Hello everyone! It seems to be the norm for writers to interview other writers and then post those interviews on their blogs. All this is great. Those that read the posts get to learn more about an author as a person, as well as their latest books or works in progress. But we authors need to say thank you and give a huge round of applause to the READERS!
Starting today I will be sharing “Reader Interviews” on Thursday’s over the next few weeks. I have asked several avid readers who I’ve seen leaving comments regularly on Facebook, if they would be so kind as to let me interview them and then be a guest right here on H&N. Our readers are the biggest part of the equation when it comes to our success in the literary world. Without them we would simply be writing words for our own amusement.
Sit back and get comfy and see what the readers think about how we writers are doing…
Reader Interview ~
Name: Dawn Binkley
Location: Oak Lawn, Illinois
I own a publishing company and I am an author. So I would like to say that this was an open and honest interview, from the mind of hardcore reader. J
Savannah: How often do you read?
Dawn: I try to read as often as possible. That of course, is time permitting, now. I used to read 100’s of books a year and plan to get back to that.
Savannah: Do you prefer one genre (horror, romance, mystery, etc.) over the others, or do you mix it up?
Dawn: My #1 true love has always been horror. But I am taken with a great mystery or a compelling romance. I have always been a self-help addict. So the first thing I will grab for is the newest self-help, book and there are ones that I read over and over again.
Savannah: What first attracts you to a book?
Dawn: The cover might spark me to pick it up. But I am blurb girl. What those few sentences say will determine whether I will actually want it or not. Of course if it is written by one of my favorite authors, then I don’t see anything beyond that...it’s bought!
Savannah: And then what makes you purchase the book?
Dawn: The same exact reasons I have mentioned above.
Savannah: Do you take into consideration before purchasing a book, its reviews or ratings?
Dawn: Honestly, never. However word of mouth by people I know and trust does make a difference.
Savannah: What stops you from purchasing a book?
Dawn: I only won’t make a purchase if the blurb is not my cup of tea.
Savannah: What will cause you to not finish a book?
Dawn: Slow pace. If it takes more than a paragraph for someone to pour a bowl of cereal, than that is too much description for me. I feel that the great writers can give you a full description in a few clever words.
Savannah: Do you prefer print or eBooks?
Dawn: Print baby. I love the smell of a bookstore. However, I do have to say that since HP was only an eBook publisher for a while that kindles have grown on me and I have a dream of having a Kindle Fire one day.
Savannah: While we’re on the subject of eBooks, how do you obtain most of yours? Do you purchase them, wait for them to be “free” or try to win them in a give-away? Any other way?
Dawn: All circumstantial. I do buy, take some free and love the hell out of the library. But no matter the circumstance, if I truly love the book. I will go out and buy the book right away. In the case that I picked up a free eBook, I will look for other work by that author to buy.
Savannah: Do you use one outlet for purchasing books more than others? (Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Book Store, etc.) The reason?
Dawn: Amazon, because it’s just so damn easy and where all the cool kids hang.
Savannah: How do you compare books put out through a publisher, to those that are self-published? Do you see a difference and if so, what?
Dawn: Well this may sound weird, but we are all people. Just people. Some are better at their job than authors. So it’s hard to compare. You can have a perfectly good author that can be screwed by a novice publisher. And a self-published author that could have gone a lot further if they had a publisher behind them. So it depends on the individual.
Savannah: Do you as a reader follow any Publishers, looking for what’s new from them in both newly published books as well as new authors, or do you primarily follow individual authors?
Dawn: Actually, yes and no. Some of the smaller publishers have intrigued me as a whole. But as far as a big house goes, I follow my favorite writer’s wherever they may go. And some Authors have left their big contracts to self- publish or have continued to do both.
Savannah: As a reader, in what areas do you think eBooks could be improved?
Dawn: Oh, I love that you asked that question. Formatting, formatting, formatting. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is to make each piece of work so versatile and the techs do a great job. But the fact remains, that the same book that will read awesome in a Kindle Fire won’t read the same in an older kindle or even a desktop kindle.
Savannah: Would you or have you, purchased a book by an author you’ve read previously, just because it was written by that author? Do you watch for and purchase all their books?
