I partied at Olive Garden last night. I know. I live the dream. We celebrated my mom's 92nd birthday. You would think that with a party of 13, the staff would have dollar signs in their heads. Well, think again, pardner. Is it seriously too much to ask to keep an old lady's glass of water filled? Sheesh. And when you know it's a birthday and have been requested to put a dang candle on the dessert, do you really need 2 tries to get it right? Apparently my expectations of customer service deviate from the norm.
Whenever I've got a gripe, I eventually get around to self-evaluation. How can I, as a writer, provide great customer service? Who in the world are my customers? That's the neighborhood we're roaming around in today.
First, let's narrow down the market. As a writer, you are servicing readers. Not publishers. Not yourself. Readers must come first and foremost. How to do, exactly? You came to the right place...
TOP 3 WAYS AN AUTHOR CAN PROVIDE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Yesterday I tweeted about one of my all-time favorite authors, Travis Thrasher. I didn't honestly expect an answer. I simply wanted to be an encouragement but BAM. He tweeted right back, to little ol' me of all people. Now that is what I'm talking 'bout when I say customer service! Taking the time to interact with the average John Doe shows humility of heart.
Write Your Best
Don't just crank out writing that you know will sell. Put out your best writing. Every time. Sweat a little over the words you choose. Stretch a little farther than tossing in the usual cliches. Give the reader a sweet surprise with the way you describe a character or scene.
I'm not saying you have to write like a madman and toss out a book every six months. If your writing gait is a novel every two years, or a blog post once a week, it's not really the frequency that matters. It's the consistency. Your readers will come to expect something from you once you've set the pace. Stick to that schedule.
Okay readers, here's your chance. What are some ways that authors can show customer service to you?
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?