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Sunday, March 29, 2015

How to Support Your Local Author

Stop by the Summer of Love Books website on April 1 for a chance to win a whole summer of romance novels (mine is one of them). There will be more than one winner, so be sure to enter.

cj Sez: Haven’t been feeling up to snuff for the past few weeks, so this post is going to be short (but I’m hanging in there). What follows is a stream of consciousness blog about how to Support Your Local Writers, whether you’re a writer or a reader.

 If you’re a writer . . .

and have your own blog, invite guest bloggers. Lyrical Pens does do that, though we haven’t been graced with a guest for a few weeks. (Time for us to send out some more invitations.) When you have a guest, send out “Coming Attractions” promotions on Facebook, Twitter, et al. Giving your guest blogger space to say something about their own books is a nice touch.

Read and be willing to give your fellow authors’ work a fair critique. Be kind but be honest.

If they want to just sit and talk, grab a chair and listen. Writing is a lonely occupation, and most other people don't understand.

Encourage each other. Writing is not a competition; everyone can be successful.

If you’re a yet-to-be-published writer with a manuscript on the cusp of publication, but don’t have a business card, get one. Hand it out to agents, workshop instructors, fellow writers, wherever you have an opportunity to network. Get your name out there as early as possible so people can watch for your new release. Some variation of the business card that follows is my suggestion, and it would work even after your novels are published:

Name  Jane Doe, Author
Writer of XXX (literary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, YA, romance, whatever)
eMail address
website address

Now, if you’re a reader (and since writers are also readers, this applies to everyone) . . .

Like and comment on authors' posts on their Facebook pages. Facebook's algorithms only show posts that FB thinks other members would like to see. That means the more likes and comments a post gets, the more people will see it. By the by, after the Summer of Love contest opens on April 1, you can get an extra entry by liking my Facebook author page.

Go to book signings, even if you can’t afford to buy the book at that time. Your attendance is encouraging. I’ve been to book signings where the author and I were the only two people there. I've been the author at signings where . . . well, never mind. With a little thoughtful planning, you can keep that from happening to another author, and if you’re in Mobile, AL with a new book, I’ll come to your signing. Just let me know when and where.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

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