Author: Christie L. Rich
Series: Elemental Emnity #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Published: August 10th 2011
The Power of A Reader
By Christie Rich
I love to read, to immerse myself in a different world, a different time or place. Yet finding that “perfect” read was pretty hit or miss for me until recently. When the Twilight frenzy hit, I was consumed, much like other women my age that shouldn’t have liked the books.
We were supposed to be too old, not part of the target audience for young adult literature according to experts. Pretty soon, Twilight moms emerged onto the ever growing scene of fans that spanned through several generations. It amazed me how many people love(d) the Twilight Saga, but if I consider how much I loved Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I’ve come to realize the experts don’t know anything about me as a reader. I love reading all kinds of books. As long as the story speaks to me, I’ll try it.
Twilight sparked my love for reading at a time when I was in a reading drought. I hate to admit this, but I went more than ten years without reading anything for pleasure. I read a lot for my day job, but operative reports and spreadsheets don’t usually excite me. So when I finally had enough of my years of no reading, I found Twilight. After reading the first two books in less than a week, I was stuck waiting like the rest of the nation. I searched for something similar, as many readers out there were at the time, but it was hard to find that special something that was in the Twilight books.
It’s funny because now I can find books I want to read in a snap, but back then they were hard to come by. I don’t know how many times I looked online for mention of books “like Twilight” and came up empty.
Twilight started a revolution both in writing and in social networking. The Twilight fans were and are a bit zealous (I’m including myself in this lot). I’ve attended midnight releases and done things I didn’t think were possible to curl my fingers around the spine of a book. The sheer scope of what happened with the Twilight frenzy still amazes me.
I’m convinced that Twilight was such a success because of word of mouth. When it comes to success in publishing, readers have all the power. And word of mouth is the holy grail of writing achievement. All it takes are a few people telling their friends who tell more friends until the whole country (even world) are talking about a new literary phenomenon.
In my own writing journey, I’ve been blown away with the kindness and generosity of my fans who have taken the time to spread the word about my books. I’ll be forever grateful to those people, but sometimes I wonder if readers know the power they possess.
For so long we have been spoon fed what the gatekeepers have deemed “worthy” of publication. If you research what that really means, you’ll find out that worthiness is rarely the reason a book is picked up for publication. Usually there are a lot of factors involved that include what type of book a publisher needs to add to their list.
A writer may have written a fantastic book about fallen angels, but if an imprint already has a fallen angel book, chances are they will not buy the new one. It makes sense because that’s how business runs. There has to be order within an organization for it to function, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the needs of a corporation are going to mesh with the desires of readers.
Since I stepped into the Independent Publishing world, I’ve read some amazing books, both on the traditional and independent side of the spectrum, and sometimes I can see why a publisher or agent passed on an amazing book.
The truth is readers want instant access to books and in order for us to have them at the push of a button, we have to have a way to organize those books. When I set out to publish Five, I had to pick a genre. The trouble was none exactly fit my title. If I were to accurately represent the story I would say it was a new adult paranormal romance mystery suspense. Can you imagine that isle in a brick and mortar store? Neither can I.
First of all New Adult is a burgeoning genre that I hope catches. New Adult combines the innocence of Young Adult with the mature subject matter of Adult books. And what you get is a mix. Because Rayla Tate is college age, her story should technically be adult, yet some of the issues of new beginnings and her journey of discovering who she is and where she fits in the world is more YA based.
I believe there is a large audience out there for New Adult books and more are popping up all the time, which is pretty exciting for me. I love that time of life where everything is open to you. Where your decisions forge your future. And most of all, I love writing about that time of life.
The truth is with the emergence of e-books and print on demand, authors now have several choices for their writing careers. It’s an exciting time to be in publishing and I happen to think even more exciting times are ahead that will be reader based.
Back when I was searching for the next Twilight, I had a hard time finding what I was looking for, but now, with all the choices out there, I have a TBR pile a mile long. I’ve developed my own way of choosing books that seems to work pretty well for me. The first thing I look for is a recommendation from people I trust with similar tastes in books. The second thing I look for is a pretty cover. I know there are great books with ugly covers, but I love art so I can’t really help that gut impulse. The last thing I look for is a great opening. Usually if I read a sample and am engaged with the story the rest will be just as great. It doesn’t always happen and sometimes I’m disappointed by the hype around a book that falls flat for me, but the power of word of mouth still amazes me.
I’ve seen obscure titles become hits within a few months just because readers start talking. What a great time to be a reader, and what an extraordinary time to be a writer. I’m grateful for being part of this reading revolution. How about you? Do you like having more choices? How do you pick your books?
I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing now. My love for reading is what fuelled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I am enjoying family time with my husband and two children. We live in a quiet community under the Wellsville mountains in Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.
You can find Christie online at:
Five (Book 1 in the Elemental Emnity Series) is free from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or from your favourite eBook retailer, so go grab your copy and enter the giveaway for your chance to win Book 2 & 3!
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