Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Power of an Impression

Who is that author who you would buy without a thought? You see their name, and you impulsively drop the title into your shopping cart. You know that one name, or perhaps five, who you love reading so much that you’d purchase a new book of theirs sight unseen. Sometimes that author is a huge household name like Stephen King. Sometimes it’s someone far less known but who made a wonderful impression on you. This sort of impression is what authors strive for, those loyal fans who we must always appreciate.

The other day, I noticed that K.M. Weiland currently has a book available for free via Story Cartel. All I needed to see was “K.M. Weiland” and “free copy” and my mind was made up. About the only question left for me was, “Do I already have this one?” That’s the power of the impression she has made on me as a reader.

But how do authors achieve this treasured place in readers’ hearts? Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, tricks, or formulas. It comes down purely to the fickle fortune of writing a story that really resonates with a reader. Sometimes this can be achieved with the first book. Sometimes it take a couple books. But there’s something that touches the reader, and an author has no hope of predicting such a thing.

However, if that impression can be made, such a reader is a dear treasure, for they will share about the author and the book than most other readers because they feel passionately about it. Perhaps the story fulfilled something deeply buried in them. Perhaps the prose sang in their ears. Perhaps they saw themselves in the character or were able to live a dream they’d had for years vicariously through the protagonist. Perhaps such readers simply saw something in the story that let them know that someone else, the author or character, was like them, and this brought them comfort. A reader might not even be able to articulate why a particular author or book touched them.

In this case, K.M. Weiland secured such a place in my reader heart through a variety of things: her friendly and helpful attitude on social media, her servant’s demeanor on her blog, her book Dreamlander, which I loved, and the fact that she has a solid knowledge of her craft. That was all I needed to drop everything the other day to get that free copy of her book Behold the Dawn. The fact that it has a knight and is medieval historical is just icing on the cake. In exchange through Story Cartel, I’ll have to write a review, but I don’t care. I’d love to do that anyway. The first draw was Weiland. The second was the free book.

These days, though, a writer has to do more than write a story that resonates. Most often in this highly technological world, an author also has to be personable. It’s so much easier these days to offend potential readers, so authors must be mindful of how they present themselves. Weiland has nailed this perfectly, and thus, she has earned by fandom.

What authors would you buy without a second thought? What about them snared your devotion?

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