 - 9:19 am

      While traveling through Europe my friends and I was at a place where we got the most horrid treatment. We left a decent tip but paid everything in small coin. Mwuhahaha.

  11. #14 by Jessica S on December 6, 2013 - 7:56 am

    Love this post. You always give me just the right tidbits of your perspective to keep me going. Thank you for blogging. :)

  12. #15 by unpackedwriter on December 6, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Excellent post. Thismismgreat for writers like me who have been buried in the craft and invention cave and must now brave the light of the marketing moment. Thank you for making me aware of the difference between expectations and desires and how they play out on the plate and the page.

  13. #16 by Sybil McLain on December 6, 2013 - 8:00 am

    One of the more — can’t help myself — appetizing blog posts lately. Well said. Well written. You speak the truth. It’s more fun for readers when the author engages with us on a personal level. As for authors, if you have some guidelines on how to be more personable with social media while still maintaining safety and privacy, please share those too. Thank you.

    • #17 by Gry Ranfelt on December 6, 2013 - 9:18 am

      She has a bunch of advice on that in Rise of the Machines :)

  14. #18 by kateherrod on December 6, 2013 - 8:13 am

    One of the best lessons I’ve learned in college thus far is to “underpromise and over deliver”

    • #19 by kateherrod on December 6, 2013 - 8:13 am

      Your comments are right on!

  15. #20 by Margaret Taylor on December 6, 2013 - 8:48 am

    Love the post Ms. Kristen. Sometimes it’s hard to engage on Social Media be it Twitter, FB or Blogging, but I agree if you put in some effort, you’ll reach fans. And if you reach fans, they will buy too…:D I need to get better about posting things on my Author page and not my personal. I always feel though on the Author’s it should be business related but not spam or spam like, so I guess that’s where it trips me up…lol

    • #21 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 8:57 am

      No, use the personal page until you reach critical mass. The profile page is WAY better for creating dialogue. Then, once you get close to the 5000 limit? Transition and invite people to come with you.

      • #22 by Thomas Weaver on December 7, 2013 - 5:57 pm

        That is something I have always wondered about, too: Do I need a separate author page on Facebook, or is my profile page enough for now? Thank you for the advice.

  16. #23 by Gry Ranfelt on December 6, 2013 - 9:18 am

    The way you felt about that restaurant is how I feel about this blog :) You connect with readers so well. Thank you for everything you teach!

  17. #24 by Thomas Linehan on December 6, 2013 - 9:20 am

    From my experience you are right on. I don’t always comment on your post, but I always read them. so when I saw the picture of the two on the beach as the water steamed over them I said to myself, “Kristen’s got my attention.” lol, Great post and anyone that doesn’t listen to this lady is missing the goods.

  18. #25 by ESL-Donna on December 6, 2013 - 9:27 am

    Today’s blog is so right on. Thanks. I always read your blog, but rarely comment. I promise to be better at it.

  19. #26 by Catherine Johnson on December 6, 2013 - 9:34 am

    Great analogy, Kristen! Yikes to paying for lobster. How disappointing that it had changed that much.

  20. #27 by Daisy on December 6, 2013 - 9:37 am

    Great series of blogs this week. I’m engaged and interested and come back for more. You’re connection with the food and blogging was creative and made your point well. I wonder how much time do you spend a week communicating with connecting with readers or potential readers? I’ve taken your advice and started to brand myself. I’m slowly connecting all my social media accounts together

  21. #28 by Thomas Linehan on December 6, 2013 - 10:19 am

    I should have commented about that lobster price. I live in Maine and buy 10 lobsters for that price. come on up and you can eat them on the lake.

    • #29 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 10:59 am

      Yeah, that’s being in Texas. She said it was awesome, but since it was all buttered up, I didn’t get to try. I found the seafood to be less than exceptional. I could taste it had been frozen (have VERY sensitive palate). Later, I found out they’d been bought out by a conglomerate. Makes SO MUCH sense now.

  22. #30 by claygilbert1971 on December 6, 2013 - 10:29 am

    Kristen–I’m currently reading “Rise of the Machines”–in fact, a lot of my fellow authors at PDMI Publishing are–and it’s making a difference in my thinking. I had never thought about the importance of blogging, but the restaurant anecdote was a great way to get the point across. I’ve always thought it was more important for my readers to be interested in my stories, not me–but the latter can’t hurt, either. Thanks for your good words and for your passion for connection.

