After becoming an author, finally, after years of writing, it has come to my attention that it is pretty bloody wonderful to be contacted by a reader to tell you that they enjoyed your book.
And more, to tell you they loved your book, have recommended your book to others, to let you know that their book club is now reading it, they are now spotting dachshunds and have felt that same grief about losing a beloved pet. I have message from people who have never thought they could travel with family but now they think they could give it go, that my book reminded them of the gift that their family is and to ‘hug them tight’, that it inspired travel ideas and that basically it was a nice, heartwarming, sometimes funny, sometimes sad read.
They have gone to the effort of tracking me down on Twitter or Facebook, or through my website. Or I have come across lovely comments written about Destination Dachshund in forums. It’s nice to read after all the pain and suffering that is not only writing a book, but self-publishing a book.
I have rarely contacted an author directly. Why?
I didn’t really think about the author sitting there at home after releasing their creation out into the world, doubt eating away at their fragile self-esteem as they chugged down a bottle of wine. Now I am thinking about it. Now I am going to send people messages on Twitter or Facebook, or a quick email when I love their book.
A book review is the ultimate thing for an author – but the nicest thing of all is to receive a message from someone to let you know they liked your book. I cannot tell you how much it means to me, and I would think to most authors, whether they are NY Times Best Sellers or a self-published author from Western Sydney, like me.
This blog post was mostly inspired by all the wonderful messages I have received from readers, but also inspired by a snobby negative comment I recently heard about self publishing, (it’s self-published so it must be crap, right?). It’s not crap, it may not be something everyone wants to read, but enough people do want to read it.
I could have sat around for another ten years waiting to be picked up by a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to – not with this story. I created it and it’s scary to put writing out into the world to be judged. There will be negative comments, but there is also the wonderful comments, and these are the comments that make it all worth it.
So – what am I going to do now?
I am going to let authors know when I loved their book. I will do a review – it doesn’t need to be long – everyone is short on time and so am I. But also, if I loved it I will contact the author, whether it be a quick tweet, a Facebook message, or sharing the author love and letting the world know of a great book or author.
I am inspired by this by my good friend Robin Riedstra over at Write or Wrong who is always sharing the author love around and spreading the word about great authors and books. Robin was inspired Walter Mason, author of Destination Cambodia and Destination Saigon. She says in her post about author love, Let me Love You! that ‘…Walter gave me the inspiration to give Australian authors a shout out, loudly and often. He said to the audience, “bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature.” This resonated with Robin, and now with me. Robin’s wonderful memoir Confessions of a Mad Mooer is out soon, so you can be assured I will be sharing the author love about her book when the time comes. ♥
Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them.