Things Readers Wish Writers Knew – by K.D. Rush

K.D. Rush

K. D. Rush is the author of the forthcoming novel, The Guild Inc., a supernatural thriller:

The Guild, a secret organization that can trace its lineage back to the dawn of civilization, has accumulated wealth and power beyond imagination. Entrance into this powerful, male only society, is strictly by birth. When an unexpected pregnancy triggers an ancient prophecy, many see it as an imminent danger to the organization. Some view it as mankind’s next evolutionary step.

Today, K.D. hits IU readers with a top ten list of things readers wish writers knew:


As a new writer my credentials are slim. Yes, I hope to finish my first novel this year, and no, I don’t expect to miraculously become an expert on the topic of writing once it’s published.

However, there are a few areas where my experience might be helpful to the new writer, or struggling author. I would like to share a few things from a reader’s perspective that could possibly save you some time and frustration.

The Top Ten Things Readers Wish that a Writer Knew:

#10. Writing: Rules Don’t Matter, much

Yes, the rules of grammar are important, and every new writer should at least make an attempt to know what atrocities they are committing. The book has to be readable of course, but in the end, it’s all about the story and characters. Make them memorable. Let the editor worry about the rest. But for God’s sake, please, do use a professional editor.

#9. Writing: Don’t Bore Us

That page of prose that you worked half a day on, it’s a potential stopping point in the book for us. Hopefully the story is interesting enough that we decide to pick it up again. If the story isn’t moving forward, then it’s standing still. There’s nothing more poisonous to the human mind than stagnation.

#8. Writing: Make Us Care

If your protagonist has two minutes to live unless the bomb is deactivated, and we’re not even out of the first paragraph in chapter one, we have a hard time caring about what happens to them. There’s no emotional attachment here. At the very least, give us some time to get to know the poor bloke that’s about to be blown to smithereens.

#7. Writing: Write from the Start, End with a Bang

If your story frequently goes back in time to add relevant details about plot or character, then perhaps you should have started your story there. Each time you stop and move backwards, you risk losing our interest. Keep it moving and the momentum building. When the story ends, you want the reader to think about your book long after they’ve finished with it.

#6. Marketing: We Don’t Know You

You need a platform. Create a blog and be faithful to it. It may be months before you develop an audience for it, but the people that visit it regularly are the first in line to buy your books. Readers that feel they know you are the loyal customers that you need.

#5. Marketing: Social Media (Facebook)

Create a Fan Page on Facebook. If you have the skills, tie your blog and twitter accounts to it. In fact, every medium you have should somehow tie into each other. It’s not only easier on you over time, it’s easier for potential readers, and fans, to keep track of what you’re working on.

#4. Marketing: Social Media (Twitter)

This is a social network, not an infomercial. The quickest way to turn someone off is to try and sell them something, especially if that’s all you do. People don’t follow you on Twitter to hear you pimp your book every other tweet. Engage, and get to know people. Don’t be the pesky salesperson that everybody hates.

#3. Marketing: Get Involved and Get Noticed

There are many blogs on the Internet, and you need to visit a few within your circle. Get to know the blogger and their audience, then leave some comments when you have something to add to the discussion. This, more than anything else, has led me to find new authors. Four of the books on my Kindle right now were written by authors posting on blogs that I follow. Before that, I never knew they existed.

#2. Technology & Design: Professional vs. Amateur Looking Websites

If you use Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr as your primary website, then you’re at a slight disadvantage. Most of the default templates for these sites look amateurish, and potential new readers may draw a negative preconceived notion about your books. Don’t miss a golden opportunity to be original.

#1. Technology & Design: Your Book Cover

Before we read the synopsis, we see the cover. If the cover fails, then it better have an interesting title. I’m not suggesting that you spend $500-$2000 on a cover design, but it should have something to do with the story, and it should stand out in a crowd. By standing out, I don’t mean a pink cover with an emerald colored fancy font.

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KD Rush is documenting his writing journey with the hope of inspiring others to follow their dreams. Check out his website at You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and lurking around a few dozen blog sites.


Author: K.D. Rush

KD Rush is a South Carolina native currently working on several short stories and his debut novel, The Guild Inc., a supernatural thriller. He documents his writing journey at his blog, and here at Indies Unlimited in a monthly column called The Learning Curve. He also tweets daily at @KD_Rush.