  23. #31 by Diane Burton on December 6, 2013 - 10:49 am

    What a horrible experience for you and your niece. Recently, I read a book by a prolific writer whose name I kept seeing online. While the plot was strong and the characters engaging, the grammar and spelling mistakes kept yanking me out of the story. I expected the basics at the very least.

    Kristen, I love your take on things. You always make me think. :)

    • #32 by Kristen on December 6, 2013 - 1:23 pm

      Hey, I know you! You have great taste in blogs. :)

  24. #33 by GM Kern on December 6, 2013 - 10:58 am

    Wow. Thank you for this post. I agree with everything, and though I am not a fan of social media, I realize that it’s that extra connection with the reader like myself and I will make an effort to connect in a personal way.

    On a different note, maybe that resturant should be on Foodnetwork’s Resturant Impossible.

  25. #34 by projectechoshadow on December 6, 2013 - 11:14 am

    Reblogged this on Echoshadow.

  26. #35 by sharonhughson on December 6, 2013 - 11:14 am

    Kristen- in one of your responses, you mention the restaurant had been purchased by a conglomerate. It made me immediately think of major publishing houses and your advice to them to get on board with the digital paradigm. Am I reaching for connections here?
    I am trying to establish a presence on social media but I feel like I’m just hanging out and having fun. I have no idea if anyone will be interested in my books when I finally get them on the market.
    I do appreciate you and the other WANAs for sharing your expertise with us. Someday, I hope I have some way to pay it forward, as well.

    • #36 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 11:23 am

      I buy books in genres I don’t even care for or read by authors I LIKE. I’ve had authors be super sweet talking to me on Twitter and when I happened to see their books? I bought them. The author made money and I could give to a friend who liked the genre.

  27. #37 by SimplySage on December 6, 2013 - 11:51 am

    As always, an excellent post. My problem—my blog numbers grow weekly but I can’t get anywhere with Twitter or my Facebook page. I’ve kind of let them fall by the wayside, nearly giving up. I have very little time for extra conversation so don’t know how I can even begin to converse on Twitter.

  28. #38 by swiveltam on December 6, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    Thank you for yet again, another blog which speaks to me. I have been struggling with how much to share on my blog. So, many gurus recommend “becoming an expert in your field” which is great, but can be dry, you have encouraged me to show more of myself (scary as that is). I’m still not sure I understand the “desires” of my readers, but this encourages me to keep trying. Time to assess what I would want from my blog if I were me, but outside me ;) What a great week of blogs. Thanks!

  29. #39 by Tamara LeBlanc on December 6, 2013 - 12:35 pm

    Your restaurant analogy is on point! It’s just too bad the experience you had grown to love had dissapeared.
    Hopefully when I start selling books again, I’ll be able to give readers what they desire and not disappoint them. That’s my most ardent wish as an author.
    Thanks so much for your wisdom and have a great weekend!
    Tamara

  30. #40 by Tamara LeBlanc on December 6, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Kristen, you’re every authors dream!

  31. #41 by tymall on December 6, 2013 - 12:55 pm

    Great post, Kristen. Trust is a powerful factor. This restaurant broke yours. Kinda like shattering a vase. Tough to explain, and hard to repair.

    A lot of people who are self-serving with Twitter and social media miss out on half the equation. Sure, they’re trying to keep in touch with people. But there’s ways to do that and still be genuine. Everybody promotes books, courses, and all that, which is fine.

    The other half here is the audience (really the first half). If promotion isn’t in tune with what your audience desires, wants, or needs, you’ll be ignored. Asking for comments is a great way to find those needs.

    But there’s a reason WHY people treat social media as a giant billboard. Building quality relationships is a lot of work. It seems like a never-ending parade of write, blog, promote, rinse, repeat. But the bond between you and your readers, and readers and your characters, is worth it.

    I appreciate you putting in the time to share your perspective. I learned a lot from everyone’s comments, as well.

    Ty M.

  32. #42 by Damian Trasler on December 6, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Kristen, this is terrific, as ever! What’s you view on consistency? I know you’re bang alongside the idea of being a real person through social media, and I don’t have a problem with that (I have a problem pretending to be a serious grown-up… No one is fooled) But what about consistency within our own writing? I’ve just finished a zombie novel, following the YA novella about a young woman wanting a music career, and THAT followed the collection of short, dark stories, and THAT followed my true-life story of our emigration to Canada. They’re all me, all really me, but I worry that I can’t bring my readership along from book to book, because each book is a different genre. Help?

