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October 2011

Reporter: Martha Rogers

Martha RogersMartha Roger’s book credits include a four-book historical series, Winds Across the Prairie, published in 2010 and 2011, a new four-book series, Seasons of the Heart, is scheduled for 2011 and 2012. Martha has contributed devotionals to several anthologies and also contributed to the novella collections Sugar and Grits and River Walk Christmas. She is the President of the Woodlands Chapter of ACFW in Houston. Martha has served as a volunteer writing Verse of the Week for many years.

Editor: Michelle Levigne

Michelle LevigneMichelle Levigne’s first book sold in 2000. She has more than 40 titles, and nine finalists/two winners in the EPIC Awards. She has a BA in theater/English, an MA in communication/film, and works for a community newspaper and a national advertising agency. In addition, Michelle does freelance editing for Xulon Press, a MA-based business publisher, and the Christian PEN editors network. Visit her online.

Workshop 24: Do You Love Your Readers?

Ami McConnellIn her workshop Do You Love Your Readers?, Ami McConnell (right), editor at Thomas Nelson, posed some interesting questions about how authors feel about readers. McConnell tries to encourage authors to write out of a genuine and Christ-like love for readers.

Ways to love your reader

Respect them. Empathize with readers and understand their needs. We have an audience in mind for our books as we write them and we can use our experiences to help readers relate to us. McConnell said to be vulnerable. Think about what God wants for your readers.

Show kindness. Give readers what they expect when they read one of your books. You are to entertain and edify. Listen to your heart to best serve your readers.

Connect with readers. Learn to use social media and letters to engage readers in conversation. In a time of sharing, we learned how others are using social media to create communities of readers who can connect with each other as well as the author. In doing so, we must also listen with a discerning ear to their needs and desires. This makes us better as authors and enables us to encourage our readers.

All reviews are important. McConnell reminded conferees that even poor reviews can teach an author something. The main thing is to remember for Whom you write—and why. Authors are not going to please every reader. We are to promote our books because they are God’s work in us.

Our foremost goal is to love God. Reading Scripture, meditating, and praying makes sure the best use of our time will be what pleases God in the long run. We are to write out of a genuine, deliberate love for our readers.

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