19 thoughts on “Things Readers Wish Writers Knew – by K.D. Rush”

    1. K.S.,

      The only thing you could possibly be doing wrong on Twitter is not following me. 😉

      Seriously though, it's tough having a feed of endless commercials in the Twitter stream. It is a great promotional tool, but some authors are promoting the wrong things.

      When you do nothing but tout your own work, people tune out. Share the love and promote others… it's called karma, and it will have a profound effect on your bottom line.

      1. Great points, KD. Are you a member of Book Junkies on facebook? There is a doc where we are listing our twitter handles and then write a tweet we wanted tweeted on a certain day, filling in a calendar of 3 peoples tweets per day. We started this in January and are continuing it through February. We tweet the tweets at least twice a day, some do more, some have set it to be automatic, but we are trying to share the love and promote others this way. We are calling it a Tweet Fest.

        Thank you and good luck and much success to you and your writing.

        1. Jacqueline, I am indeed. Stephen invited me a few weeks ago, though I have to admit that I'm more of a blog junkie than a FB group participant.

          However, I do go through the new posts as time allows and comment on interesting posts that catch my eye. I did not see the Tweet Fest, but it sounds like a good idea. I'll check it out, thank you!

  1. "If the story isn’t moving forward, then it’s standing still." As a newbie, I find that the balance between set up details and advancing the current story to be one of the most difficult aspects of writing.

    Anyways, great post KD, and as always with you, very well said!

      1. Gladwell's Outliers! Yes, I've encountered that idea many times, and there seems to be something to it. can someone with better math skills than I break down 10,000 hours into their equivalent in days, weeks?

        I love this post, but especially the social network stuff. So true, yet so often indie writers miss its obviousness!

        1. Dave,

          By my calculations, to become an expert writer, this is what I would need to do..

          8 hours per day

          1250 days

          or, 41 months

          or, 3.4 years

          Wow, only 3 more years to go! Woohoo!

          1. Okay that's not bad. I've been writing for a lot longer than that, not always (or even often) eight hours a day—even now, the other aspects of writing get in the way—but I must have hit the magic number by now. Only problem is, I don't *feel* like an expert.

  2. Rush, sorry I'm late to the party brother. Great post and a good idea…most 'businesses' spend all their time (or a good amount of it) trying to figure out what the customer wants. Yet, somehow writers seem to ignore that part far too often. It's a tricky balance when you're dealing with 'you baby', but if you want your baby to sell, you gotta figure out why someone would want to buy it.

    Well played!

    1. Hey, as long as you made it to the party, I'm honored. It's been a crazy week, and this was a fun distraction. I've always tried my best to promote others on Twitter, and that's much easier when the 'others' are real people, and not a billboard.

      I firmly believe that the best thing a writer can do to promote their work is to engage with people that will help them promote it through word of mouth (or Twitter, FB, Blogs, etc.)

      Of course, giving away free stuff like a Kindle Fire will certainly work too. 😉

  3. Great tips. I have a blog but I got my theme from Elegant Themes, so it is unique. I also have a new site, but I always use my own photos to create unique headers in whatever venue I use (Blogger, Weebly – I have both). That makes it unique to me, too. And I have fun doing my own 'design'. I don't have a published book yet, but I hope I'm creating interest with my blogs so that when I do publish, my readers will already be interested in what I am doing.

  4. Diane, you have a wonderful website. It's clear that you have devoted the time and energy into making it stand out.

    Your book sounds like an inspiration to many of us that have let our dreams fade. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    It just occurred to me that your comment is exactly the type of promotion that I'm talking about. Had you not taken the time to reply to this discussion, I may never have found your book on my own.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thank you, KD, for the compliment. I appreciate you visiting my site. I still have some 'tweaking' to do on that book, and am working on finishing another one right now. For the one with the quote on my web site, I have created a year's worth of daily inspirational messages on the theme of the book that I hope to finish editing in the next couple of months and turning into PDFs so I can offer it as a free introduction to the book. Things have gone much slower for me than I had expected, but I suppose the unexpected should be expected too. At least, that is one thing I say in the book, so I guess lesson #1 is that I should listen to myself.:-)I will be posting when the daily messages are ready, then hopefully the book will be ready to go soon after that.

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