  33. #44 by David Erickson on December 6, 2013 - 1:08 pm

    Excellent. My experiences with 5 star restaurants has been across the spectrum, as has my experience with novels by popular authors. Kind of like reading a great novel just to find the ending really sucks. Like a great meal with something less than stellar service or a dessert so fancified by the chef that it tastes too odd to be pleasurable.

  34. #45 by Ensis on December 6, 2013 - 1:26 pm

    So sad when a restaurant turns crappy.
    Now I need to figure out what my followers desire…
    Moar silly drawings, maybe?

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 3:14 pm

      You’d be surprised. WANA Susan Spann posts pics of her gorgeous salt water fish tank and talks about the critters and tells us their names. It’s fun and I always look forward to her posts.

  35. #47 by Kristen on December 6, 2013 - 1:40 pm

    I feel better after reading today’s blog. I’m newly published, comparatively new in the social media sphere, and I don’t know what all to do yet (yes, I have save pennies for a certain book) but I do know what I don’t like. I don’t like spammers. So, yesterday, I started Googling the folks that liked me on Twitter and actually looking for their Facebook pages, taking time to interact and thank them for following, and then leaving a link to my FB page. I’m getting way more likes and it feels less impersonal, because there’s lots of cool people out there to meet when you take away the spamming and autoresponders. Not too time-intensive, either, since I’m a fast typerer. :)

  36. #48 by S.D. Kreuz on December 6, 2013 - 2:45 pm

    Did it take some time for the restaurant to deteriorate? I couldn’t work it out from the post, but change in management and things can have that effect and leave people disappointed. I guess once you have a bad experience you’ll never go there again even if it becomes amazing again. Do you think the same applies for people/writers or can readers/fans be a little more forgiving in that aspect?

    • #49 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2013 - 3:13 pm

      I think readers are more forgiving because of sample pages and price. I held a bigger grudge because I was out $220, not $5 or $10.

      • #50 by S.D. Kreuz on December 7, 2013 - 5:05 pm

        That’s true. I don’t know how it works over there, but here, if you usually complain/write a formal one at an expensive place, they will offer a complimentary meal or something to make up for it – just a question of whether you’d ever want to eat there again.

  37. #51 by Judith on December 6, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    Great post! A keeper. Thanks.

  38. #52 by Sherryl Clark on December 6, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Great post! I’m currently reading Rise of the Machines – with great expectations of help and enlightenment. I’m guessing I’ll get both! :)

  39. #53 by Jess Witkins on December 6, 2013 - 6:53 pm

    Wow, what a night and day difference at that restaurant! How frustrating for you, and really sad for the business. Perfect example to illustrate your point though. Great blog post! Makes me think again about how I can best engage my readers.

  40. #54 by Cassandra Vann on December 6, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Thank you for this advice. I’m just starting out with the whole “social media as a writer” and I am overwhelmed! Connecting to fans is important to remember. More so than just getting the word out on a book.

  41. #55 by melorajohnson on December 6, 2013 - 8:59 pm

    I so connected with this post. Over the past six months, my favorite Greek diner has gone from fantastic to dirty glasses and a wadded up butter wrapper in my crab cake (among other problems.) I hate to have to tell my daughter we can’t go there anymore but I’m not driving that far for possible food poisoning. I’m still trying to figure out the line between privacy and sharing on Facebook. That’s why I’ve created a page. Also thinking about trying Twitter but I don’t think I’m ready for that.

  42. #56 by Randy Rothfus on December 6, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    I’m new to twitter. I’m still trying to figure out automated tweets. It’s still a little bit of a mystery to me. Also, I can’t tell if my tweets are getting to people or if they are just shot off into the e-abyss.as always, I find your posts engaging and “user” friendly! Thanks!

  43. #57 by piperemcdermot on December 6, 2013 - 11:38 pm

    For me, this is such a timely post! I am new to the blogging world, and my latest post (of a grand total of two) posed the question of how writers should tackle their “about me” pages. I had the feeling that readers (and one day, I hope, fans!) would want to feel that they are getting to know me, rather than just being presented with a C.V. style list of facts.
    On facebook, the response to my question was split about 50/50 between the cool C.V. proponents and the warmer personal approach.
    I am trying to think optimisticaly (and long-term) – assuming that one day it will be readers rather than other writing friends that visit my blog. If they are like me, I think they might enjoy getting to peek behind the curtains.
    As for Twitter, I haven’t ventured there yet. Must work up the courage to take that plunge!

    Thanks for a great – and encouraging- post.

    • #58 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 7, 2013 - 8:35 am

      Not to hawk a book, but my new one, “Rise of the Machines” teaches all of this, even down to bios that readers and search engines will favor.

