Finding new fans

March 13, 2016 at 12:50 pm

fansOne of the most gratifying things about being an author is meeting someone who loves your books. There’s nothing like the feeling of someone sending you a message or coming to you excitedly with a copy of your work and saying, ‘I really loved this! Thanks so much for writing it! When’s your next book out?’

I was fortunate to see this happen to a fellow author this week. On Thursday evening I went to an event at my favourite bookstore, Little Gnome. The event was called ‘Wynnum UpLate’. Most shops in Wynnum (a suburb in Brisbane) close in the evenings, but they’ve now started to open them every once in a while, advertising ahead of time so the locals will know when it’s happening. Four other authors also attended, and we were happy to see that the footpaths around Little Gnome were reasonably busy, and had many good conversations with passers-by and with each other.

Diana Hockley was the author whose table was closest to mine. She writes crime stories set in Queensland. While we were chatting to various people, Diana got into a conversation with an interested reader. This woman, on looking at Diana’s books, frowned and said, ‘I think I’ve read this one.’

‘Really?’ said Diana.

‘Yes,’ said the woman, her eyes lighting up. ‘I loved it! Do these others follow the same story?’

So ensued a conversation that ended up in at least one sale for Diana, who was delighted to hear directly from a person who had already read one of her books and adored it, to such an extent that she was eager to get the follow up stories.

These are the kind of moments we authors love, especially those of us who are unknown. To have someone we don’t know, with eyes shining, tell us how much they love our books is something that keeps us going amidst the hard slog of being a new author, and all the visits, promo giveaways and begging bookstores to hold signings.

So if you’re a reader, reach out to your favourite author and let them know how much their writing means to you. It will help them to keep going.

Are you an author? What’s your favourite fan encounter story? Are you a reader? Have you ever met an author whose books you adore? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


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