Thursday, 18 August 2011

Guest post: Why Readers Opinions Are Important by Brooke Moss + Giveaway

Last week I read a wonderful novel. One that made me anxiously root for the characters and while I read it I breathed and lived to see how their story evolved. And what a story it was! A heartwarming and emotional, yet chuckle out loud funny and romantic story. Yep, that's the prize winner package that The "What If Guy" by Brooke Moss is, so I am extremely happy to welcome Brooke Moss to Ex Libris and make you discover this gem of a novel. (You can read my review and get a first taste of the novel here.)

Please give a warm welcome to Brooke, and read on, there is a great giveaway at the end for you ;-)

Why Readers Opinions Are Important
by Brooke Moss

First off, thanks so much for having me here today.

I know a writer who writes only for himself. He fancies himself a “real” writer. He broods; spends countless hours drinking and smoking; and pours his very soul onto the page every time he sits down to his laptop. (Which, it must be said, that he only recently upgraded to a computer, as he prefers to use a typewriter. Yes, I said a typewriter.)

Back in the “olden days” we used them for writing stories and letters and stuff. I know, I know…weird.

But, I digress. This passionate writer was so devoted to his craft that he scoffed at trends in the publishing world. He turned up his nose at word count limits and ignored query guidelines. He was going to be the next Steinbeck or Hemingway. He was going to change lives with his amazing brainchild. He was above the rules, and if the right agent or publisher just took the time to read his work, they would be thanking him for even picking up a pen!

Yeah. Now is a good time to point out that this writer is, as of yet, unpublished.

Agents and publishers don’t advise us against certain themes or character types because they are trying to make a writer’s life difficult. They aren’t trying to crush our souls, or stifle our creativity. And by heeding their advice, authors aren’t selling out.

Yeah…all writers dread that term.

Agents and publishers only accept certain plotlines, characters, and styles, because it is their job to provide the readers of the world with books that they will want to devour. If books about Superhero’s is out (which it currently isn’t, I’ll have you know), agents and/or publishers will be reluctant to take on books with that theme. Not because the writing is any less stellar, but because without a fan base ready, willing, and able to read the book…the book won’t sell.

Get it? Got it? Good.

This is where the reader comes in.
Every single author out there treasures his or her readers. (If they don’t, they need an attitude adjustment. Stat.) Without readers, an author has no purpose. Granted, many writers, myself included, write because their heart tells them too. Because writing and creating new worlds and casts of characters is their passion! But…if they are seeking publication, there isn’t much point in writing, if their story doesn’t have an audience.

As authors, we should be listening to what our readers want. Whatever their tastes are, that’s what we should be writing. Without input from readers, we have no idea where trends in book sales are going, and could potentially lose readers. It is important to familiarize yourself with your fan base. Listen to their likes and dislikes. What sections from your books they enjoyed, as well as the parts they didn’t like so much. Without their feedback, you could go on to write books that won’t interest and captivate your readers. And where is an author, without reader?


As an author, I live for feedback. There is absolutely nothing better than opening an email from a reader whose heart was touched by something I wrote. Or from a reader who laughed so long and so hard that they simply had to let me know how happy my book made them. On the flip side, negative reviews and feedback are like free instructions on what to avoid in my next story. If an aspect of my book wasn’t well received, then I know to take the next book in a different direction.
Some writers see this as (dare I use the term again?) “selling out”. But I don’t see it that way. I consider it wisely listening to the opinions of my readers. Will I let their wish lists blueprint the whole of my next project? No, probably not. Will it inspire me to go in a new direction, or continue in a direction that seems to be received well? Of course! Because, without my readers, I have no job.

Readers opinions matter. Without readers, even the Steinbeck-esque guy with the drinking problem and the vintage typewriter from the 1940’s won’t be successful. Readers are the reason we authors are in business.

My name is Brooke Moss, and I am thrilled to be sharing my debut novel, The What If Guy, with you.

It is the story of Autumn Cole, who is reluctantly returning to the miniscule farming town or her youth, to reclaim her role of daughter of the town drunk. Things go from bad to worse when she realizes that her son’s history teacher is her college sweetheart she hasn’t seen in thirteen years.

My storytelling style is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, and I live to find the love story within every typical couple’s history. The What If Guy is available at Amazon, B&N, Books On Board, and at your local bookseller. A special thanks goes to Entangled Publishing for their amazing prizes and giveaways. Thanks guys!

Find me on the web at Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Thanks, guy! Drop me a line and tell me what you thought of The What If Guy.

Brooke Moss

And here is little teaser:

Excerpt #3 The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss

"Did you mean what you said?" His lips brushed against the corner of my mouth.

"When I said what?" I asked in a breathy voice, trembling. Or maybe that was Henry.

"When you said…" He swallowed. "…that you still loved me?"

My heart pitched. "Yes."

The next few minutes were a blur. His lips came down on mine with such determination that I stumbled backwards. His strong hands caught me. He slid his hand up my back and clutched my neck, leaving a trail of heat in its wake. He tangled his fingers in my hair and deepened our kiss.

We moved as if we’d been kissing each other for eternity, yet it felt as exciting and brand new as the first time. All five of my senses were keenly alert as Henry’s tongue teased mine. His rugged scent filled my nose and light flashed behind my closed eyes. I grazed my fingers over the ridges of his muscles, then tugged at the bottom of his shirt, longing to touch, skin-to-skin. My ears rang, my mouth filling with the taste of Henry. I wanted more, more, more.

Breathlessly, Henry pulled back and gazed at me with clouded eyes. His lips, swollen and parted, tugged up on one side. I lifted his shirt tail and ran my palms up his chest, sending a shudder through him.

Henry licked his lips and the butterflies in my stomach morphed into a flock of pterodactyls. I felt self-conscious under his heavy gaze, his eyes studying me as if he were memorizing every detail of the moment.

"Hi," I whispered.

You can read my review here.

You can buy The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss at:


Entangled Publishing generously offered 1 ebook copy of The "What If Guy" to a lucky winner.

The "What If" Guy

All you need to do is:

1) leave a question/comment for Brooke, or tell us: what are certain themes you love to read about? Or some you don't care about at all?
2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

For extra entries follow Brooke on either of: her Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook accounts and you'll get +1 entry per place (leave me your follower name in that case in your comment).

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 26 August 2011!

Good luck!

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