Dear Author … thank you for writing!

I receive a monthly newsletter from the website Order of Books that is currated by Graeme McGaw. The newsletters, and the website itself for that matter, are filled with a great deal of information about authors, their books, and reading in general. (I strongly recommend that interested readers begin following the website and sign up for this monthly newsletter.)

But this suggestion of Graeme’s in his April newsletter particularly stood out for me. He says:

One thing I also wanted to suggest during this period of time – take a minute to write to your favourite authors and thank them. Thank them for the books they have written, the adventures they have taken you on, and the worlds they have allowed you to escape into.

That’s something we should all be doing in general. I know when I enjoy a book, I take a minute to write to an author and just thank them. Thanks for pouring months and months of your life into this story. Authors have it rough. Not only is it a lot of work, but they’re also putting themselves out there. Think of all those negative reviews an author receives on a book. That sort of thing can be crushing to an author. I know I personally have always wanted to write a book, but don’t think I could deal with the negative reviews.

I also find I have a 100% response ratio from authors too which is really cool. They’ve always taken the time to reply and let me know they appreciate the e-mails etc. and I love that. So yeah, take the time to write to your authors. It will make their day.

This is an idea I’ve always considered advocating because, as an author myself, I know how much a few lines of recognition and thanks can mean when received from an unknown reader who has been touched in some way by something I’ve written. Yes, it’s terrific to hear from friends and family or people I’ve met during my career in books, but it’s quite different when a stranger makes the time and effort to reach out and compliment me. I’m not talking posted reviews here or public messages on social media or even comments on blog posts, but actual private messages, whether they be sent by email or snail mail, something that is meant for the author’s eyes only. That is very special indeed!

In a way, I’ve kind of been complimenting many authors I admire myself in public for these past 5 months through my current Authors-Readers International series on this blog. But even I am now considering writing to a few other authors whose work has really meant a lot to me, just to let them know they have a reader who appreciates what they do.

So during this time of self-isolation, when I know that so many readers are consoling themselves with, and whiling away their time reading a lot of books – as am I! – why not consider sending the authors of those books a message to let them know how much you are enjoying what they write?

It can even be a message as short as the title of this post: Dear Author … thank you for writing! Whatever you write, I can assure you that any author who receives such a message will be thoroughly grateful for your having taken that time to contact them.

Perhaps this is an idea you can share with any younger readers around your house! It’s never too early for readers to learn to appreciate the work favourite authors put into the books they love to read!

And if you can’t find a particular author’s direct contact information online, you can either write to them via their publisher, or check with me. I might have ideas on how to find them.

If you want to do more than just write a letter to help out an author whose work you appreciate, this earlier blog post of mine, How You Can Invest in Authors and Books, gives you 9 other ways you may show your appreciation!

20 responses

  1. Must be karma as I had an email from a reader just now too 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on lucinda E Clarke and commented:
    Food for thought – especially if readers have time on their hands during lockdown. 🙂 Scary when you send a book out there and you have no idea if anyone will read it!

  3. What a coincidence! Just this past week, I read a poem I received through my Poem-a-Day subscription that was so moving I hunted down the poet’s website and wrote a note to thank her for writing it.

  4. A most excellent idea. 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Here’s a great idea to give back to your favourite authors AND make their days brighter 👍😃

    1. Thank you for sharing, Chris!

      1. Thank YOU for the article, Susan 🤗❤️🤗

  6. A great idea Susan and thank you for sharing. I have a few authors that I have enjoyed over the years that I should thank.. I did send a personal message to Wilbur Smith a couple of years ago and he responded.. which was a lovely connection…I will reblog.. Hope all is well with you and you are staying safe.

    1. Thanks for commenting and thanks for sharing, Sally! All is well here!

  7. Wonderful idea. On it…

  8. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Wise words…

  9. […] I posted to my blog yesterday, Dear Author … thank you for writing!, with the recommendation that readers take this time of self-isolation to write to their favourite […]

  10. Susan: It’s easy to be critical. We see people badmouthing all the time. And I too can be critical especially when it comes to things we are exposed to on a regular basis, such as poor service or bad politics. But I have always taken a step when I receive very positive service. I have written letters to corporations about when one of their personnel go above and beyond. It have always paid dividends. One airline hostess actually got a raise. So this idea of reaching out to writers is a really good one that would never have occurred to me. And I will certainly go that bit of distance to tell a writer I admire why I truly admire them and that I appreciate what it is they do. There simply isn’t enough of that in today’s world. And right now there’s no excuse. We all have loads of time on our hands.

  11. Reblogged this on theshammuramat and commented:
    Really good thoughts at this rough time.

  12. Thanks for this blog Susan – I always appreciate it when people thank me personally.

  13. Timoteophillips | Reply

    I’d even settle for a bad review……..well, perhaps not too many!

  14. What a great idea. I have done this a few times but should do it more often as I love it when I get an email, often from a child, telling me they enjoyed my book. My great-granddaughter read a book she liked and wrote an email to the author. He replied back and she was so excited.

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