Readers who made a difference – Author David Rothman (a Tar Heel!)

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 I could truly relate to David’s post.  Readers are the best.  TY David –


Readers come first — unless you want to write for your sis and mama!  Andy & friends are so right.

Slightly off topic, I’ve got a great  how-not-to example  as the author of seven traditionally published books. I’m no longer on speaking terms with a brilliant but old-fashioned editor who objected to my posting a page on the Web where readers could correct errors.

No, I’m not saying you should cater constantly to readers if, say, you want to be Jane Austen. She wrote for herself and is beloved today because she was not targeting her contemporary market. But if you care about verisimilitude, an enthusiastic audience before you die, and Grisham-level sales, then readers should count endlessly. Better to go  E  ahead of  P if you can. After Twilight Times Books published the e-book of The Solomon Scandals,  my quirky Washington suspense novel, one devoted fan in Arizona spent hours proofing. The paper edition benefited mightily. How touching that a complete stranger thousands of miles away could be so engaged.

Scandals  isn’t for everyone, however. Writing it, I cared more about the darker side of life in D.C. several decades ago than I did about indulging in unmitigated nostalgia, whether about sex, politics, journalism or real estate tycoons. But thanks to reader feedback I’ve discovered whole new audiences. I’m a lifelong liberal. I wrote Scandals  to tell a story, not make a political point, but who’d have thought that two Obama-hating friends would be among the book’s biggest fans?

Meanwhile kudos to Andy for starting up his readers-who-made-a-difference series. With a philosophy like that, he’s got a sure sale in the D.C. area when Shades of Gray comes out.


David Rothman, a UNC-Chapel Hill grad and a former poverty beat reporter and feature writer for the Journal newspaper in Lorain, Ohio, lives in Alexandria, Virginia. He blogs at, and is reachable at  www.,   or @DavidRothman on Twitter .  Scandals’ Amazaon information is HERE  (purchase today!! )

  1. […] either way, there’s a good chance you can benefit from feedback. And in my guest essay for Andy Hollomon, a debut novelist and blogger in Apex, North Carolina, near Raleigh, I tell how […]

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