In interviews and discussions, I’ve talked about how, as a new author, I want to use it as an opportunity to really engage with people. I’ve said a few times that “I’m a fan of readers.” It sounds strange to some, but it is a one line summary of what I consider to be my “author commandments” when it comes to having my book out there for the masses to consume. Just to be clear, here is a list of some of my self-imposed commandments.
1 – Thou shalt respond. I’m easy to find on Twitter, Facebook, and a Google search yields my hometown, website, and email address. Every Tweet, FB message / post, email, text, call shall receive a response. Not just about the book, but about books, writing, publishing, or anything else in general.
2 – Thou shalt be a resource. Do you have a book club, a local library, a convention, a classroom? I’m game. Some writers dig the introverted style, but I like to get out there and I have no qualms speaking in public about a variety of topics. Even if it’s just you and a friend and you want to talk shop over a beer, if I’m nearby, I’m available. And if you’re in California or New York, today’s technology makes it easy to make things happen. Facetime anyone?
3 – Thou shalt keep writing. I’m trying to keep up with blogs and tweets and Facebook, and I’m also working on my next book. My novel’s release is not a destination, it’s a signpost on a longer journey, and one never knows where the next turn will take us.
4 – Thou shalt appreciate. I got to write an acknowledgments page for the novel, but the truth is, I have a deep appreciation of every single reader, whether I knew them or not, who picked up the book. I’m also including every single person who showed up at an author event to support me. While not all readers will try to correspond with me, I’m there for them, and I recognize that without those rabid readers out there, books would be dead and my hobby would have no outlet. It would be incomplete. Writing isn’t writing if there is no audience to connect with.
5 – Thou shalt learn. The book has afforded me opportunities I never would have imagined, such as chatting and networking with so many talented and insightful authors, readers, editors, publishers, agents, producers from all walks of life. Every encounter is an opportunity to learn and use that knowledge to further myself and my work.
Well, there’s five I can think of. I know there’s supposed to be ten commandments, but I wouldn’t want these to get confused with the other, more popular set of ten.
What do you think? Do feel free to let me know if I’m missing something or totally insane. Or cash in on the commandments I’ve set upon myself. Look forward to hearing from you.