I came across this lovely blog today by Robin Elizabeth called Write or Wrong.
She's very kindly let me share this with you here. Robin explores the idea of how to support Australian writers even if you can't buy a mountain of their books as much as you would love to. She is absolutely spot on - putting something creative out there is a lonely business! Spreading the lurrve by attending classes and events run or organised by practitioners is an immense help and doesn't necessarily break the bank.
We need the arts more than ever and in a country that is vast, yet tiny ( population wise) finding your 'audience' is hard. Support a writer, maker, artist and creator today. Read what Robin says and find out how! Not only will you help the arts survive but you will also enrich your own experiences.
You Don’t Have to be a Millionaire to Support Authors
by Robin Elizabeth
Not long ago I blogged about how Walter Mason inspired the spirit of fandom in me. For those of you not familiar with Walter Mason, he’s probably the most charismatic person in the Australian book industry. And let’s be honest, there’s lots of competition, so this means he’s pretty spectacular. Today I’d like to speak about the spirit of fandom a little bit more and how that actually helps authors.
We always hear “buy books, if you truly want to support authors than just buy their damn BOOK! For god’s sake open that wallet, they need to pay rent!!!” Which is fair enough, buying books directly funds authors, but we don’t all have the money to buy books everyday. Fortunately, for those of us that want to love more than our budget allows, that doesn’t mean you can’t support an author every day if you should want too. There are lots of ways you can help out authors you love that don’t cost an arm and a leg. When people love a movie they sometimes pay to see it many times but many simply can’t afford that but they still help out by providing much needed enthusiasm through raving to friends, tweeting, making fan art, blogging and generally being fanatical. We can do the same thing for books. Let’s bring the spirit of fandom to the book industry.
Read and interact with an author’s blog. Most authors have a blog. Commenting on their blog and letting them know that you like what they’re on about helps provide a moral boost and let’s them know what their readers do and don’t like. Writing can be very solitary and knowing there are people out there loving your work helps. If you are a blogger write your own blog entry about how a book or author has inspired or moved you. Shout out your appreciation loud and clear, let your enthusiasm become contagious. Write a review.
Rave to your friends about your favourite authors. I’m far more likely to read a book recommended by a friend than by looking at an advert. They’re my friends so I respect their opinion. I started reading Kate Forsyth books after a friend loaned me a copy of Dragon Claw. I have now gone on to buy myself, and friends, over 30 copies of her books. One loan resulted in mutiple purchases. And the books of hers that I have gifted to friends have resulted in even more readers. So never feel like you’re cheating an author by loaning their book out, you could be getting them a loyal reader.
Connect with authors on twitter. Who doesn’t love a compliment? Who doesn’t work better with a little enthusiasm to warm their soul. Knowing that your writing has touched someone has power. Last night I received a tweet from Michael Williams, a person that I respect and admire very much, and it meant just as much to me as a book sale. No it doesn’t pay the rent but it does help keep the depression at bay and depression is a mind killer so it’s just as vital.
Follow authors and interact with them on any of their social media platforms. Most authors aren’t guaranteed their next book will be published. If they have a strong fan base they seem like a safer bet to publishers. If publishers can already see that people love their work and connect with what they write then that’s a big vote of confidence. Show your confidence in your favourite authors by doing so publicly if you dare.
How about some fan art. Show what those words look like in your mind. Show just how much books have touched you by inspiring you to create your own art. Not an artist? Me neither. I like to create memes instead. I spend far too much time on imgflip. But I just love putting beautiful words on beautiful pictures and sharing my love. Feel free to give it a go. It’s easy and fun.
Attend author workshops. Many authors earn most of their income through teaching. So attend their events if you have the means.
And of course, yes, buy their books when you can. (Note: there are a few authors who only appreciate this method of support so will probably feel bombarded by the above suggestions, so don’t do those to them, but most appreciate some enthusiasm.)
You certainly don’t have to support an author every day, but you can if you want too without going into poverty. What are some of the different ways that you like to show support?
I have completed my first novel*... well third if you count the two magnificent pieces I wrote in primary school, and am really getting passionate about writing and learning about webdesign, blogging and publishing. *Since starting this blog I have in fact completed the sequel to said novel and am thinking of releasing it next year. But have also snuck in another two novels, one which I want to self publish next year, a memoir for all my fellow fifty shades of crae crae lady friends, and a flirty bit of feisty fun that will be epublished through Spice Ebooks in July 2015.