By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine
Interesting thing happened on the way to the prom! I’ve always wanted to say that, don’t know why, I just have. I say it today because I have been looking at all the emails I get from people who want to sell us programs. Every one of them says, “To write a book better buy this…”. Then you get those that say “You can’t write a book if you don’t have this…” Obviously, I do delete most of them, because it’s hype. However, it got me to thinking about the hype writers get in their emails telling them they have to write it this way, market it with this program, use this Social Media–it’s the only one that works.
For writers, we want to be able to write what readers want to read, develop our platforms, be good at promoting our books (so people will buy our books). Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for educating ourselves to use the tools we need to be the best we can be. What I don’t see coming across in emails is how to be yourself and be true to yourself.
Funny thing in life, I could try all day to be like someone else, write like someone else, but at the end of the day, I am who I am. Yes, I can better myself, you will note, it is me I am working on, to improve the me that is me–not to make me into someone else.
With all this said, I felt it appropriate to remind writers–just be yourself. Write like you. Let the voice in your story be your voice, not Joe’s, William or Harry’s. You are the only one who can tell the story that is in your head…so tell it, in your words. You want your readers to hear your voice. That’s the voice you want them to like, to want to hear more of.
Same thing with promoting your books, tell the readers what you want them to know about your books. Readers are smart. Just use your words. Talk to them as if they were sitting across from you–like you were talking to a friend. That’s the voice they want to hear. Readers buy books from authors they like. They like the person. They like the voice. They trust you to produce a book they will enjoy. So, hear, speak and write–your voice.