If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

January Interviews
1/1 Sherry Harris, Sell Low, Sweet Harriet
1/8 Barbara Ross, Sealed Off
1/15 Libby Klein, Theater Nights Are Murder
1/22 Carol Pouliot, Doorway To Murder
1/29 Julia Buckley, Death with A Dark Red Rose

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
1/4 Lisa Lieberman
1/11 Karen McCarthy
1/18 Trey Baker

WWK Bloggers: 1/25 Kait Carson, 1/30 E. B. Davis


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30. It is now also available in audio.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finding an Audience

Phyllis A. Whitney
Phyllis A. Whitney was one of my favorite authors. I read her young adult novels as I grew up and her romantic suspense later in life. In particular, I read her books on writing and wanted to be like her. I remember that she started writing short pieces for religious markets. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to follow in her footsteps and made an amazing discovery.

I began writing short devotional services for my church. Eventually, with collaborators, I tackled writing original one act musicals for our annual Christmas presentations. The experience has been enriching for me spiritually, but it has also taught me how important it is for an author to find an audience.

Many writers participate in critique groups that are beneficial in helping improve plots, characters, and techniques. A critique group consists of peers who evaluate a work based on its acceptability for the market place. This review is valuable and particularly helpful in assisting writers with developing works for consideration by agents and publications.

A critique group is different from an audience. An audience reads or watches a writer's work because they choose it. Perhaps audience members will have different reasons for making their choice: (1) because they want to read/see it; (2) because they felt obligated to read/see it; and (3) because they have time to kill and the author's work offers something to occupy that time.

The audience may have different reactions to the author's work. Perhaps they will share or not share their reactions with the author. But, their presence in the author's life is valuable. Even reluctance to share is a reaction an author needs to evaluate.

First, an audience reminds the writer why he/she writes. The audience is the person/people the writer envisions as he/she writes. The audience is the story's mirror image.

Second, the audience's attitude toward the piece tells the writer something different from the critique group's opinions. It lets the author know how his work affects someone who made the decision to read or see it. It may be gratifying or grounding, but either can help the author improve. The audience reaction comes from personal preference more than a business perspective. Of course, it doesn't hurt if the audience is simply being supportive. Every author needs groupies!

Third, the audience gives the author purpose. So often the solitary pursuit of writing seems to have no outcome. Only if an agent agrees to represent the work or a publisher sends a contract does the author feel validated and can tell his/her relatives and acquaintances that he/she has a "job."

If you find an audience that wants/needs/requests/demands to see and react to your work, you'll have a job--perhaps more of a job than you expected. If you write well enough to affect hearts and minds, so that your audience returns to subsequent efforts, you have made a substantial achievement.

So, who's your audience or where might you find one?


Jim Jackson said...

Our Salad Bowl Saturday guest blogger on 4/6, Ricky Bush, talks about his efforts at finding an audience. I’ve always had a target audience in mind for my novels and based on early reactions my analysis seems accurate – unfortunately that group of people also seem less engaged in the social aspects of promoting a book, so it is like pulling teeth to get someone who loves the book to spend the few minutes to post an online review.

~ Jim

Paula Gail Benson said...

Jim, you make a very good point--knowing your audience only helps identify the people you want to reach with promotion. Motivating your audience and soliciting their support is another blogging topic. You've given me a lot to consider. Thanks!

Gloria Alden said...

Good blog, Paula, with much to ponder and think about. I didn't feel I could rightfully claim I was a writer until I had a short story published in an anthology even though I had been writing for years before that. Now with my first book published and selling well for a self-published book, I'm getting validation that I am indeed a writer by the positive comments I'm getting. But am I getting reviews on Amazon? Only a few, I think, although I haven't checked for over a month.

carla said...

Very good point here. Writing is communication. Pen to paper, part one. Readers READ you, part two. We must never forget that part!

E. B. Davis said...

I wish critique group assessed work for acceptability in the marketplace, but I don't think that they do. Yes, they may do line edits and such to bring the writing up to professional standards.

But from my point of view, I think acceptability in the marketplace takes place in the agent/publisher venue where the viability of getting a manuscript to market is considered. Target markets are discussed and how to sell the script to the public. My audience are men and women like me--and the only reason I'm on the social media is due to my writing. I'm not sure how I'm going to meet people like me. I have ideas, though.

What's wrong with the picture? A lot of writers are not particularly extroverted. To go the marketing mile, I'll have to reinvent myself somehow.

Kara Cerise said...

Good blog, Paula. I think it's important not to rely entirely on one group for feedback. I imagine a few writers have had the eye opening experience of writing for an audience that is different than originally thought.