52 Books Guest Author – Heather Day Gilbert

Posted On Jan 13 2014 by


Many books

 Welcome to week #2 of the 52 Books Challenge! Every Monday, we’ll have a new guest author on to talk about herself, her writing, and her latest book. This week my friend Heather Gilbert is here to talk a bit about her relationship with her readers. Her first book (everybody cheer), God’s Daughter was released last October and already has a list of great reviews.

Here’s the Amazon description:

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.

In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a journey to North America.

But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.

Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America. 

Hey, it’s Vikings. Most of you are looking for something a little different to add to your reading list this year. Well here ya go. Okay, enough from me. Let’s hear from Heather…

The Reader is always right

Although that title might be controversial depending on how you look at it, I really believe that authors need to spend time listening to their readers. This means spending less time letting our minds be clouded by what’s “marketable” or “trendy.” This means going with our gut, writing things we know readers will get behind. Because those will be the things WE can get behind as authors. When we write our passion, readers will catch our vision. When we gut our stories or pander to the trends, we won’t have a book we can feel proud of. As a reader, I hunt down stories that break the mold, teach me something new, and bring rich new characters into my life. I don’t care what’s trendy. I want memorable books.

And what an amazing time to be a reader! Never before have authors had such direct contact with readers. I remember when blogs were the only way to track down authors (I followed Stephanie Meyer’s quite a while after reading The Host. She didn’t blog often, but I loved reading about her housewife-turned-famous-author story). Today, we have Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube…such a variety of ways to keep up with the authors we love.Many books

I’ve personally found that my readers chime in the most on my Facebook Author page. Even before I published a book, future readers gave feedback on possible series titles, book titles, and Amazon blurbs. Elsewhere, I’ve seen readers help determine cover art for books. I find that readers have an unerring sense of what will sell best. Sure, they might disagree, but the majority will veer a certain way.

Recently, we had an incredibly enlightening conversation on Facebook on the importance (or non-importance) of endorsements for books. The majority of readers thought endorsements were important for debut authors, but not critical for authors they’ve already read and enjoyed (in fact, in that case, endorsements are rarely glanced at). This kind of info is crucial for a self-published author like myself. I know I don’t have to knock myself out getting endorsements on my second book; I just have to provide a product I know my readers will enjoy. I have to ask myself if publishing houses ever ask readers these things.

Bottom line for authors: if you’re not writing for readers, who are you writing for? Even as I write something I’d like to read, I should always have my readers in mind.

And bottom line for readers: authors value your input! Not only do your reviews and encouraging words make us feel we’re not wasting our lives, your input can help steer future books. So please take the time to interact with your favorite authors, wherever they hang out online!

Heather GilbertAbout Heather:

Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Sixteen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling her three children. Heather regularly posts on Novel Rocket about self-publishing.

You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert–Author, and at her Facebook Author Page, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads. Her Viking novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can find it on Amazon and Smashwords.


Can you read one book per week? Yes, you can! Challenge yourself and join the 52 Book Challenge. Like our facebook page and stop back here every week for a new guest author and some give-aways!

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Last Updated on: January 13th, 2014 at 8:35 am, by Ron

Written by Ron

Just about everything I believe has been shaped by the written word. But books don't force a belief; they stir the imagination so that you, the reader, eventually draw your own conclusions. We grow richer in spirit when we read, deeper in our understanding of the universe and our role in it. That's why I read. That's why I write. To offer you a bit of myself. Come along on my journey, won't you? There's plenty of room.

2 responses to “52 Books Guest Author – Heather Day Gilbert

  1. Thanks for letting me share thoughts today, Ron! I can’t stress the importance of reader interaction enough, and what a boost it is to authors. AND I just created my 52 books bookshelf on Goodreads! Looking forward to making more of an effort to finish specific books this year! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thank you so much for having me visit, Ron! As I commented on the 52 books FB page, I’d love to hear readers’ examples of how they’ve contributed to authors (cover art, etc). AND I have created my very own 52-book list on Goodreads! Excited to commit to reading more this year.