How was your day? Not what you were expecting? That’s okay. Tell me what you enjoy seeing in a book.


Several years ago, I attended my very first writer’s conference. You know, one of the big ones with NYTimes bestselling authors on the roster, the kind of place where an indie author gets pushed to the back of the room. Yeah, one of those. Let’s just say it was an enlightening experience. It taught me the value of a reader.


Readers love to read and more importantly, they love to share what they’ve read with other readers. While chatting with one of the readers, she mentioned that she only reads M/M romances. I was going to let it go at that, but I couldn’t. I asked her what was the appeal for her. Her answer was that the characters and situations were real.


Ding! Ding! Ding! Flashing lights, balloons and confetti descend from the sky.


I could’ve pushed and boasted about my books, but going that route wouldn’t have granted me a five-minute friend.


What’s a five-minute friend?


It’s someone you’ve taken the time to know how they’re doing, what they’re looking for, or if they are having any issues. I first heard this term from my son when he did sales at a previous job. but the principles apply for marketing as well.


Establish a rapport with the reader.


Instead of bragging about Lynn Chantale, ‘The Queen of Sensuality’ I took the time to find out what a reader likes and wants in a story. It didn’t matter that it was M/M. what did matter was WHY she liked reading the genre. Had I not taken the time to build a relationship, which marketing is all about, I’d have lost some valuable knowledge and a potential reader.


Next time, instead of jumping in with how great the story is, try getting to know the reader. You’ll be surprised at what can be built with a five-minute friend.

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