Alienating Readers

“Are you trying to alienate potential readers?”

Ok, so I published my novel, Dear Tiz, almost six months ago.  At that time, I committed the newbie “mistakes” of telling people that this was my first book, and that I wasn’t sure the potential reader would like it, that it was maybe too Christian, etc.   One professional editor type person told me that I needed to make myself look more professional –  that I should start a blog, that I should re-vamp the author bio on Amazon, re-write the book description, and “For heaven’s sake, delete that ridiculous conversation between you and your son about your book; no one is interested in that, but yourself.”

So, I did all of that.  Guess what?  I have not had one sale of my book since I re-vamped everything.  Now, that is not to say that I was selling a bunch before that, but I was selling a copy once in a while.  Now nothing.  I suppose there are a number of things that could account for it, which I will not belabor over at the moment.

The thing that I would like to concentrate on at the moment is the answer to the question at the beginning of this post.  It is possible that I am alienating potential readers with the posts on my blog or with numerous other little things that might annoy people.  The real question is whether I should portray myself as something I am not in order to achieve sales.  The answer to that is a resounding NO!   Besides it would be utterly ridiculous.   My whole premise for writing my first book, was to be different from the professionally educated authors of fiction.  I guess I am just not a very professional type of person.  In fact, I am really quite the opposite.  I am a very much homemade type of person…and yet, my mother will tell you that I am an anomaly.

So, do I want to alienate potential readers?  I think so.  What I mean by that is that I want potential readers of my book(s) to be prepared beforehand that they might encounter a story that is quite different from what they are used to.   I don’t mean in originality.  There is truly nothing new under the sun and that is especially true when writing fiction.  The best I can hope for is to re-tell some age-old story and give it my own special flavoring, in my own voice; which you as the reader will either love or hate, as the case may be.

So, yes. I do want to alienate the reader that would definitely not like my book for whatever reason.

There is a very important thing to consider, and that is that it is not my purpose to waste people’s time or money making them think that my story will be one thing and then it turns out to be something completely different.  For example, even though I warn people that my book, is a Christian book it is not overtly so, and the Christian portions are easily avoidable by simply skipping the chapter titled “Church”.   One person wrote and asked me why I had labeled my book as Christian, since she didn’t think it was.    I do label my book as Christian, because I am a Christian and that is reflected to some degree in the book.  I feel it would be dishonest to not label it as a Christian book.

ETA:  It is true that my book does not endorse any organized religion; however I do feel that it contains some truths of true Christianity; therefore making it a Christian book.  I might have to explain that in another post.

 

If that, or anything I write in my blog, offends people and prevents them from buying my book, then I have to accept that as an acceptable loss and move forward, regardless.  Obviously, those people who would not like to read a Christian book, or are easily offended by something I might say in my blog are not my target readers.   I know that there are people out there who already like my book and others who will like it, once they find out about it.  Sure it might not be a readership of millions, thousands or even hundreds, but they are out there.

For now, I will continue to write as long as I feel I have a story to tell or something to say.

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2 thoughts on “Alienating Readers

  1. I just started reading your book and I loved when you explained what kind of book it was and what to expect. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with telling the read about the book and what to expect. I like when you told us about the conversation between you and your son. I thrive to read book by Christian authors who think out of the box. We need more Christian writers who are willing to tackle the paranormal, interracial and sci-fi genres of Christian Fiction. Hope you have more books coming.

  2. Thanks, Deborah. I do have a couple short stories written, and am thinking about my next novel. I think more than anything, I want my characters to have a different mindset, more old-fashioned, than most of the characters in other books that I have read. To look at the world through different glasses. I want to get my hands on old diaries and get into people’s heads and find out how they thought. So I have my work cut out for me. Thanks for commenting.

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