Saturday, February 13, 2016

Authors Need Love Too

by Jean Kavich Bloom

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and this week I made up some packages to mail to my five grandchildren, ages nine to three. They all live close enough to visit, but because I know they like to get mail, envelopes and stamps were part of my plan. 

The packages contained Valentine’s Day–themed coloring pages, activity sheets, jokes for kids, and customized coupons for hugs and games, all of which I downloaded free from the internet. Hey, I did not say I was a generous grandmother, but at least I didn’t completely forget to send them something as I sometimes do when my head is deep into an edit for days at a time before I realize a holiday is upon me! My hope is that even these small gifts, also customized according to their ages and interests, will remind them that their grandparents know them and love them.

I got to thinking, though, about how writers can use a little love too. Yes, buying their books is a winner.  Voting for an award is fantastic. (Anybody remember actress Sally Fields winning her Oscar in 1985? “You like me! Right now, you like me!”) An encouraging word, a “Like” on a Facebook or other social media post, a fan letter or email, a comment on a post, a review on Goodreads or Amazon, a publishing contract are all great. Okay, granting that last lovely is not in everyone’s power, but most of us can come up with some small action to show appreciation and love for a writer’s work.

Though I try to sprinkle praise throughout a manuscript I am editing, I admit I am weak when it comes to intentionally making an effort to let an author know I enjoyed his or her work in some of the ways noted above. But on this Valentine’s Day, I am thinking perhaps I need to change that, because I do so love authors! 

What about you? What ways have you found to show an author your appreciation? Or as an author, what expressions of appreciation for your hard work have meant the most to you?

After twenty-four years with publishing house Zondervan in Grand Rapids, Michigan, most recently as an executive managing editor, Jean Bloom returned to Central Indiana to be near family and take her freelance editorial business full time (Bloom in Words Editorial Services). Her personal blog is Bloom in Words too, where she often posts articles about the writing life. She and her husband, Cal, have three children and five grandchildren. 

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  1. My husband (not much of a reader, who only recently expressed an interest in what I'm writing) took my book "God's Love Most Gentle" with him on a hunting trip and finished it before he returned. Then, he actually talked about the characters, what they'd done, how the choices they'd made had surprised or upset him. His praise meant the world to me.