|April 2019 Member Spotlight|
The one thing that I never really considered when I decided to publish my first book, Out: A Cam Thomas Story, was where exactly my audience came from!
Surprise, it’s not the UK! Well, it is somewhat, but the US market by far is where my books sell most, and I get why. For a start, the US population is 5 times the size of the UK, and therefore by those demographics, the US must have more readers than we do here.
So, I am left thinking about two things: first, how can I best interact with my US-based fans when I am all the way over here in the UK? And second, even though we share the same language, there are quite a lot of differences!
Social media is wonderful. I am able to communicate with people and chat with them, but the time difference often means a delay in replying. It’s not quite the same as rocking up to a book-signing event and meeting the person that bought my book, or speaking to someone who has yet to find your work but seems interested in that fabulous book cover you’ve got promoted on the desk!
It’s been pointed out that I could do a few vlogs, and I am working on gaining my confidence for that. But it’s a difficult task to accomplish when you’re really not comfortable with a video camera. You might not know, but we’re a shy bunch, us authors. I was the kid at school that kept my head down and sat at the back just to avoid the teacher asking me something that would mean all eyes on me. But I go through phases of confidence, and I’ve worked hard over the years to try and overcome my anxiety and shyness.
In the UK we don’t have very many events for us Lesfic authors to attend. I am not even sure there are that many readers who know we exist. We’re trying to change that, but it’s a slow and expensive process for many of the conventions’ organisers.
I’ve already organised one here in my home town and hope to get involved in more around the UK. But a trip from where I live in the south of England to an event in Scotland is comparable with travelling from LA to San Fran – around 400 miles! My readers in the states are scattered around such a vast space that it would mean a year of travel to get anywhere near visiting you all. But I am going to try and get to some of the events out there, starting next year. So look out for my face popping up!
However, I found something else between us that could be bigger than the Atlantic: language.
How often I get a comment in a review or via a direct message to let me know that I spelt something wrong! I think we’re all aware of the usual things: we say holiday, you say vacation. We live in flats, for you it’s an apartment. Bonnet of the car versus hood, etc. You’ve probably already gotten here mentally noting all my mistakes.
And then we have the extra U…I write honour, colour, and labour, and I get told off for that too. I never had a clue about the past tense differences, like dreamt, learnt, burnt, leant, spelt, all of which I have been told off for using because it should be dreamed, learned, burned, leaned, and spelled.
But the biggie is the S over Z. Even Word tries to make me spell words with an -ize instead of an -ise.
I’ve no real idea why these things have changed, after all we both speak English. I guess language evolves? But I am British, so I am always going to use an S over Z, and I will always add a rogue U…please don’t tell me off anymore 😉
Come connect with me: www.itsclastevofficial.co.uk
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