In the run up to the publication of my latest novel, it occurred to me that while I spend endless hours writing for you, I’ve never actually written to you. So I apologise now because this letter is way overdue.
I’ve been wondering for a while if you realise how important you are to me; you, the reader who invests your time and money into reading one of my books. I say one book but if you then went on to read more of my work, then (wow!), thank you so, so much! Believe me, that’s just about the biggest complement you can give an author, to pick up another book and take another chance. I hope I haven’t let you down.
It’s hard to imagine you reading the words I’ve spent hours agonising over, adding to the text, cutting scenes, tweaking the personalities of my characters and what motivates them and generally squeezing every ounce of emotion out of the story and the author. Do you laugh when I want you to laugh or, more likely with one of my books, do you cry when I want you to cry? Are you sorry when the story comes to an end and for that matter, is the ending you think the story deserved?
It’s those kind of questions that are spinning around in my head when publication day arrives and my novel is released into the world. The problem is that I don’t get to see the effect my writing has on you, I’m not an actor on stage who can hear your gasps or peals of laughter. What I rely on is the reviews from the amazing army of book bloggers out there and from individual readers who also leave reviews or post comments on my website or Facebook page, not to mention the occasional tweet. I wonder if you realise how precious that kind of feedback is to me. Did you know the comments you leave can make my day or, if it’s bad, make my heart sink?
Of course if you asked my publisher, then the most important feedback would be the sales figures which in turn drive the rankings and I can’t lie to you, that’s important to me too. And it’s not just your direct contribution to those figures that I appreciate. Let’s not forget the new readers you’ve sent my way through your blogs, reviews and the personal recommendations to your friends. Even if they borrowed your copy, there’s always the chance they then went on to buy my next novel. It all mounts up and it all contributes to my continued existence on the bookseller’s shelves.
It’s a harsh world out there in the publishing industry and I thank you all for your amazing support in getting me this far. I hope it’s the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship but even if my publishing adventure were to end and my stories were left languishing on my computer then perhaps that was meant to be. But for now, thank you for making my dream of becoming a published author a reality. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
With much love,