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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


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?


James Montgomery 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 Damron 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.