For those of you who read, be kind. Authors work hard for little to no pay compared to the amount of time they invest in the story you hold in your hands. If you have an author you love, do them a favor:
- Friend them or like their fan page on facebook. Subscribe to their blog. Let them know you appreciate their hard work. They struggle with real life challenges just like you do. Follow them on twitter. Help them get the word out when you know they have a book coming out and let people know you like them!
- Write a review on amazon, B&N, Goodreads, CBD. Be kind but also be honest. If you didn’t like something, it’s okay to say so. Just don’t be mean. And don’t pan them just because you didn’t like the book at all. If that’s the case, chalk it up to personal preference and walk away and do nothing. If they do a book signing, go meet them! They love to hear how you’ve enjoyed their books.
- Buy their books. Join their “book release parties” and be part of the fun and get to know them as people. (They really are flesh and blood humans!)
- If you see an unkind review that is just nasty – click the “unhelpful” button on that reviewer. The more we do that, the sooner some of them won’t be able to post things like that.
- I’m not saying every book deserves a five-star review, but unless I have to, I will rarely review if I have to rate low. Unless i have an excellent reason to do so. For instance I had to give a 1 star to a Regency that violated all the well-known facts of inheritance in the aristocracy. Not a hard thing to research but it ended up a key plot point. If the author had billed it a fantasy I would have let it slide , but come on! Basics should be right. Authors are human and errors happen so be kind when you can. Philippians 4:8 rings true here: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (NASB). Another way to put it: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
- If you find an error in an ebook- instead of panning it – privately contact the author and let them know so they can correct it! You’ll be doing them a favor. They will most likely be horrified, but grateful.
- Pray for your favorite authors. There is an enemy that is trying to keep God-glorifying excellence in fiction from being written much less published. The fact is, if you like an author, their future ability to write and sell books lies more with you, the audience, than it does with their ability to write a book. Poor sales and reviews can keep a publisher from being willing to invest the time and energy in printing their books. If you really connect with an author, offer to be a beta-reader or to be a prayer warrior for them. It’s not about hero-worship, but about supporting and encouraging a fellow brother or sister in Christ as they pursue their calling. When that book comes out you can smile and know that in some way, you got to be part of that. Hearts will be touched and doors to the gospel could be opened and you can be a part of that.
If we as a body of believers universal support each other, whether a reader or a writer, we can can help change the world, one heart at a time. One great story at a time (remember, Jesus used stories too!). Thanks in advance for helping us all reach the world with hope.