Dawn: If an author has my attention, then they have my attention and I will follow them to the depths of hell and back. Yes, that includes, sitting and waiting for their next to book to be released so that I can purchase it.
Savannah: With all the social networking these days, do you “follow” any authors and if you do, what prompted you to do so?
Dawn: The author’s personality and/or a short eye-catching blurb on their front cover.
Savannah: And where/how do you follow them? (Ex: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs, etc.)
Dawn: I am Goodreads illiterate. But I follow faithfully on Facebook and Twitter.
Savannah: Are you on any authors emailing list for updates? If not, is this something you would be interested in?
Dawn: Too many to count.
Savannah: In regards to social networking, do you as a reader feel it matters if authors are always “professional” or would you rather see the “real” side of them?
Dawn: Since I am being honest and not a bloodsucking publisher :-). I totally prefer the real side. It makes it easier to connect with the author through their work.
Savannah: On that note, if you saw a book you’d love to read, but saw on line that the author wasn’t someone you clicked with as a “person”, would that stop you from purchasing the book?
Dawn: Oh yes! I actually purchased an author’s books (plural) and found out what a total bitch she was, and tossed them in the trash.
Savannah: In your opinion, what marketing tool(s) for books, grabs your attention the most? (Ex: Facebook threads, blogs, ads on the FB sidebar, word of mouth, recommended by a friend, etc.)
Dawn: Word of mouth and cover blurbs.
Savannah: Let’s talk about blogs! Do you read/follow any blogs?
Dawn: Oh yes, I love them.
Savannah: How often do you read them? Do you leave comments?
Dawn: I try everyday but that rarely happens. And I most definitely leave a comment. If I am going to show up, I am going to make sure that you know I was there. Ha, ha, ha, who’s the bitch now :)
Savannah: What sort of things would you like to see blogged about? Their books, personal life, things unrelated to books or writing, etc.?
Dawn: All of it, I can never get enough of my favorite writers and they have become my favorites through personal information. For example, I started reading JoAnn Ross, because she gives to soldiers and adopts shelter dogs. Sometimes it can be about where your money is going.
Savannah: Does the “look” of someone’s blog make a difference to you? (Ex: too much going on/ distracting or boring)
Dawn: Damn I hate these hard questions. Initially the cute blog will catch my attention if there is nothing else. But I read many plain blogs, because it’s about the information. My preference...a blog that has both.
Savannah: What do you think we writers could do to reach more readers?
Dawn: Oh for crissakes get out there and let people know that you have a book! You can’t be a fly on the wall and expect people to come up to the fly. And ask...hey Mr. Fly are you a writer and have you written something I would enjoy?
Savannah: Do you watch book trailers? Where? (Ex: Youtube, when posted on Facebook or their blog)
Dawn: Yes, yes, I do. Authors personal pages, or publisher websites.
Savannah: Does the trailer make a difference whether you will purchase the book or not?
Dawn: Hmmm, no not really. I am blurb girl.
Savannah: What annoys you the most in regards to writers/books/marketing?
Dawn: Overdoing it. You are a person first, a writer second. You can find a way to balance both. You don’t forge necessary friendships by cramming your work down the new facebook friend’s throat...trust me.
Savannah: What is the best book advertising you’ve seen as well as the worst?
Dawn: The best is Interviews, Cover with blurbs, lol and yes nice banners on websites catch my attention the most. I highly recommend Facebook adds, because you only pay if someone clicks on them and people see them but are afraid to click on them because so many of them are viral. The worst is a pet peeve of mine. Group facebook messages. I loathe them as most readers do.
Savannah: If I had a new eBook coming out, what could I do as a writer, to convince you to purchase it?
Dawn: Be yourself, have an awesome cover and a kickass blurb and be nice to me and appreciate that I chose you, out of the ridiculous, amounts of writers that are out there today.
Savannah: Is there anything overall, you would like to see changed in the world of reading?
Dawn: Seriously? I don’t know if “I” should answer this. But in light of the interview I will. Writers that throw unedited work out there, especially the ones that are great marketers. It not fair to you, it’s not fair to the reader. If you think it’s your best, most polished work, ever...check it again and then check it again...
Thank you Dawn for sharing your thoughts with all of us today and for being a guest in The Reader’s Spotlight!
Hugs & Nightmares from,