One year ago, I uploaded my YA fantasy book, A Diamond in my Pocket, to Obooko.com, a site which features free books, and held my breath. What if my book wasn’t as good as my family and friends had told me it was? Was I deluding myself? I’d find out soon enough once the ratings began to come in. I remember checking my email a couple days later to find a reader named Heather had sent me a comment and almost instantly my heart leaped into my throat. I worried it would be a comment telling me to ‘give it up and spare the space on the web for actual authors’. At the same time I thought to myself that when I published the book online I knew that it was inevitable I’d get bad reviews at some point… I guess I’d hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. I clicked on the email and opened it squeezing my eyes shut in anticipation. A quick read of the short comment buoyed my spirits: she liked my book!
I typed a response to Heather and thanked her for her comment and told her she was my number one fan. We’ve communicated a few times over the last twelve months and I always remind her she is my #1 fan... literally. I send her free copies of my books as they release including my latest book, A Diamond in my Heart, book two of The Unaltered series which released on Jan. 31.
How important is it to recognize readers and fans? I believe it’s more important than stressing over writing your next book especially in this day and age where social media and networking reigns supreme and word of mouth spreads faster than earthquake tremors as in the case of the last Washington DC, earthquake. People in New York City knew of the quake before the ground began to shake because of Twitter feeds like, “We just had an earthquake in DC.”
My number one fan, Heather, likes my writing style. She encourages me to continue with my dream, and someday I’d like to meet her and have a picture taken. I’ll frame it and hang it on the wall like so many small businesses do with their first dollar bill. Although, the more I think about it I realize framing a dollar bill is ridiculous, really, because it was a person who pulled the bill from their wallet in the first place and shouldn’t that person’s face be what’s framed on the wall instead of the money they handed over? That's just my opinion.
I take the time to respond to each and every fan who takes the time out of their busy schedule to read my book and contact me. Their time isn’t any less valuable than mine and without my fans, who would read my books? Perhaps someday the Twitter feeds will read, “I just finished A Diamond in my Heart by Lorena Angell and it was awesome!”