Friday, October 28, 2011

Readers Who Care

by Vicki Doudera

One thing I found difficult after my non-fiction books were published was the lag time between when the books hit the shelves and when I actually received feedback from readers. Because Moving to Maine and Where to Retire in Maine appealed to an out-of-state audience, it took a good year before I started hearing from and meeting my readers. The nice thing is that when I finally did, they were wonderful new Mainers who had found my writing helpful and heartfelt. In some cases, Moving to Maine changed their lives.

Writing the Darby Farr Mystery Series has been completely different. I'm constantly meeting my readers, whether I'm at a library event, conference, or in the produce section of the grocery store. I remember the first time someone told me they would purchase A House to Die For electronically. The very next morning they sought me out to tell me they were halfway through and loving it. Heady stuff, for which I'm very grateful.

Readers of Inkspot and Maine Crime Writers share feedback and comments with me on a regular basis (thanks, guys!) and I often hear from blog readers on Facebook as well. All great input from People Who Care. But every now and then, I'll think about my website's personal blog and realize it is the one area that's lagging. There are times I feel like I'm blogging to a big empty nothing. Boy, do I hate those days!

But then I'll visit the moderation panel and see that I am oh, so wrong. My personal blog has some very dedicated readers, and these folks are happy to take the time to write to me. Federico Heichl, for instance. He and I are obviously soulmates. He writes: Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back. Don't you think his constructive criticism is spot on, too? (I'm inserting some photos into this blog as we speak.)

And then there is Ruhrwerk (a one-namer, like Sting) who says: Wonderful web site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to a few buddies and also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your effort! I love that Ruhrwerk is spreading the good word about me to his pals, and that he finds my site delicious, like a big plate of pasta carbonara. Obviously!

What about Gloria Buckley? She took the time to give me some much-needed financial advice when she wrote: I strictly recommend not to hold off until you earn enough amount of money to order goods! You should just get the personal loans or just short term loan and feel yourself comfortable. Thank you, Gloria -- my own personal Jean Chatzky.

Of course, she's not alone in offering me some friendly tips. Some of my readers are concerned enough to recommend various drugs that I should be taking. Some even go the extra mile to suggest pharmaceutical aids for my husband. And they are not embarassed to bring up some rather personal body parts! Now these are people who really care.

Really, when you think about it, I'm pretty lucky to have these very caring readers. Glen Bligen's complimentary comment came just the other day: I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

I tried to thank Mr. Bligen for his post, but the email came back undeliverable. I hate it when that happens!

I'll close with what's got to be one of the best responses to my personal blog. It's from NovikovNazar, and reads: отличный блок хаyc по отличной цене! I just know that translates to "I loved Killer Listing and cannot wait for Deadly Offer!"

Alright Inkspot readers -- what are your favorite comments from your gentle readers in cyberspace? Please, share in delicious with me!


Keith Raffel said...

Vicki, funny post. Nice to know those blog followers really care. And yes, I have my own gang of Russian language commenters. I am sure they are almost as flattering to me as Mr. Nazar is to you.

Alan Orloff said...

Good post! You sure have a lot of fans! I got this one today (it probably means "Your books stink."):

Hoi Alan S. Orloff,

Ik ontdekte net een nieuwe manier om online leuke mensen te leren kennen:

Ik ben er zeker van dat je het fantastisch zal vinden. De site zit echt goed en leuk in elkaar!

Deborah Sharp said...

Hahahaha .... I find you delicious, too, Vicki!
The sad thing is, I'm not even active enough on my blog to get nice (?) notes from Russian and other commenters. I do, however, have several pharmaceutical and Nigerian email pals I can introduce you to.

Jessie Chandler said...

What a great post, Vicki! I heard about your trials and tribulations getting the post up, but it was worth the pain! I finally just started getting some feedback on my first book, Biingo Barge Murder. Here's a couple of the interesting things I've gotten:

From a very nice Irish guy - "Another question, I have today seen the name Shay on a few females, presumably in USA and wonder about it's provenance. Shay here is the short for Séamus which is the Irish equivalent of James. Where does the female Shay come from?"


"I like Shay a lot. I get her protectiveness driving her to do
out-of-the-ordinary things. I love her willingness to dive in and her
bizarre stories to try to cover the mess she's gotten into. "Minnesota Storage Facility Inspector's Office"? What a hoot. That must be right next to the office of the "Anti-Slum Landlord SWAT Team"!"

Lots of fun!

Vicki Doudera said...

Okay you guys, I had a wonderfully witty response to each of you and guess what.... I got an error from Blogger and whoosh! it's gone. So at nearly 8 on a Friday night & I'm toast... let me just say thank you for your delicious comments.