Good or bad, I saw my hair stylist in a whole new light this week.
It was Wednesday. I was well overdue for a trim, a little shaping. And, I was looking forward to the Rosemary mint shampoo and the head massage when she applied the conditioner.
She washed my hair, and we talked summer and kids. She snapped the drape around my neck and mentioned movies. I sat in her chair, watched her comb, lift and clip, and the conversation turned to books. It was then that I realized she’s more than just my hair stylist.
She’s a Reader.
And, as a writer, I could learn from her.
She said she’s kind of a baby when it comes to reading new novels; she’s hesitant even to check them out from the library.
“I just don’t want to read something I won’t like, you know? I don’t want to –”
“Waste your precious reading time,” I said.
I get it. I have two small children at home. Reading time is hard to come by, and it’s often interrupted. I have to like the story right away, or those interruptions will supersede my commitment to finish the book.
But, then my stylist went on to say she’ll read every book one author writes, even if the stories aren’t that great. Even if the story she’s reading today isn’t her favorite, she’ll still go out and buy the author’s next release.
It’s all about trust, comfort, and familiarity.
Building a platform will help me attract an audience, but more is required if I want to keep that audience. For one thing, I must write a gripping story.
Sure. No pressure. Here’s to learning the craft, joining a critique group, and making a story uniquely mine.
I must also connect with Readers on a personal level. That means interacting with others on social networking sites, giving Readers a taste of my work (while I finish that novel), finding venues to read my work out loud, and – later, when that novel is published – participating in book clubs that are reading my story.
Last, but not least, I must write another novel. There are several authors who’ve written great first novels, classics even, and then no more. There’s nothing wrong with one-hit wonders, but I bet their audience would have bought a whole series of their books.
So, what are you doing to court, and keep, your Readers?