Are You an Open Book?


Well, as a writer, you should be an open book at least to some extent. People want to get a sense of what type of person you are, your background, where you live and more.

With my first book, Seasons of the Soul, which includes a spattering of personal accounts of my two different autistic sons, people would approach me at book signings and express empathy for my situation. Some would purchase the book for others or had handicapped children themselves. A number of individuals would say: “God gives special children to special people.” I would smile and thank them. It warmed my heart. There also were those who believed they could get my nonverbal autistic son to talk. I again would smile and say a thank you, even though I knew this was impossible.

The point is readers want to know you and form a bond with you. Why do you purchase books? I often buy books because I know the author and got to know that individual through friends, acquaintances or are members of one of my writing groups.

Bonding is important and you can establish this in many ways. I sell my books personally so I meet up with those who previously purchased my books and they often buy my new ones. But what do you do if you never or seldom do these kinds of events?

You establish relationships through forums and social media. I am not good at forums as Ruth Ann Nordin, but I do use social media. Of course, you have to in this era, however, you do need to get to know your followers as much as possible.

Patrons love meeting the authors they love, and we should return our love through special gifts for our loyal customers. I had someone I worked with years ago buy my latest books (Lockets and Lanterns, Bride by Arrangement and Courtships and Carriages). I mailed them to her and included a special token, a Seasons of the Soul journal. It was my last one, but I wanted to show her my appreciation. Doing this was more important than keeping this keepsake. In addition, I inserted a personal note. No matter what they say about the Internet there is nothing more valuable than a “handwritten note.”

Readers also like to know your background, such as where you live. Several years ago, I was selling my first book in a town about 50 minutes from where I live. One person saw me there and realized I lived in the same town where they used to live and bought my book. However, do not tell everything about yourself.

When I started out I gave out too much data about myself. Most people are wonderful, but some will take advantage of you, such as “potential” writers who seek your help. You can assist them in connecting with writing groups, etc. However, you cannot over extend yourself either.

Also, be careful in providing too much information on the Internet. This is touchy because you need to interact and get to know your followers. How I handle this is to post about what I am doing without revealing my family’s names. We need to be cautious rather than regret it later.

Make comments on other authors/readers’ blogs, Facebook pages, etc. In this way, you get to know them and they in turn learn about you. Of course, do not go overboard or you will never get your own work done.

So be an open book but remember you are out in the public and need to watch revealing everything about yourself. Well, I hope I left you with some useful information and as always I end with a God bless.

14 thoughts on “Are You an Open Book?

  1. "Bethie" February 24, 2015 / 4:06 am

    This touched me deeply, especially the part about your two autistic children. I was born with spina bifida. I invite you to check out my blog, and let me know what you think. God bless you and your family.

    • janetsyasnitsick February 24, 2015 / 11:33 pm

      Thank you, Bethie. Yes, having two handicapped children is trying as well you dealing with spina bifida. I lift up prayers for you and glad you liked the post. I will check out your blog. God bless.

  2. The Story Reading Ape February 24, 2015 / 8:35 am

    ‘Open but not revealing’ is a good adage – like ‘Always tell the truth, but you don’t always need to tell all of it’ 😀

    • janetsyasnitsick February 24, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      Especially when a woman asks about her hairdo, correct? Ha! Ha! God bless.

      • The Story Reading Ape February 25, 2015 / 2:49 am

        And the old favourite “Does my bottom look big in this?” 😀 😀 😀

  3. Lauralynn Elliott February 24, 2015 / 9:57 am

    I use a pen name to keep my personal life separate from my writing life. But…when I interact on social media, I’m still myself. I am who I am, no matter what my name is. Sometimes it’s hard to know how much to share.

    • janetsyasnitsick February 24, 2015 / 11:50 pm

      It sure is Lauralynn. You want to be open but wonder at times if you shared too much or too little.But regardless, we need to be careful what we share. God bless.

  4. williamkendall1 February 24, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    I also use a penname in terms of being online, but I’m still largely careful about revealing too much. Even when mentioning a certain former brother-in-law I dislike, I never say more than his first name, which is exceedingly common.

    • janetsyasnitsick February 24, 2015 / 11:51 pm

      Good idea, William. Yes, we never want to mention people we dislike or have disagreements online. God bless.

    • janetsyasnitsick February 24, 2015 / 11:53 pm

      Thanks for reblogging this. Yes, it is difficult at times to know when to hold or share them. God bless.

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