is written to help authors, publishers, and organizations
spread their message like wildfire.
This week’s focus:
My wife and I recently went out to dinner to try a new restaurant that opened near our house. Instead of having a good experience, though, the restaurant failed to deliver on our expectations. For instance, it took a long time for our food to arrive, and even then, my entree was under-cooked and chewy. My wife’s food was cold. In addition, the wait staff was inattentive and rarely came by our table to check on us. They seemed to disappear after we got our food.
Needless to say, my wife and I were dissatisfied with the experience. Fortunately, the manager stopped by our table to ask about our meal. We informed him of the situation, he sincerely apologized, and “comped” our meal for free. My wife and I were glad to leave without having to pay, and agreed that the restautant was not worth recommending to friends.
In the restaurant world, customers don’t have to pay for their food until after they eat it. In the publishing world, however, it’s the exact opposite. Readers have to pay for a book up-front, and hope that they have a good reading experience. If a book doesn’t meet expectations, rarely can get their money back. They’re stuck with a bad book. But, they sure won’t spread good word of mouth.
As an author, never forget that your customer has to pay first in order to read your book. What if it was the other way around? What if readers could choose to pay only after they read your book? Would readers “send your book back to the kitchen” complaining that it was under-cooked or took too long to arrive at a good ending?
Authors have the luxury knowing that readers have to pay for books first. But, we cannot abuse this privilege. So, as your write your next book, keep this concept in the back of your mind. Just because people have to buy a book before reading it doesn’t mean your off the hook. Put yourself in the position of a reader and ask if your book meets a reader’s expectations. Or, would they request a refund on their reading experience?