Saturday, July 31, 2010

Making Connections

While Lindi and Missy are in Orlando at the RWA Conference, I've been hanging out at Myrtle Beach, SC where I had a book signing for Highland Blessings yesterday at Books-A-Million at the Coastal Grand Mall. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet people and make connections that I might have otherwise not made if it wasn't for this trip.

I met someone who had been to Edinburgh, Scotland, one person who was interested in the tartan on the spine of my book cover, and another individual who had already purchased my book and said she really enjoyed it. One lady asked me to sign a postcard since she had a Nook and planned to buy the e-book format of Highland Blessings. A few purchased signed copies and I left a few autographed copies for the bookstore shelf.

One thing I'm noticing is that people seem to want to connect with authors on an individual level. I've heard from a few people who think it is awesome if we share the same last name, are from the same area, share similar surnames or clans in our ancestry, or have a common interest in history or Scotland, etc.

As an author, how are you connecting to your readers in ways that make that personal connection? As a reader, how do you connect with your favorite author? Don't be shy. I can assure you that authors LOVE hearing from their readers.

Sometimes potential readers need an extra incentive to pick up a book or to consider a new author. I've left blog comments to let people know that they share a name with one of the characters in my book or one of the clans. Some of these connections have led to actual sales of my book. Others walk by my table and squint really hard to read the headings of materials. At these moments, I offer to give them free bookmarks and magnets to take with them, not that I ever charge for these things, but the word "free" seems to gain attention. Often, they are only waiting for an invitation to learn more. Human beings are curious by nature, and we hate the idea of missing out on something great.

On another note, I'm sorry this post is so late today. I had trouble connecting to the Internet for some reason, but I finally managed. We have moved on from Myrtle Beach and are now in Garden City, SC, still enjoying the beach. The photo above is from the balcony of our condo. We plan to take a boat tour to visit a couple of islands and view a lighthouse, and I'm going parasailing over the ocean with my daughter for the very first time.

I like to try something new wherever I go. Last year it was jet skiing in the ocean and we were able to get so close to the dolphins. I enjoyed it, but now that I've survived it at least once, I'm not sure I ever want to do that again. I'm not choosing the word "survive" very lightly. I really felt that way when I got off that jet ski. My legs wobbled as I walked along the board walk.

Pray for us as we embark on this new adventure of parasailing over the ocean.


  1. You are so righT on with the relational part of our business. It's important to realize that we speak very intimately with our readers inside their hearts and minds so we need to realize it's that intimacy that builds the bond. Too many writers think marketing, speaking, signings are scary. It's really just a continuation of that bond whether it's the beginning prior to the read or after the book's been read.

    I love that you're taking time to play and recharge too!

  2. Oh, wow, parasailing!! I would love to try that someday. It looks so fun. I hope you had a great time! Can't wait to hear about it.

  3. A beautiful place to vacation! Enjoy! And thanks for sharing your experiences on meeting new readers.