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TBD
by TBD

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Kindle Edition published 2016-01-12
Bestseller ranking: 757432

Product Description
With the odd disappearance of her parents, Gussie Gibson has lived her entire life with her granny on a peaceful pecan orchard, owned by the meanest man in all of Georgia—Mr. J.P. Combs. Granny teaches Gussie many valuable life lessons as a black woman growing up in the still-segregated south. Mr. Combs is an evil underhanded banker who takes liberties beyond his privilege. When Granny dies, Combs informs Gussie she owes him back rent—but he wants much more than money for payment—and more than Gussie can live with.
After defending herself against his sexual advances, Gussie flees to escape certain vigilante justice when she meets a charming, handsome stranger, Sam Johnson, who is just returning from World War II.
Gussie and Sam’s friendship is short-lived when Mr. Combs hunts her down and drags her back to Green Ridge, driven by his craving for revenge and a grudge too deep to comprehend. Gussie fights to return to Sam and his lo...

Author Topic: Tactful way to say this to readers?  (Read 2878 times)  

Offline Vidya

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Tactful way to say this to readers?
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:42:01 PM »
At the end of Book 1 of my YA PNR, after my request to the reader to leave reviews and an invitation to join my mailing list, I want to write something like this:

If you would like to give me any feedback on the story, you can email me at ___

Feel free to tell me what you liked and didnt like about the story. Which characters would you like to see more of? Which would you like to see less of? Would you like to see [character name] end up with [2nd character name]?

Where would you like the story to go? What would you like me to write next? Feel free to make suggestions about the plot and characters.

Ill read and consider every suggestion, though time may not permit me to reply to all of them. Thank you.

***
Im being cautious because I might get a deluge of suggestions, some of which may be unrealistic and which I might have to use a ton of tact to reply to.

While I would like to hear feedback from readers, I fear getting inundated with too many letters that would take too much time to reply to.

So can you please help me come up with a tactful way to encourage readers to send feedback while also warning them I won't actually be replying to any of it. If a reader gave me some brilliant suggestion, Id reply to that.

Im aware I may be opening a can of worms here and giving some readers the idea they have the right to dictate my story, but as I said, I want to make it clear I won't be replying.

Thanks!

Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 07:51:21 PM »
Where I do this, I write:

"If you have any questions or comments, or would simply like to get in touch, please feel free to email me at: XXXXXXXX@yahoo.com.  I read all my emails and always write back."

Philip

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Online Jena H

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 08:18:51 PM »
I'm not sure I would get that in-depth with your comments, especially to the point of asking readers "what do you want to see more of," "where would you like the story to go," etc.  On one hand, generating interest and ideas from readers is fine, but to suggest that you might write your next book based on fan feedback...  that could be a self-defeating proposition.  That makes it sound like you don't have your own idea of where the story is going to go.

Personally, I prefer to keep it simple, short & sweet:
Feedback on [Book Title] or any of my other books is always welcome, so feel free to review this book, or contact me at emailaddress@whatever.com.
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Offline Vidya

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 08:20:00 PM »
I read all my emails and always write back."

yes, Im aware this is what most writers write. I DONT want the hassle of writing back, so Im asking for a tactful way to say that.

Offline Monique

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 08:26:42 PM »
I read all my emails and always write back."

yes, Im aware this is what most writers write. I DONT want the hassle of writing back, so Im asking for a tactful way to say that.

Then maybe you should do a Facebook poll or send out a survey with a comments section to readers.

If I was asked for feedback and didn't get a reply, I'd think that writer was a poo. Well, maybe not, but I personally love have reader interaction. If you don't, then use a method where that isn't expected.

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Offline Tilly

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 08:28:26 PM »
yes, Im aware this is what most writers write. I DONT want the hassle of writing back, so Im asking for a tactful way to say that.

Don't solicit for reader feedback if you don't want the hassle of responding.

Put in your social media links so interested readers can find you and leave it at that. The way you have worded your request for "feedback on the story" sounds like the book is a draft that's not done yet and also could result in writing by committee where readers expect you to alter the story to reflect what they want.

Offline The Bass Bagwhan

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 08:53:42 PM »
I sounds a bit needy to me, opening a Pandora's Box of trying to write your next book by committee. Plus, providing an email address I say pretty much obligates you to respond to everything. Whereas it's more acceptable to ignore and even block unpleasant Facebook posts and website comments.
And, of course, every email you receive is potentially robbing you of a valuable Amazon review instead.

Good luck.
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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 10:37:17 PM »
Also note that if you ask readers for their ideas for your next stories, someone will assume that s/he owns that idea and that, if you write it or something like it, you owe him/her money. While there is no copyright on ideas, only on the execution of them, most people neither understand nor believe that.

