I can gauge the success of a story line through reviews. I can course-correct if readers don't seem to like the direction a certain series is going. I can write another story in a series, or cancel plans to write another, based on readers' opinions.
In my world, the reader is my boss!
So how can you, as a reader, influence writers? Well, let me count the ways!
- Leave thoughtful reviews at online booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble
- Leave thoughtful reviews on Goodreads
- Participate in Facebook book groups like Wanda's Amazing Amazon Reviewers or Authors and Book Lovers Discussion Group
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, reach out to authors. Authors love to hear from readers, so don't ever feel weird or unwelcome when reaching out to a writers ~ and I know this goes for all authors, not just indies. Be kind and courteous, of course, but let authors know what you loved about their book and what you'd love to read next.
- Leave a message on an author's Facebook page
- Send an author an email
- Visit an author's blog or website and leave a comment.
For example, I wrote a book with a supporting character named James. He was only supposed to act as a character foil for my main character and I really didn't have plans for him beyond book one. However, in review after review, I read that James was awesome! They loved James! They wanted to know what he would do next or what would happen to him and on and on and on.
Well, guess what I did? James didn't go away, that's for sure!
I wrote James into the next two books and even gave him his own novella series that told more of him and his life.
My readers did that. They told me what they wanted, and I listened. I know not all authors can or will respond to their readers in this way, but hey, why not give it a shot!