Do We Know The Author?

When we buy a book, we think we’re going to like it because the title, synopsis or cover attracts our interest. I’d be the first to admit that I don’t often read a book that makes me stop to wonder about what the author is like. Questions like, what does the author look like, where does the author live and did life experiences give the author ideas for the book? An author’s brief biography is in the back of the book and sometimes a picture, but that short paragraph is not nearly enough to get to know the author.

The more famous authors become, the more we learn about them, because of the publicity they generate. Lesser known authors just starting out, especially self published ones like me, are strangers and will pretty much stay that way unless the author reaches out to them. I don’t hire publicity, but I do use the internet, my local newspapers and book signing. I have the idea that if I make myself known to my readers, providing they like me and my books, the more books I might sell. So far this reasoning seems to be working.

Some readers get to know about me through my blogs where I tell about my rural upbringing. If I didn’t tell the readers, would they know that westerns were the books of choice in my house. How I grew up is reflected in my writing. Living near a small, Iowa town helps me use characters and stories that are true to life in my mystery series.
The Dark Wind Howls Over Mary (a western – ISBN 1438221576) and Amazing Gracie Mystery Series – Neighbor Watchers- Book One (ISBN 148246072).

I often talk about my personal experiences that I have turned into books such as being a caregiver for my parents. I volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and for eight years was facilitator of an Alzheimer’s support group. Because of that experience, three of my books deal with Alzheimer’s disease. People who are working their way through that dreadful disease need to know that I went through it before I wrote the books. I want the readers to understand I know how they feel so they can identify with me and my family. See Open A Window (ISBN 14382444991), Hello Alzheimers Good Bye Dad (ISBN 1438278276) and Floating Feathers Of Yesterdays – a three act play (ISBN 1438250932).

For the readers that haven’t found my websites or read my biography, I put my bio and contact information in with the books I sell along with a business card. If they are curious enough to check my information out on my bookstore website, they will learn about me in my bio, blog and book event pictures as well as the titles and prices of my books.

I advertise my bookstore website as much as possible and sell my books on other sites like Amazon. When I sell my books, I send an email to the buyers right after I mail the books to alert them to watch for their books. The mail system has lost some of my books. I do replace them at my expense. Knowing that media mail takes 2 – 9 days, I try to mail a book in a day or two so that the wait doesn’t seem so long for the buyer. I want that speedy delivery to please them. If the book does get lost, I replace it. I have developed a trust with the buyers. They find they can depend on my honesty to replace a lost or damaged book. They need to know I will do the right things to work up my customer base and show them I have an honest business. Maybe the books won’t turn out to be to their liking, but it will be everything it has been advertised to be.

In my email I always say if the buyers have time, I’d liked to hear what they think of the book. Those reviews come in handy to put on sites where I sell books. Giving my email replies a personal touch has made me friends with people from around the United States and lately in other countries. They continued to keep in touch. These buyers wait for word from me that my next book is ready to buy. Some of the anxious ones email several times to ask how long until my next book is finished. I always reply with a response about how the book is coming and reassure them that I’ll let them know as soon as I have the book for sale. Right now, I have a long list of emails to send a notice once I’ve published the book which should be ready this summer. What I have done so far may not have made me a household word yet, but what I’m doing works for me. Maybe some day.

This is a reprint from Fay Risner’s Booksbyfay blog.

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