A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, May 9, 2014


Writers often work in solitude. We sit at our desks, fingers poised over the keyboard, taking thoughts from our heads (or thin air) and putting them to virtual paper. When our babies are finally ready to go out into the world to be published, we don’t want them out there all alone. We need support to help them thrive and grow.

I'm lucky. I have the best family and friends ever. My mom and dad literally bought boxes of my first book, handing them out to every single person they knew (or didn’t), from the hairdresser/barber to friends to the clerk at the grocery store. My siblings and friends also rallied around me, handing out flyers, bookmarks, and introducing my books to their books clubs and friends. At some point, most have used a combination of enthusiasm, persistence, and possibly guilt to spread the word of my novels. However, twenty years after publishing my first book, I’m still asked, “Julie, what can I do to help get word of your books out there?” Wow. I REALLY appreciate people asking me that.

Ten or fifteen years ago, I would have had a much different answer. The publishing landscape has changed dramatically since then. But thinking about it in today’s context, here are five simple things you can do to right now support your favorite author.

1.)  Buy the Book. It sounds simple and it is. Every book you buy helps the author stay motivated to write another one, and/or encourages the publisher to support the author. Numbers are everything in publishing and can make or break a writer either emotionally or financially.

2.)  Write a Review. It doesn’t have to be more than 1 sentence. Even a word will do. In the new virtual environment, reviews drive algorithms that help spread word of the book to other potential readers. Reviews have become so important that publishers are reminding authors on a regular basis to urge their readers to post them. It’s a hard pill to swallow for most of us authors to swallow. We have to overcome our shame and embarrassment of appearing too self-promotional and sincerely ask for help in this area. So, believe me, a review of ANY length means a LOT to an author, especially if we don't have to ask for it. If you are writing a review on Amazon, take a minute to “like” the author, too. These numbers also drive algorithms. For example, let me show you where that button is on my Amazon Author Page (ha, see how I snuck in no-so-indirect self-promotion?!). First log into your account. Then click HERE to go to my Author Page. In the upper right hand side you should see a little orange button that says “Like” with a thumbs up. Click on that. Done. It’s that simple. (Thanks!!) Now you can do it for your (other) favorite authors and I assure you, they will appreciate it.  :)

3.)  Share on Social Media. This is the new form of “word-of-mouth.” If you like a book, post a comment on your social media vehicle. Even better, add a link to the book where people can buy the book if they are intrigued by your comments. Word-of-mouth is vital to authors!

4.)   Gift Someone a Book: This is connected with #1. If you like the book and think your sister/grandmother/BFF/co-worker would like it, too, then gift it. Most books, especially e-books, are very affordable, intelligent and a thoughtful way to say thank you, happy birthday, or I’m thinking of you.

5.) Invite an Author to Speak or Blog:  This gives us much needed exposure to new and varied audiences. I’ve spoken at libraries, conferences, schools, book clubs, and people’s houses. You name it, I’ve probably been there talking about writing. Many authors are shy by nature, but ask us to talk about writing books, and you can’t shut us up!

Well, there you have it … my top five ways of helping your favorite author. Did I forget anything?


Rita said...

Thanks Julie. I wanted to tell any readers joining us this is sooo true. We ALL are gratefull for those who take the time to write a review.

Sandy said...

Perfect explanation. You said all the important stuff so simply. Thanks.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Excellent points. We are very grateful for everything our readers do. I have one of those magnets on my car door that says, "Will mow your lawn if you read my book." :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

Great post, Julie. I love my readers, and appreciate so much when they take the time to buy/read the book, let alone leave a rating or review.

J Wachowski said...

Thanks for this post, Julie! I love a short easy list. :)

April Taylor said...

This is so clearly put and so true! I think readers think they need to give everything a 5* review, but surely the 1* ones are just as useful to the author. The only time I disagree with this - and I have seen it several times - is when the reader has had problems with delivery, or no delivery or the book won't download and then they give it a 1*, which is nothing to do with the quality of the book at all.

jean harrington said...

Julie, I agreed with each and every one of your points. Especially the need to write reviews. Well said.

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