      • #59 by Randy Rothfus on December 7, 2013 - 9:21 am

        Kristen’s spot on. I just read “Rise of the Machines” and it is chuck full of goodies. Very entertaining and informative. I am a newbie to Twitter as well and there’s no better way than to jump right in and take the plunge. Kristen guides the way. Now I’m going to read it again as I start to implement and build my author platform.

  44. #60 by Nicole Grabner on December 7, 2013 - 9:57 am

    You know what I struggle with? I have a blog, but I’m never quite sure what to write about. I want to set a good goal of at least one blog post a week, but I’m never quite sure exactly what to write. I am always struggling with just the right message and then I feel like I’m overthinking it.

    • #61 by Randy Rothfus on December 7, 2013 - 10:09 am

      Read Kristen’s “Rise of the Machines”. I had the exact same question. Her book goes over this in detail. She has a really unique take on blogging and how to come up with ideas on what to blog as well as how to engage the readers of your blog. She even addresses how often you should be blogging to get the best results from your efforts. My website is being built right now, so it was perfect timing for me to read her book. I can’t wait to put it to practice.

      • #62 by Nicole Grabner on December 7, 2013 - 10:27 am

        Thanks Randy. I just got her book and am in the middle of finishing it. :) It’s been an amazing read so far!

      • #63 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 7, 2013 - 10:55 am

        Thanks, Randy! Looking forward to seeing what you blog about. Keep me posted ((HUGS)).

  45. #64 by lazloferran on December 7, 2013 - 10:42 am

    In my early days of indie-publishing (on Lulu in about 2006), I found a lot of people (friends and unknowns) would only contact me with derogatory remarks. Okay so my early efforts were’t that great and now I am a lot better, but I have found today readers seem very keen to contact me with their feedback on my books. It’s a delight to me and although some days I barely have time to write after replying to all of them, I really love to talk to them
    1. I get great feedback
    2. Sometimes they give me ideas which I may include in books and when I do, I credit them.
    3. When the book is published I know damned well that it is the best I can do because it has been a collaborative process. I feel that writing should ALWAYS be collaborative. I don’t hold with writing a first draft, showing it almost nobody and believing it is perfect.

    So in short, I know the market is ready and receptive to my book before I even publish it. Its the best sort of preparation for a book release.
    Thanks for your blog Kristen – only just discovered it through Tasha Turner

  46. #65 by lazloferran on December 7, 2013 - 10:43 am

    Reblogged this on Lazlo Ferran and commented:
    Great post from Kristen – any new writers should pay close attention.

  47. #66 by M T McGuire on December 7, 2013 - 11:24 am

    When it comes to operating on line, I can only really be myself. That means I post oblique stuff about who I am, no pictures of the people in my life but, instead, stuff like the funny things they do or say, stuff lad comes out with etc. I pursue other interests because though I get (and hopefully give) a lot of support from other writers, if they have as much time as I do and are earning as much as I do, they won’t have the money to buy my book or the time to read it. So to actually sell my book, I really need to hang out in other places where mentioning what I do won’t put people on the defensive or worse, make them assume I intend to spam them.

    So, since there’s very little time and I try to use it wisely, although at this stage, I’m pretty sure the wisest use is to keep the social media side ticking over as much as I can and go all out to finish the trilogy I’m writing. That, though, is because I have nothing else in the public domain.

    So I have a blog and I do use twitter, though not often and usually to say ooo there’s a new blog post out and then chat to people about things. Twitter has come into its own since I’ve bought a smartphone. I make cardinal errors, my blogging is sporadic, although there are seldom more than two weeks between posts, also I don’t blog on a set day (bad lady) because until I have a completed story arc in the public domain, I’m putting the writing first and if there’s only time to write, I write.

    However, I’m just finishing my trilogy and when it’s done, all that will change. I only have one setting; personal although I would like to think that if ‘professional’ means doing something properly – so often nowadays people confuse it with not having a sense of humour – that my books are up there with the best of them. Selling is hard enough, but selling something you don’t believe in is impossible. So the online presence is me and hopefully, as people get to know me, they’ll buy my books because they’ll think that something I believe in must be good.

    That’s my plan… but it’s taken me four years to get to the point where I sell two or three books a month.

    Cheers

    MTM

  48. #67 by AshleeW on December 7, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Um …. completely awesome. What a simple and clear way of putting something that has become more and more important in recent years. Thanks for the wake-up call!! :)

  49. #68 by ktfritzke on December 7, 2013 - 11:47 pm

    Kristen,
    Not only was this post informative, it was also lots of fun! Thank you!

