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Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The Savvy Reader - Helping your fave authors
Okay, I'll admit, I just love the word savvy, so that's how this post got it's name. And let me say, this isn't just for my readers, but for all readers who have favorite authors.

I've been thinking for awhile, taking notes, jotting ideas and trying to figure out the best way to answer a question I get often in my inbox. Basically, all versions of that question come down to--- How can I help a fave author whose books I love?

I'm still amazed sometimes that I even make the fave author list. Yeah, I know, I shouldn't say that. I should put a more confident front out there, but the truth is I am amazed, and completely humbled and grateful. I still get excited when I get fan mail. The fact that it gets unmanageable makes me want to manage it. Seeing my book in stores still makes me giddy and I just have to shake my head wondering how it all happened. Well, the truth is, the readers make it happen. It's the support of fans that makes or breaks authors. And getting our books in front of potential readers proves to be a challenge.

I firmly believe in helping others. That's why I hold contests, like the Scavenger Hunt to give publicity to my fellow authors and to get great books and prizes to the readers. To me it's a win-win-win.

But getting back to some of the things readers can do to help their favorite authors. Some of them may or may not be right for you and the time you have to spare. So just keep in mind, I'm listing the grand to the not-so-grand, but the truth is, every little bit helps.

1. Use your talents and do what is easy and comfortable.
If you're a talker, talk about the book. If you're web savvy and dedicated to a series or author, make a fan page to tell others why you love it. These can even be free pages like here or on myspace. If you're artistic, offer to make web banners or book trailers. If you travel a lot or are not a talker, offer to drop of the authors bookmarks in bookstores you go to, in airports, waiting rooms, ect.

2. Start a Fan Club
Get with the author to see if you can help!

3. Post blog reviews
This includes Amazon.com reviews as well as your own blog.

4. Recommend to the Book Club
If you're a member of a book club, recommend the author. And, sometimes if you email the author they'll send goodies to your book club for during the discussion. You might even offer to share discussion questions about the book for the author to hand out to other Book clubs. (I personally know the book discussion questions would help me. I get asked for these and have no idea where to start and BTW, I do send goodie bags to Book clubs. Have the organizer email me)

5. Be a friend
Seek the author online, friend them on Myspace, Amazon, You Tube, ect and friend them. On Amazon.com, add their blog to your plog. If you have a website or myspace or other page, put up links to their sites.

6. Send Fan Mail
I can't tell you how many times I've been frustrated and a piece of 'I love your work' fan mail has cheered me up. Writing can be isolating sometimes. We spend most of our day typing and reading, plotting, researching, note taking... It can get lonely and a nice piece of fan mail can really perk up a day and kick start a muse.

As a note, most authors do try to answer fan mail (at least those I know do). I'd keep in mind, the bigger the name or the busier the person, the longer it might take for a response. I've had authors get back after 3 mths, and others within hours. Sometimes, it's the luck of the draw. You might email and get them in their inbox, or they might be out signing and gone for several weeks.

7.Visit this Link for a big list of GREAT ideas
Rowena and some fellow authors have but together a list covering a lot of what I thought to add, and some stuff I didn't think of.

8. Ask for the Book
Bookstores gauge interest by what readers ask for when they come in or call in. So, when you go to a bookstore, ask if they carry the author's books--it doesn't mean your obligated to buy at that time. If you have bookmarks, leave a couple with the staff.

9. Books face out
At a bookstore? Pull the authors books so they're prominent. Turn the cover face out so it can be seen by other readers coming through. I'm not saying to reorganize the bookstores sections by any means.

10. Buy new, not used
This is a recommendation I hear often, and I know for some people the price is a factor. But, when you see your favorite author or genre starting to fade away, one of the biggest things you can do is buy new. Publishers gauge what readers want by what they're buying new. Been feeling like your favorite kind of books aren't being written anymore? Buying new lets the publishers know there are still readers out there who what them!


These are just a few suggestions I've heard given and this is by no means a comprehensive list. Is there some way you've helped your favorite author? Do you have suggestions? I know I, for one, am listening intently.
posted by Michelle Pillow @ 7:17 AM  

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8 Comments:
  • At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anni said…

    Only 3 savvys? I was expecting more. *g*

    I talk books up like crazy. Easy to do where I work, but really I do try to do that where ever I go. I'm the same way about bands that I like.

    I also post links to their blogs or web pages on my blog and right now I have a trailer up for an upcoming release on my page.

    Great post, Michelle. Look forward to hearing other responses.

     
  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    What a great blog post! I have to say, seeing several things I already do made me feel really good. Most of them I do just because I love books, and I love to talk about them. I emailed one author a note saying how much I enjoyed their book last year, and was so surprised to even get a response, much less a very warm thankful response. As it happened, the book I emailed her about was her first and only published novel, and that one little encouraging email that was so very easy for me to send meant the world to her.

    Since then, I make a concerted effort to either email authors, or post on their blogs, groups, etc. when I like something. It's a win-win situation, making everyone feel all warm and fuzzy. I know I may not always receive a response from the author, but that's not why I'm doing it. Heck, I always figure they are nose-deep in deadlines and stuff anyway.

    I'm going to have to save your post to remember some of those other great ideas I hadn't yet thought of! Thanks!

     
  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger Ciar Cullen said…

    Well, as a reader, I've proclaimed you my fave, does that count? Things readers have done for me--listened on my yahoo group, encouraged, encouraged, encouraged. When you're new, it's so important to know there's a core group, no matter how small, that wants your next book. One very special person drove hours to my first booksigning, even spent the night at a nearby hotel, sat with me through the signing, and pimped my books. Now that's a reader! I try to give back every way I can afford, with contests, freebies, and prompt answers to emails and "atta-girls." It's the least we should do to show our gratitude!

     
  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger Liz said…

    Everywhere I go I have at least 1 book with my and am always telling people about writers books. I also tell them to look at the back of their fav books and check out the website of the writer and publisher.
    Also my space is great to increase traffic. Also I donate some books to the library and take duplicate promo items I've received to them
    Also reader groups are a wonderful way to introduce people to other writers
    Well thats by few cents

     
  • At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've recommended authors. I also get my library to order in books, hoping that'll expose the author to more people who will then buy more of their books *s* I also leave bookmarks around. If I have author book marks I'll leave them in books that go to the library or even just leave them on the table at a local coffee shop in town (that encourages that type of thing - they have a place to leave things like that)

     
  • At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Janet W said…

    I make a point of going to the web site where I bought the book (I do mostly e-books) and leaving favorable reviews. Most of them have the function to let customers come back and rate their purchases.

    And of course, legally purchasing the book goes without saying! This also tells the publishers what the public wants!

     
  • At 2:44 PM, Blogger Loretta said…

    thanks for posting these great ideas to help the authors. I have gone to website of ones I have bought books from or won and have emailed them and told them how much I enjoy their book and looking forward to upcoming books that are part of a series.

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Michelle Pillow said…

    Ladies, thanks so much for coming by and posting :) Sorry I'm so late responding. The headache lasted longer than I thought it would and we had company....UM, the two are not related, lol

    Happy Holidays!!!
    Michelle

     
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