Offline Vidya

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 10:47:54 PM »
Also note that if you ask readers for their ideas for your next stories, someone will assume that s/he owns that idea and that, if you write it or something like it, you owe him/her money. While there is no copyright on ideas, only on the execution of them, most people neither understand nor believe that.

Yikes. I thought it would be a good idea to make readers feel like they have some say and involvement in the way the story progresses, but it sounds like it could be risky.

Offline alawston

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 01:20:10 AM »
I have absolutely no idea how many books you sell, obviously, but my first thought is that I probably wouldn't worry too much about being inundated by a deluge of email unless you really shift hundreds of thousands of books (in which case, you kind of wouldn't need the reader feedback anyway, to be brutally honest). Only a tiny percentage of readers are going to take the time to get in touch, I'm going to guess around the same proportion as leave reviews / sign up to mailing lists.

To get round the copyright question above, which is tiresome but more hassle than you can be bothered dealing with, and also to bolster you against any flood of emails if it does happen, why not just include a link to a surveymonkey (or other such) poll, where you give them a few multiple choice options for your questions about favourite / least favourite characters and pairings. At least then you'd have the data all in one place, and no particular expectation from readers that you're going to respond personally.


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Offline Evenstar

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 01:28:15 AM »
These are questions you ask your beta readers or you ARC's. Not the general reader.

Best thing you can do is try to get them on to your ARC list,  send them a free book and then ask all those questions.

Offline Ros_Jackson

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 03:35:00 AM »
Also note that if you ask readers for their ideas for your next stories, someone will assume that s/he owns that idea and that, if you write it or something like it, you owe him/her money. While there is no copyright on ideas, only on the execution of them, most people neither understand nor believe that.

I believe this is one of the reasons certain comic studios don't accept or read story ideas from readers; Marvel and DC have this policy.

While I would like to hear feedback from readers, I fear getting inundated with too many letters that would take too much time to reply to.

So can you please help me come up with a tactful way to encourage readers to send feedback while also warning them I won't actually be replying to any of it. If a reader gave me some brilliant suggestion, Id reply to that.

Im aware I may be opening a can of worms here and giving some readers the idea they have the right to dictate my story, but as I said, I want to make it clear I won't be replying.

If people want to give feedback and leave story suggestions they'll do so on forums, social media, and in reviews if they don't have an outlet to email you directly. I know which I'd rather encourage. I think the proposed text doesn't strike the right tone; you're the boss of your story, after all.

There's no obligation to conform to the trend of the super-approachable writer who answers all emails and is always on social media. It's not rude to set boundaries.

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Offline Vidya

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 03:43:13 AM »
There's no obligation to conform to the trend of the super-approachable writer who answers all emails and is always on social media. It's not rude to set boundaries.

Thank you! Today so many writers are as you say above that I fear readers will think someone like me, who has little interest in social media, an anomaly. But it is my choice if I don't want to do FB or Twitter.

I wonder how many other writers here are like me? How many of you have little to no social media presence and have little interest in interacting with your readers?

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 04:06:31 AM »
Also note that if you ask readers for their ideas for your next stories, someone will assume that s/he owns that idea and that, if you write it or something like it, you owe him/her money. While there is no copyright on ideas, only on the execution of them, most people neither understand nor believe that.

Yikes. I thought it would be a good idea to make readers feel like they have some say and involvement in the way the story progresses, but it sounds like it could be risky.

There's a difference between 'having fun' or creating interest/activity on a Facebook page, and seeming to solicit/invite suggestions for future storylines from your readers, especially in the backmatter.  And yes, if readers have ideas or "I'd love to see..." comments, they'll put them in reviews.
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 04:25:01 AM »
Quote
I wonder how many other writers here are like me? How many of you have little to no social media presence and have little interest in interacting with your readers?

You aren't alone, but I suspect most keep mum about it, because it's totally against what we're told as indie writers. I have no interest in tweeting all the time, running a Facebook page or whatever the latest "thing" is to interact with readers. Others do it, some even enjoy it, but it's not me. Heck, if I didn't go on a couple of writer forum on FB, I'd never know what others posted to my own page, that's how little I deal with it.

I keep trying to get myself a little more involved, but so far it's not working. :(

One thing you said was about how would you know what readers want, their opinions on what the story evolved to? Well, my answer is, you don't need to know their opinions, or what they'd like to see, or whatever it is you're aiming for. The story is yours. You write it the way that's best for the story. If you ask for opinions, if you got ten, or a hundred and ten, or ten thousand, they would all be different. And then what do you do?

