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Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Saying Thank You To An Author

I’m up to my elbows in homework sheets and webinars and thirty-minute-dare writing—and I’m having a blast!

I’m getting tons of information, from a slew of entertaining authors, across all kinds of genres, from picture books to Young Adult. It’s free, too, courtesy of Kidlit Summer School, organized by a couple of Nerdy Chicks. And ultimately, of course, I’m getting improved writing, which is pretty much invaluable.

So how does one thank all of these dedicated, generous folks? The authors who bring us events like Kidlit Summer School? Or the upcoming Write-on-Con? Or the legions of writers who share their expertise and experience in daily blog posts or weekly free newsletters or free offers of ebooks?

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: If you really want to thank authors, read their books and write a review.

And I’m not even saying you have to buy the books. Check out the book from your local public library. And if you don’t see an author’s book on the shelf, fill out a request for it. Get those librarians’ tongues wagging! (But if you know you’re going to buy the book, then think about pre-ordering it. Pre-sales can really bump up a book’s impact, both with publishers and booksellers!)

When you write your review, post it where it can help the author. Whether you like Amazon or not, it’s a major player in the publishing business, so slap it up there as well as on Goodreads or your favorite online bookshelf. Share the review on your social media.

And if you just aren't comfortable writing a review, then consider sharing a tweet or two—140 characters, that’s all—about why you’re enjoying the book. Did it make you laugh? Bring you to tears? Keep you up all night? That’s the sort of book love that will grab the attention of your followers, and lead them to read the book!

And after you’ve done all that, you’ve spent a grand total of…let’s see. A couple hours? We can afford 90 minutes, right?

See, I’m convinced that most writers are eager to thank all these authors who organize free events and share their writing love. We rack our brains, wondering how we can do something to return their generosity. And all along, the answer is as simple as reading a book.

And then telling everyone how wonderful it is.

~Cathy C. Hall

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Blogger Sioux said...

Cathy--Okay, first the book love, since I'm always about that.

Yes, reviews--on Amazon, on GoodReads, on Twitter or Facebook, in an airport with complete strangers (which is how I tried to spread the word about Leonard Pitts' "Freeman," it is THAT good)--help us readers and help the authors.

Thank you for linking us to Write-on-Con. I'm definitely going to try and get out of the rut that I'm in and participate in that.

And I never would have known about it if it hadn't have been for you...

Thanks again.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Tina Cho said...

Wonderful ideas, Cathy! I'm too enjoying the kidlit summer school; although behind in the homework.

7:38 AM  
OpenID said...

Yes to reviews. You mentioned that to me once a while back and I've tried to be better about doing it as I know it can make such a difference for the authors. Thanks for the reminder. I've got some reviewing to do!

8:16 AM  
Blogger BECKY said...

Awesome information, as always Ms. Cathy C! BUT...I'm so excited to be the first to bring something to your attention...AND it's even a MATH THING!! You wrote: "A couple hours? We can afford 90 minutes, right?" I can't help but point out that "a couple of hours" is not 90 minutes! It's 120 minutes!! Hee hee...Now that I'm finished being snarky...You really are spot on with your blog post. Yes, we writers love and need reviews!! I get up from my chair and do a little dance and squeal every time I see a new review on Amazon or Goodreads!! Have a fabulous day!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Lilly said...

Great advice, Cathy! Plus, you made me happy because I just spent the day yesterday writing reviews for the books I've been reading this summer. There have been so many excellent ones, and I just didn't want to stop turning pages long enough to write reviews. But they're done now. Yep, writers do love reviews. Thanks for the shout out and reminder!

10:56 AM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Well, um...yeah, Becky. I see my numbers's a little off. But what do you want from me? A review or perfect math? ;-)

12:44 PM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Yes, yes, yes! :) I agree with you. And one thing I was just thinking while I was reading this brilliant post.. .I think some people are hesitant to write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads because you have to give stars. It is hard when you actually have to rate a book on a 5-star scale to me. There could be a book that I thought was great and would recommend to someone, but if I'm going to star it, I might give it 4 stars. WHICH IS AWESOME. FOUR STARS IS AWESOME. But I think we all have a hang up about this. I by the way did not come to this conclusion on my own. I must confess I was discussing this with a couple other authors I know. Just some food for thought.

2:14 PM  
Blogger BECKY said...

Yes, 4 Stars are awesome! And I read somewhere that it's better to NOT have ALL 5 Stars, because then it just looks like you got all your friends and family to say what a fabulous book it is...when it really might not be. Thanks again for the great info, Cathy C, and I know you know that I was just givin' ya some trouble!

5:03 PM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

I know exactly what you mean, Margo! I'm generally a four-star reviewer. I mean, five stars is something like a Pulitzer Prize winner, right? But four stars is a good book,a good read. So yes, four stars is awesome! :-)

7:58 PM  
Blogger Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Cathy, great reminder for everyone, including authors, to request books they're interested in from local libraries that don't carry them. And, posting reviews is another great way to get a book moving. Thanks for sharing!

5:16 PM  

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