    What I find to be difficult about writing in general is the balance of writing purely for personal benefit, and writing for an audience. There are multiple posts I’ve left in draft form as I’m too anxious to make them public… Any tips for a shy blogger?

    • #69 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 8, 2013 - 9:12 am

      Throw stuff out and see what sticks :D. Shyness dissipates with confidence. The more you do this, the better you get.

  50. #70 by Lina on December 8, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    Great post, Kristen! I have talked about being more human to our readers and I think it became a stronger belief when I began to follow your blog. You are so stinkin’ right about how we have to come off as people as opposed to “I don’t know, I haven’t been here that long.” I have had authors respond to emails with advice and pep talks. These are the people (like a previous commenter stated) that I keep reading! I hope, when/if I ever get a book or two out, to be that kind of author.

  51. #71 by Daphne Shadows on December 8, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    I love how you focus on the human emotion of writing. So many influences in my life ignore the emotion, instructing me not to become too emotional. For a while I shut myself off from what I felt. And my writing suffered.
    So thanks for being realistic. People connect with writing because we all feel and we all want to connect. Not from being automated robots. Thanks. :)

  52. #72 by Colleen Brynn on December 9, 2013 - 9:37 am

    Wow… I wonder what happened to that restaurant. Management? Was there a crazy boss who turned all the staff away? In my experience, it’s the micromanagers who have the least happy staff and from there, everything falls apart. I just found your blog and added it to my feed. I mostly follow travel blogs, but it will be nice to follow a writer. I like what I see so far. :)

  53. #73 by Dani on December 9, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    What a wonderful post!

    It is so important to connect with people on the heart level.

    Amen.

  54. #74 by D.G.Kaye on December 9, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Awesome post Kristen. It seems gone are the days of yesteryear. Everyone trying to short cut and charge more and the personal touch is lost from many. As writers we should strive to be and give our best and I don’t know about others, but I love the interaction with my followers. If we don’t do that, what are we here for….to push books? I love sharing your posts and will be happy to do with this one. There are quite a few people out there who think it’s ok to sit on their pedestal and collect fans without simple thank you’s or appreciation! :)

  55. #75 by Raani York on December 9, 2013 - 4:19 pm

    I wish I could say I tried to do this… “creating fans”… I mean, who will “fall in love” with my protagonists? Who will like them? Who will hate them? Will they be important enough to be allowed into someones’ life and heart?
    Fact is: I had a story to write and that’s what I did – the thinking about it just came later – and now all there’s left to do is: to hope…

  56. #76 by Jan S. Gephardt on December 9, 2013 - 6:31 pm

    I’m still writing the novel that I hope will be “the one” (I’ve finished two others, but they aren’t ready for prime time). I have an idea of who I’m writing for–but my blog is kind of all over the place. I’m still trying to figure out how to satisfy both the expectations and the desires. My primary problem seems to be lack of time. I know. That’s not a new story! But I appreciated your comments, and I enjoy reading your posts. I keep looking for ways to incorporate your suggestions into my writing approach, so thank you!

  57. #77 by Nicky Moxey on December 10, 2013 - 4:29 am

    Are you saying *gulp* that we need to show people we’re human? :D

  58. #78 by Katie Cross on December 12, 2013 - 6:29 am

    I hope you complained, or at least let them know how awful that experience was the second time. Sounds like the first place was a great one!

    I’ve been finding lately that the less ‘me’ I infuse, and the less I show up for conversations and friendship, the more things lag in my writing life and blog. It’s an incredible link, really, so I’m always grateful to come here and get the reminder. Hey, dork, we’re all human.

    Keep acting like it.

    Thanks Kristen!

  59. #79 by Janet on December 16, 2013 - 9:49 am

    I discovered your blog this year, and this was one of the highlights of 2013 because you’ve provided a path through the wilderness of a solitary writer’s life. You go above and beyond the typical blog, and I’m grateful for your insights.

  1. Expectation & Desire—Cultivating Fans...
  2. Expectation & Desire—Cultivating Fans, Not Just “Readers” | Piper's Place
  3. Kristen Lamb has got it going on, Folks | PaulaMillhouse.com
  4. Going the Extra Mile: Add the Human Touch! | Back-Office Bulletin
  5. A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – Mid-December 2013 | KD DID IT Takes on Books
  6. readers’ expectations | North of Andover

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 40,146 other followers

%d bloggers like this: