Speaking of fanbases….

I’ve been noticing something lately. There have been some key writers who basically are continuously saying “Yeah, I’m awesome. My books rock” (that would be a direct quote said completely seriously by someone to me in a bar) and their own confidence is either:

  1. self-fulfilling; or
  2. completely justified

But, it’s one of those things that has me thinking… Do I need to portray my confidence in my stories more? Because, the truth is, I love my characters and their stories. If I didn’t love a story, you wouldn’t be seeing it (and there are a few of those *kicks paper further under the bed*)

Should I be out there saying, You need to read my stories because they’re awesome.

Um, wow… even just saying they’re awesome inside a question feels weird.

But, here’s what I’ve also learned: Very few people are going to go to the mat for your book. Other writers have their own books to tend to and most readers are going to read your book and move onto the next one.

It takes a fan to really spread the word about your stories.

And, guess what? Fan is another word I’m uncomfortable with. I have no problem with reader, but fan seems to be saying something no one but that person can claim for themselves.

I was tweeting about fans and fanbases with reader Angie Haulsman (@AHulsman1) a while ago and the big Ah-Ha was this: writers don’t build a fanbase, readers do.

We hear so much in the writer world about building platforms and growing your fanbase. I’ll be honest, I have no idea how one does either of those things. I just tweet and blog as I feel moved and hope people read my books because, really, breaking into their houses and forcing them to read a gun point seems a bit extreme.

Also, the next week Angie gave me another Ah-Ha moment when she was talking about going to an author event and that her husband came with her. She said something that gave me a well-deserved smack upside the head. She said “I was excited to introduce him to the reader world.” THE READER WORLD.

Did you see that writer folks?

It doesn’t say the WRITER world or the PUBLISHING world. And she’s 1000000000% right. I’m sure it wasn’t even a conscious word choice. It’s just how readers see it.

I might even that all out by saying the BOOK world, but really… something more encompassing than ‘writer world’ – and if you’re a writer but not a reader, then that’s a whole other can of worms to talk about.

So, in case you do care what I think about my books, here’s a key thing I love about each one:

WRECKLESS: I adore the night in the life adventure that makes up most of this story. I’m a big fan of characters who knowingly set out on an adventure. If any of my books would ever make a great movie, i think it’s this one.

SECRET GIRLFRIEND:  I completely fell in love with Amy and her struggle with finding her own self-worth and then going after not only what she wanted, but what she finally figured out she deserves. All of us deserve what we deserve…uh-yeah. You know what I mean. She may start out from a place of weakness, but she ends up one strong young woman.

SECRET LIFE: Ok, this book is awesome and I love it. It tells some very hard truths about not only what it’s like to live with something other people don’t understand, but to honor yourself and see yourself for who you really are.

I would say all of my books have a running theme of redemption and self-acceptance — and seriously, that  is awesome. We all deserve that.

So, whether or not I’m awesome, I certainly had some AH-HAs coming at me this past week. Feel free to smack me up side the head with more of them – you can never AH-HA too much. *dances around to Take On Me*




  1. Great post, Bria!

    And absolutely right! Readers build fanbases, and as writers all we can do it present our work the best way we can and hope somebody takes a look AND likes it enough to talk about it.

    It’s funny how, Publishers, Writers, and Reader can be snobs and sometimes slight each other as if any one of them could exist without the others, lol!

  2. Just so you know, I’m not just a reader, but a huge FAN of yours;) You rock!!

  3. Speaking as a reader/writer/fan… yeah “What Angie said…” and what YOU said, Bria. Just like our writer’s “voice” sometimes seeing what makes our stories special is hard to see, especially from someone else’s view point because, honestly, every reader brings a substantial and personal chunk of every story to the table because of their own experience and world views. No two people read the same book, but that really good one that touches you deep inside and lingers with you? Yeah.. only one person could’ve written that one.

    And just so you know… YOU’RE AWESOME! and YOUR BOOKS ROCK! (and yes, I was yelling.)

    • What Kristen says!… Totally agree! When a book or author touches something in me, I definitely want to share with the world. Stories that stick with me for days after I have read them, those are the books I will recommend to others.

      • Bria Quinlan says

        You guys are awesome. That’s one thing I love about the internet – the chance to find more people to love books with around the world. As book clubs IRL fall apart bc of time and moves and jobs, knowing all this love is going on here – PRICELESS.

  4. Just read this post (at Angie’s suggestion) and loved it! It sounds like we have a really similar worldview… I’m going to check out your books right now, Bria. Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. 🙂

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