Without my readers, my books are just a bunch of words on a page. ~ Red Phoenix
When I first looked into getting published, all I heard was, "You need a platform." I thought, Well, that's nice. How do I get one? I did a lot of research on the web and discovered the best way to develop one as a newbie like me was through social sites like Twitter and Facebook. I will admit that the thought of spending hours on different sites seemed like a waste of writing time. I was not thrilled.
I started writing my short "quickies" Sensual Erotica and published them on Smashwords. The author's page asked for my Twitter account, Facebook account, blog, etc. What's a girl to do?
So, I dutifully (and a little resentfully) created them. Let me tell you, it is embarrassing to have conversations with thin air. I felt like an idiot writing thoughts and announcing books to an audience of zero. I determined in my head to promote myself, but it wasn't Red Phoenix who was writing the announcements. No. It was RP, my dedicated and talented PR person! ;)
My very first fan (who was not a friend at the time) was a kindhearted woman named Donna. She loved all my Sensual Erotica books and remains a true-blue fan still. It was the most exciting thing in the world to get her comments and have an actual conversation with a real live reader. It has grown since then. I now have conversations with readers and authors on Twitter, FB, Goodreads and Shelfari. It is a gas! My peeps inspire me, encourage me, and make me laugh.
Once upon a time, I thought creating a platform was purely to create readership. Now? I know that it is part of my lifeblood as an author. I would be less without a connection to my readers.