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The Value of a Reader

In 2010 I was asked to do a guest blog post. I’d only been published a year into and had a very clear vision of what my purpose to becoming an author. As you know, I’d never set out to become an author. I didn’t even start reading until I was well into my 30’s.
Honestly I’ve never read the GREAT classics or even have an itch now to pick them up. But I still have the same purpose even after all of these years. This blog was fun to revisit and I thought you’d like to read it too. Keep in mind this was the very beginning of Facebook and a new place to hang out with readers! So fun!
The graphic was also something I had made back then. I also had a lot of merchandise made up with the logo because I DO LOVE MY READERS!!!

This was my very first book signing! And my very first reader to sign for! Her name is Joy!

I’ll never forget the very first email I had received from a reader. She was telling me how much my books helped her through a very difficult time in her life. That is when I sat back and really took notice of how important a reader is.
You see, I started writing for myself. And when I decided to pursue publishing I still had myself in mind. I wanted to see my book on Amazon or on the shelf at the book store. It had become a dream of mine. BUT I never took into consideration who was going to buy my book. . .outside of my family.
And her email really touched me. Her words filled my soul with gratitude and joy. After her email, it was like the flood gates opened. One after the other, more and more reader mail popped up in my email. Each one had something different to say about my stories.
The more I heard from them, the more they fed my muse. I wanted to give them more. It wasn’t about me selling more books, it was about pleasing the readers that I had gained. I wanted to make them feel good and continue to feel good.
Sometimes I think that authors forget about the reader. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting any authors down or saying that I’m the right one here, but I see readers different than most writers.
I started a TONYA KAPPES STREET TEAM. This is a Facebook page where my readers have gathered and we talk about everyday life, what they are reading, or just a quick hello. It’s not a place for my readers to praise me. It’s the place where I PRAISE them!
Here is what it’s all about:
This is a team that I have assembled because you have been so supportive and an instrumental part of my success. I’m creating this group to help spread the word about my books. The best sell for an author is personal recommendation.

The best way for me to do that is for you, my friends, to spread the word through email or word of mouth would be a great big help. There isn’t much to it.

As a member, you will join my online yahoo group which is a yes to the street team invite.

And in return you get a chance to:

* have a character named after you in my books

* win monthly drawing for Street Team Members only-you are automatically entered. (this includes gift cards, books, and other fun stuff)

* In the month of my releases, you have a chance to win a $25 Visa Giftcard

* Fun tips about my characters

* Extra more things!

What do you have to do to be a COZY KREW STREET TEAM MEMBER?

You only have to do none or all of these:)

* spread the word to family and friends about the books of mine that you really liked

* take promo materials to local writers groups, conventions, etc…

* be my friend

* pick one of my books for your book club

* skype me into your book club or google plus is fine too

* if you have a blog, feature my new book trailer, review my book, interview me

* post reviews for my books on all the reader-centric sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc… I can’t take credit for the street team concept.

It was coined in the 70’s with music executives working on spreading the word about new artists, and making them bigger names. But as authors, we have to find inventive ways with the explosion of social media to reach readers other than book signings.

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One Comment on “The Value of a Reader

  1. Hi Tonya!
    I picked up the first book in the Camper series because it was on sale, and I liked the cover. I really enjoyed it and now have a bunch more that I look forward to reading. I have to read a lot of heavy literature for work (I am an English teacher), and as much as I love those pieces and all they represent about the human condition/experience, I look forward to lighter fare now and again, and your books do not disappoint. There is room for all kinds of reading in our lives, so I thank you for what you do!

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