The most I would do is offer links to places where you decide what you're going to say about upcoming books (sequels, cover reveals, etc.), and where they can comment as readers/fans. An author page on FB would work fine for that. Or a series page, or whatever. You do that from your personal FB account, by the way, not by starting a new account under a fake name, as FB doesn't allow that.
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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 05:06:23 AM »
I just say something short and sweet to the effect that "If you enjoyed my book please leave a review. If you didn't, I would appreciate your feedback at xxx in order to improve my books and writing." No promise to write back, and I do encourage them to participate in the forum on my website or social media to discuss book ideas, etc.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 05:08:34 AM by BillyDeCarlo »
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Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 05:08:26 AM »
You definitely don't want to write your book by committee. Readers will be disappointed when it isn't exactly what they imagined.
 

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 05:13:44 AM »
As a reader, I'd roll my eyes and ignore something like that. It's like asking for a book report and I certainly wouldn't do that. It may also put me off buying more books from the author who does it.

I think the others are correct that the most you should do is thank them for reading and gently encourage them to review on Amazon or Goodreads (do NOT use the phrase 'honest review' because that sounds like you expect they wouldn't be honest unless you remind them) and provide info on how to get on a mailing list and/or access your website or FB page. If you want more detailed feedback, ask for it through said mailing list, website, and FB page.

Absolutely do NOT promise to respond, or even imply you will, if you know darn well you probably won't.

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 05:19:28 AM »

I wonder how many other writers here are like me? How many of you have little to no social media presence and have little interest in interacting with your readers?

*raises hand*  I'm not on Twitter.  Don't do Insta- anything.  I have a FB page with not a huge number of followers or likers or whatever.  And it's not necessarily that I have no interest in interacting with readers, but A) I'm a private person, and B) I'm kinda lazy, not to mention C) it seems a little creepy to me for authors to 'socialize' with readers.  I know things have changed over the past couple of decades, but still, it's not what I'm used to.
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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2017, 05:59:40 AM »
Don't solicit for reader feedback if you don't want the hassle of responding.

Put in your social media links so interested readers can find you and leave it at that. The way you have worded your request for "feedback on the story" sounds like the book is a draft that's not done yet and also could result in writing by committee where readers expect you to alter the story to reflect what they want.

This.


Also note that if you ask readers for their ideas for your next stories, someone will assume that s/he owns that idea and that, if you write it or something like it, you owe him/her money. While there is no copyright on ideas, only on the execution of them, most people neither understand nor believe that.

And this.

My opinion: don't ask for feedback in your book. Include your social links. Ask the reader to join your mailing list. Engage readers through those platforms.

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Offline Skip Knox

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 08:28:12 AM »
It doesn't matter how you phrase it, here is what you are saying:  I want you to talk to me, but I don't want to talk to you.

That is unfriendly and is a clear break in the author-reader relationship. If you don't want people to talk to you, then don't talk to them. That's what reviews are for. But if you expect something from others, you'd better be prepared to give something in return.

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2017, 09:15:51 AM »
Your message is apologetic and displays insecurity. You're begging. You're trawling for attaboys. Or so it will seem to readers.

Include a Contact link on your website. The ones who want to will find it.

You don't need to ask for reviews from Amazon readers. Amazon puts that after "the end" for you. If the book is wide, a mention might help. "...from where you purchased the book."

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 09:29:13 AM »
I sounds a bit needy to me,

This. So much this.

You are a business person. Not a child that needs validation from the parents or friends. While I enjoy getting emails from readers, I don't BEG for it. Truth is, considering the volume of emails I get each day, I genuinely don't want to do anything to encourage more. You just don't want feedback from every random person that picks up your book. You just don't. trust me when I say this. No good comes of it. Are you going to write by committee? There are better ways to get what you want without creating more work for yourself and opening the door to interactions you may come to regret.

Particularly the part about offering suggestions about plots and characters. Do you even realize the number of lawsuits that have happened over the decades from stuff like this? There is a reason so many companies won't even entertain these kinds of emails from fans. It runs the risk of you getting accused of 'stealing' someone's idea. The Crazy is strong online, and do you want to deal with some random fan blasting you on social media for "stealing" their idea and then not paying them, and then they produce an email they sent to you with your reply about the idea?

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Offline KeithWardFiction

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 09:53:37 AM »
I enjoy interacting with my readers. I consider it part of my job as an indie author, but more than that, getting to know them, and them getting to know me, is a lot of fun. I don't generally have long dialogues with them, but I always respond to their emails. Many readers have been surprised that I'd take the time to do that. They appreciate it, and I certainly appreciate them taking the time to reach out to me; I'm not the only one who's busy, after all...  :)

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Offline JsFan

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Re: Tactful way to say this to readers?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2017, 10:35:10 AM »
I think the others are correct that the most you should do is thank them for reading and gently encourage them to review on Amazon or Goodreads (do NOT use the phrase 'honest review' because that sounds like you expect they wouldn't be honest unless you remind them)

I actually like it when authors ask for honest reviews because it means they are open to receiving less-than-positive reviews. I've seen authors say 'If you liked my book, please give it a five star rating' and find this a lot less palatable than a request for an honest review.