Connecting with Readers – Book Chats and Focus Groups

I have had such a great month connecting with readers of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students (teachers and parents) and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (parents and kids). All of the time spent with them has reminded who we really write for.

Sure, we need to connect with agents and editors, or our work may never get out there.

But, our most important audience is our readers.

They are the reason most of us write.

In my book chats, I’ve had the opportunity to hear story after story of how various parents and educators are trying to meet the needs of the gifted kids. I hear about the struggles and the triumphs. And every now and then, I hear about how something in the book helped them.

The focus groups have connected me with the target audience for the book – as well as older GT kids. Through these experiences, I have connected with literally hundreds of kids and talked about the real experiences of growing up gifted. It has provided not only the research and authenticity I wanted for 101 Success Secrets, but it has enabled me to capture that voice.

In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much, I am planning on making focus groups a regular part of most of my endeavors.

The next round will deal with bullying.

All in all, the book chats and focus groups have enabled me to retain a reader’s perspective on things – and make sure I’m doing what I set out to do…

Give my audience something of value.

How do you connect with readers?

4 thoughts on “Connecting with Readers – Book Chats and Focus Groups

  1. This is excellent Christine. I’d be really interested in hearing how you will make focus groups work with your fiction stuff–like, the logistics of how you pull it off. Because I think it’s an awesome idea, I’m just not sure how to do it.

    I don’t connect with my readers. At least, not in any tangible way. I just talk to a lot of kids/teens–but probably not even enough to really say I’m connecting with them.

    1. Christine Fonseca

      I love talking with teens about the kinds of books they like, the storylines they are sick of, etc. My fav kind of research!

    1. Christine Fonseca

      I actually don’t think it is easier in nf, just different. Assuming my fiction eventually gets picked up, I thoroughly plan on doing school visits, things to promote literacy, and anything that ties into the book – teen writer’s workshops, etc. And yea, I use focus groups with fiction too….why not, right???

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