This editorial is about something that has been bothering me for awhile. In my work as a publicist the one big disappointment I’ve had since I began working helping other Indie authors is the fact that many have admitted to me that they do not read as much as they should. Worse yet, some have even said they do not like to read even though they enjoy writing! What? I find it mind blowing that someone can publish a book, and ask an audience to read it, when they do not even like to read! But let’s forget that for a moment…There is a reason why the question most asked to authors on interviews is, “What are some of your favorite books?” or “Which authors have influenced your writing the most?” It doesn’t matter how many creative courses a writer goes through…the information in them won’t go through the writer unless they read other authors’ works. Reading is actually part of the writing process as it is a writing development tool in itself. Below are some points on how reading helps writers become bestsellers:
· Style. An author’s writing style is something that can’t be learned in a class. It is something that the writer discovers through the writing experience and especially through reading. It takes a lot of reading other writers’ work to discover your own voice and style.
· Effective plots and characters development. Theory and practice obtained in classes through writing exercises are not enough for a writer to be able to produce a bestseller. Writers need to read different books (especially ones that have made the Best Seller list), to learn and master different techniques that worked for other authors, in order to develop their own technique.
· Writing from the heart. To open yourself in your writing for an audience to read sounds much easier than what it is. Yet, if the author doesn’t pour their heart into their writing (whether fiction or nonfiction), their work will not feel genuine, and audiences will not engage.
· How to determine what makes a book good or bad. How can someone understand what makes a good and a bad book without reading other good and bad books? Furthermore, how can you write a good book without knowing what makes a book good?
· Finally, how to write for readers. Most writers write for themselves or a small audience, which is very different than writing for a huge audience of different readers. Reading gives writers insight on how to engage the audience. It can help writers develop techniques like showing instead of telling among others, and by being a reader themselves writers can relate to what the audience might be looking for.
Generally speaking, in my opinion, authors who don’t read have a big disadvantage, one that will most likely prevent them from becoming best- selling authors. For more information on how we help authors visit us at www.bookbybookpublicity.com.