Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Helping Your Favorite Author




I decided to use my December post to write a blog on helping others. Well, okay, helping authors to be exact. Ho, ho, ho … Happy Holidays to us!!!

People are often surprised I hold down a full-time job in addition to writing. Here’s a big surprise -- writing isn’t always a lucrative business. Many mid-list writers are struggling artists. I have several friends who are considering giving up writing altogether because it is so hard to make it financially worthwhile. Luckily, you can help. You really can. There are ways to keep your favorite authors in business.

So, seeing as how we are in the giving season … I’ve listed five ways you can help your favorite authors this holiday and year round.

1.)   Buy the Book. Sounds simple and it is. Each book you buy helps the author increase his/her sales record and be better positioned for future books.

2.)  Buy the Book as a Gift. Books are the perfect gift. Besides, if you ask nicely, most authors will happily provide a bookmark or bookplate so you can give an autographed book. There are ways to sign e-books, too. Just ask.

3.)   Recommend the Book. Word of mouth is a great way to help your favorite authors get noticed by others. You can recommend it to your neighbors, friends and family. Ot you can recommend by “liking” it, tagging it, or writing a review on Amazon.com, Goodreads, BarnesandNoble.com and a zillion other sites and online bookstores.

4.)  Review the Book. Although this is mentioned in #3, it deserves additional attention. If you have a blog, a Facebook account, a Twitter handle or belong to LinkedIn, tell others what you like about the book and author in your own words. Write a review. It can be an entire blog post or it can be a few words. It doesn’t matter. Just get the word out. Share your thoughts about the books on your own social media platform. If you liked the book, a few kind words can make a world of difference to an author.

5.)  Let the Author Directly Know You Like the Books. Most authors have websites and social media platforms. It isn’t that hard these days to track down your favorite author. Don’t assume they are inundated with constant praise and encouragement from the public at large. The truth is that most writers operate in a vacuum. Most of the time we’re convinced our stuff is crap. If you enjoyed a novel, take a minute and let your favorite author know via e-mail, website or Twitter. It can be as simple as a sentence or two letting them know how much you liked it. Speaking from personal experience, one positive fan letter can energize me for a long time. That is, perhaps, one of the very best gifts you can give a writer.


13 comments:

Maureen A. Miller said...

You're kind of like Santa Claus!

Very good post, Julie. I have actually bought many digital books that I know there is no way I can humanly get to unless I am trapped on a deserted island with a perpetual battery...but I buy them because it helps.

And yes, there are many days where I have the debate about ever writing again, and then some kind voice appears and encourages me to carry on.

Here's a toast to all the kind voices in the world!

Wendy Soliman said...

It's astonishing how many people think writers are worth a fortune, just because they're published. That is so not true - take it from one who knows!

We do it because we can't help ourselves and like to give pleasure to our readers. So that you readers for letting us know that you care.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Julie -- thanks for speaking up for your fellow writers!

Toni Anderson said...

Great post, Julie!!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Hallelujah and amen, Julie. Great post. I'm lifting my own glass (cheers, Maureen!) to toast those kind voices who do take a moment to review a book or let an author know they were moved by their words. It makes all the difference.

Elise Warner said...

Terrific post, Julie.

Rita said...

Exactly where do you live Julie? I want to come and give you a great big hug.

Jean Harrington said...

All so true, Julie. Good for you--sticking up for us all. Love it!

Julie Moffett said...

Thanks, everyone! I do love all of your books and I hope you'll be around for a long, long time!! oxoxox Happy Holidays!

Shelley Munro said...

Excellent advice, Julie. Books are a lasting gift. And I hear the people talking about giving up. I've had those thoughts recently. :(

Cathy Perkins said...

Great post, Julie

It makes my day (week, month...) when a reader contacts me or leaves a reviewer saying they enjoyed the story. So thanks to all of you!

Tara said...

All I'm going to say is... AMEN. :)

Maryanne Birch said...

Just yesterday while waiting for my Train home I was talking to a women in the business class lounge. And of course we were talking books. She mentioned that she had just read a book she loved and had thought of writing the author a letter and saying how much she loved it. But had decided not to because the author must get so many letters. I told that that no matter how many letter they get or don't get they will always read the next one that gives praise. That most people don't think it matters. I told her that yes it did matter and was important. I told her that most authors have websites or are on facebook. she told me that she will look up the website but she does not do facebook. I hope she sends the author at least a note saying how much she loved his book.