I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a really emotional person. I tend to be the “buck up and soldier on through” type (dramatic change from my teen years, for sure). But as an author, part of me is always on display and raw. We write so much of ourselves into our books–is it any wonder scathing reviews can sometimes get under our skin?
But conversely, there are moments when we feel touched BEYOND words (which is crazy for authors, because our playground is words). And I want to share some ways my readers have blessed me and encouraged me to keep on writing. Below are five suggestions for you to try!
FIVE WAYS TO TOUCH YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR’S HEART
1) Talk to the author like their characters are real.
Whether it’s an email telling me how a reader related to one of my characters, or whether it’s an in-person discussion about said characters, I’m always moved when I find out my characters seem like real people to my readers (like they are to me!). I recently had a book signing where a lady talked to me about the wolf in God’s Daughter, and I was just awed that the wolf had meant as much to her (and brought tears to her eyes) like it did for me.
My talented author friend, Joanne Bischof, and her friend Kezia (pictured above) showed me how real the Vikings from God’s Daughter were to them when they dressed up as those Vikings at Halloween one year! I was flattered and floored!
If your author is in the area, you can truly melt their heart by showing up for their book signings. My reader Susan, above, traveled quite a ways to make it to one of my signings in South Carolina. I have been overjoyed to meet many of my readers in person this way, and it never fails to humble me that they took time out of their busy lives to stop in and buy a book or say hello!
3) Review the author’s books OR recommend them to friends/libraries.
I know not everyone is active online–I have so many readers I’ve met who have loved my books but never reviewed. However, reviews are a very visible, tangible way to show authors you’ve enjoyed their book. The best places to review are Amazon and Goodreads, but Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and Christian Book Distributors are a few other locales you might be able to find/review their books. If you’re already a book blogger, it’s so encouraging to review that book online at your blog and spread the word.
Another option is to recommend or loan the book to friends, and to recommend the book to libraries. Many libraries will order books readers request, and some authors’ books are now available on Overdrive as well (the library e-book loaning system). Church libraries are another great option where you can recommend your fave Christian authors or even donate books.
If you were really moved by a book, chances are there are other readers who will be, too. Check to see if there are book club discussion questions available for the book (mine are under the BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION QUESTIONS tab on my website, and they’re printable), and if there aren’t, email the author and see if they’d be willing to get some to you. Authors enjoy talking with book clubs and many are willing to Skype with them (I am more than happy to!). Be sure to send the author a photo of your club (like the lovely club in Canada, pictured above), because I tell you what, THAT warms an author’s heart!
5) Buy the author’s books.
This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but I even have to remind MYSELF of this, because I’m frugal about book purchases and I prefer getting them free or borrowing them. But when you find an author you absolutely love, it helps them continue in their writing career if you purchase their books–maybe for yourself, or maybe for gifts. Some authors keep a stock of books on hand, so if you are interested in a signed copy, you could email and ask them if that’s an option (you’ll generally have to pay shipping).
I’ve started buying books of my fave authors as I can, whether ebook or softcover, and I know it’s yet another tangible way to thank them for the work they put into writing these novels I love.
I hope this gave you some solid ways to support your favorite authors. I haven’t even LISTED all the ways I’ve been touched by readers. I have readers who pray for me, who help me with book blurbs, who get right in the trenches and get the word out on social media when I have a sale, and countless other things that just constantly warm my heart. In face, sometimes I wonder if writing my books are ENOUGH of a thank-you for all they do!
Find more of my lovely readers’ photos here on Pinterest!
Whatever you do, be sure to let your fave authors know how much you appreciate their books. It doesn’t take long to read a book, but those characters and stories can stick with you for life. And a huge THANK YOU to my delightful readers for your endless support for my books!