13 March 2019

How Readers' Suggestions Can Influence Authors

Like most writers, I get my fair share of emails and social media messages from readers. Most of these messages are encouraging. I love to hear how my stories touch readers' lives. These words are such a blessing, and I am confident my fellow authors would agree. Once in a while, I get emails about mistakes in my writing. Thankfully I work with a good editor, so I don't get too many of those messages. I’ve even added a few of those really sharp-minded people to my list of beta readers. After my manuscript has gone through several of rounds of editing, I pass it along to my beta readers who use their gift to spot any typos or glaring plot holes.

Then, there are times when I receive emails from readers regarding suggestions for future stories. It's great to hear from my readers and their ideas and to know that they loved my book's characters so much that they’re not ready to bid them farewell. Such reader emails were extremely helpful when I was trying to figure out what to write next. I had recently completed the manuscript for my second historical fiction novel THE COUNTRY GIRL EMPRESS and was contemplating several new writing projects. During this time of uncertainty, I received a few of emails from readers who’d just finished my debut novel IN THE SHADOW OF HER MAJESTY and wanted to know if I was working on another historical fiction piece.

One of my readers wrote this: "I just discovered the sneak peek for THE COUNTRY GIRL EMPRESS and I am fascinated by the main character Princess Elisabeth. I can't wait to learn more about her! I hope that you will continue her story and not end it with the wedding. There has to be more to Empress Sisi's life story, and I'd love to know what happens to her and Emperor Franz Joseph after they got married." 

Like many authors, I enjoy hearing from my readers and thrive on feedback, and this gentle nudge gave me all the motivation I needed to make a decision. And so, I got to work right away on A LIFE IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROWN and THE PERPETUAL TRAVELER continuing the life story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. I’m happy to report that THE PERPETUAL TRAVELER will be available in print and ebook later this year.

So, thank you, my dear readers, for your feedback!  While authors can’t take every suggestion you make to heart, for obvious reasons, it does make a difference...and you just never know if your ideas and feedback might not provide an author with the inspiration for his/her next book!

So, what about you? Have you ever considered how your suggestions might influence an author?

Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added three historical fiction novels to her ever-expanding collection of published writings, In the Shadow of Her Majesty , The Country Girl Empress., and A Life in the Shadow of the Crown. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebook, and Goodreads.

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