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.