TMI Thursday: Authors are Ridiculously Enthused When Someone Really Loves Their Book

First things first: nobody goes into the book-writing business to be rich, or famous, or to find happiness. Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you how many ways authoring can be a terrible job. The characters never do what you want them to do, deadlines stalk you like the non-Casper kind of ghost, and the post-retailer royalties are so low, you’d cry if you knew what I make per copy sold.

My point here is, intangibles matter. An overwhelming majority of authors can’t rely on writing to pay a living wage. Those who do either started authoring before things got so competitive, or they work very, very hard. We disappear into writing caves at the expense of our families. We don’t get as much exercise as we should. That’s why it really makes a difference when someone takes the time to tell us they loved our book.

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I got a telephone call from my hairdresser today. She’s one of few people in my community who knows that I write. We only see each other at haircuts, but we have amazing rapport. I gave her two of my books when last I saw her—Snapdragon and Crazy Old Money—about six weeks ago. Mind you, it’s usually me who does the calling (when I need my hair done, of course). This morning, the woman texted me and called twice. She’d just finished Snapdragon, and she blew up my phone.

 What she said about my book would likely bore you to tears, but, to me, her words were a treasure. She wanted to geek out over my hunky hero and speculate on what would happen in the next book. She went out of her way to let me know she liked my erotic romance way more than Fifty Shades (LOL!) and proceeded to give me an itemized list of what was different (and better) about my books. The point is, she was excited! And when readers have that much excitement and passion, it goes so far in building our resilience for the parts of this job that suck and in validating our work.

So, here is what I will ask of you: leave this blog posting and let an author know you love them. It doesn’t matter if that author is mega-huge (e.g., Nora Roberts, James Patterson), or super-small (e.g., you’re not sure anyone other than you and their mother reads their books). I know plenty of mega-huge authors who are ridiculously enthused when they meet a fan who really connected with their work.

Here are five ways to spread the love:

  1. Email them. It can be two sentences. E.g., “I love your books and can’t wait for the next one. Write like your fingers are on fire!”

  2. Private message them on social media. If you know they hang out on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever, hit them up.

  3. Come to a signing. Yeah, I know it’s a big ask. Believe me when I tell you that most authors (especially those who aren’t mega-huge) live in fear of no one coming to their table and caring about their work in a book signing situation. We are triple-ridiculously enthused when readers at signings arrive at our tables excited to meet us and dying for us to sign their books.

  4. Leave them a review. If you’re shy, you don’t even need to interact with anyone for this one. Just take a few minutes to let the author (and the world) know how you felt about their book.

  5. Leave them a review in more than one place. This is the ultimate show of fandom. If you bought and reviewed on Amazon, fantastic. But if you also reviewed on Goodreads and BookBub, the author you supported in this way might tongue-kiss you the next time she sees you :)