Authors are busy people. Writing, rewriting, and editing one’s manuscript takes top priority. And that’s only the creative side. Promoting your work is a whole other job. Blogging, tweeting, posting, holding contests, entering contests, submitting works for review consume a lot of time. Added to that, many authors have outside day jobs. Throw in family and household demands and it’s a wonder that authors ever get time to read.
But authors do read. If they’re like me, they read a lot. For many authors, the enjoyment of a particular book or genre is what made them want to write. Something they read got them thinking, “Hey, I can write that.” Or they noticed a gap and decided to fill it by writing what they wanted to read. Authors read to keep up with their genre and know what’s being published. And they read for the same reason that non-writing readers do…because they enjoy it.
However, I’ve noticed that there is some reluctance among some authors to go out on a limb and state what books or authors they like.
I’ve heard some writers say they don’t read—or don’t read in their genre–while they’re actively working on a manuscript because they don’t want to be influenced by what others have written. I understand that, and credit it with some validity, but I have to ask, “Really? You never read while writing a book?” If you’re prolific at all you’d never be able to read again!
I’ve also heard some authors say they won’t comment on their favorite authors or favorite books because they fear inadvertently insulting someone by not including them. Or they play it safe by citing a classic from some long-dead author.
As authors, it makes our day to hear from reader who loved our book. So why do we hesitate to put a little spring in a fellow writer’s footstep? Yeah, we’re busy. But I have yet to hear an author say she was too busy to read an email from a reader who liked her book. Most authors don’t get enough positive feedback. Despite having our name emblazoned across the cover of our books, we toil in anonymity. We’re not exactly deluged by fan mail (at least I’m not).
So pay it forward. If you read an author’s book and like it, let him or her know.
I try to do this with the books I like. I don’t always follow through, but most of the time, I do. In addition, I also try to praise and author publicly in some fashion, whether it’s a post on a blog or Facebook, a quick review on Goodreads or Amazon. You never know who will see it and buy that person’s book because of it.
In the future, you’ll see more author interviews on my blog, like the one I did with Cara McKenna, as well as a new section on my blog of books I’ve read.