When I self-published the thriller CIA FALL GUY, I asked a person on Twitter who works in the American intelligence community if he would like a copy to read.
The person said yes and I emailed a copy. Then I got a DM through Twitter — he asked something about the book that made me wonder.
I DMed back asking if he read much fiction. His reply:
He has not read any fiction since the early 1990s!
In retrospect, before offering a copy of the ebook, I should have first asked him whether he read fiction. My error was in assuming that he would be interested in fiction taking place in the world he knows.
Now I got a DM telling me he had finished the book and found it slow going. I pondered this comment because people have written reviews on Amazon about the fast pace of the novel, which is actually short by novel standards.
Of course everyone is entitled to his or her opinion of a book — fiction or non-fiction.
But this made me think about reading fiction vs. non-fiction. Is there a mindset needed for reading each type of book?
If so, what does this mindset entail?
One requirement for a fiction reader:
A willing suspension of disbelief of some of the things that happen in fiction.
Maybe someone who only reads non-fiction would not be accustomed to doing this.
Yet the more I thought about this, I realized what may most be needed to enjoy fiction:
The willingness to be interested in what happens to a fictional character (or characters).
In other words, a fiction reader has to really care if the protagonist finds the treasure, gets to safety before the ice sleet covers everything, escapes the aliens, or whatever the challenge is.
Now I will admit it is up to the fiction author to create characters and situations that foster a caring attitude in the minds of the readers.
But I would also maintain that it is up to the reader to be open to the author’s efforts.
The technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS that I wrote with my husband Mitchell R. Miller has gotten a range of reactions, including attacks on women in the military in some reviews of the book.
What I found especially interesting is that a news article this week about the first woman to be officially assigned to a U.S. sub also got attack comments about women in the military.
Clearly Mitch and I did not realize, when we wrote the story, that there would be people (especially men it seems) who would attack the story based on their own feelings about women in the military.
Click here to read the news story and comments about the first woman assigned to a U.S. sub.
Click here to see the reviews on Amazon for CIA FALL GUY.
Click here to see the reviews on Amazon for LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS.
© 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. A new nonfiction ebook of hers is TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK and her newest fiction ebook is the thriller CIA FALL GUY.
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com