January starts a new year and with it come new things. I am hoping to add lots more authors to my Spotlight section and I want to support more authors. I am also hoping to finish two books in my series. Aiming high? Absolutely. It’s time and when you are surrounded by so many talented and supportive authors then you want to rise and meet the challenge. I will also be talking a little about social media and will introduce a favourite podcaster. Warning: Post is a little long but I did add some pretty pictures.
I begin the year with Becky Wright and horror is her specialty. Normally I am not a horror fan, but Becky’s books are not hard to read. They have the right mixture of chill for nightmares and a matter-of-fact attitude keeping cowards like me reading.
The other Spotlight will be on supporting authors. Now do not panic. This isn’t about spending money buying more books although as broke as I can be and that’s often, a stray book or two, finds its way to my bookcase. This is about what we can do to support writers and strangely enough or perhaps not, it translates itself to supporting other small businesses in general.
Becky is an author with a passion for Gothic literature, history, the supernatural and things that go bump in the night. As a child nothing tantalised her senses, as much as a good ghost story. She considers herself blessed as she lives in the heart of the English Suffolk countryside, surrounded by rolling green fields, picturesque timber-framed villages, country pubs and rural churches – and lots of haunted houses.
Married with a young son, four grown-up children, and grandchildren she loves to feature family bonds and the intricate nature of relationships in her books. In this way she feels she can use the emotions of her characters to lead their actions and connect with the reader. With her inherent fascination for all things paranormal, Gothic and the macabre, her writing can’t help but lean towards the dark side but then again that is what she loves and hopes you will as well.
As you may have gathered, I love spotlighting people that take the time to help other writers even in the smallest way. A full-time author, Becky, along with her husband James, runs Platform House Publishing for other Independent Writers. Whilst I have not used their services, I do love the trailers and memes Becky displays on her social media and they are wonderful. The voice overs manage some delightful tingles and invite you into her world. I definitely like the ideas she comes up with and might have to take a closer look. In the meantime, find her at:
Website Facebook Twitter Instagram
Spotlight on how to support authors
Reviews: Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Authors want you to buy their books. Of course, they do. If you purchase and review? It becomes a celebration (hopefully). Reviews are feedback, a means to spread the word. With luck more books are then sold and both sides are happy. But…
Budgets: I know I have a limited budget. I can’t always afford to buy another book. I can’t buy a prime piece of steak either, or even not so prime. Does this mean I can’t give my support? No. Absolutely not. I can do a slow cook. Similarly, things exist to support authors and small businesses in general. In return, the author or business gets a boost of confidence and energy and hopefully that is then reflected in their future work.
Simple: Though still so far from perfect I know as a writer I have improved because of the incredible support I receive. But good relationships are reciprocal and based on the understanding that we can only do the best we can. The manner of supporting must suit you whether as a reader, a fan, a colleague, or for that matter a friend or family. So here are some ideas.
- Follow your person on social media and like their posts. It’s time consuming and can drain enthusiasm. Do some once a week or even a fortnight, or a month. Pick a few different people or not. You have other priorities and that is fair. This is about consistency, not obligation. When possible, choose a few posts that appeal and say something, engage. I liken this to catching up with a friend. Do it when you can, remember it’s about consistency.
- If they have an author page on Facebook, go and like it. It is the equivalent of supporting a small business which most of us do anyway when shopping or choosing a dentist. Authors are a business especially for those who self-publish. Again find a regular basis, your regular basis.
- Word of mouth is an oldie but a goodie. Recommend the book/item you have enjoyed on your own social media.
- Follow your favourite author on Goodreads, an author/writer site. Joining is easy and costs nothing. Flick through from time to time. There is a little box you can click on that says, ‘want to read’. If you click on it then you are helping countless authors and their profiles and at some stage, you will realise you have a ready-made reading list. You can also add books you have previously read. It’s a great site. Remember it’s about consistency within your time frame.
- There is no number 5. I am as much a reader as I am an author. I understand about time restraints and other priorities. However, if you feel like it, please do follow me where and when you can, and please for you horror fans, add Becky.
Despite good intentions I haven’t done much this month. With a completed draft for my second book Unexpected Passion in my series, Unexpected Love, I am struggling with editing and hoping it all comes together.
My female lead, Lexi, is pretty special, a little crazy, a little older and a lot funny and definitely deserves her happy ending. I’ve set myself a deadline for mid-June and who knows I may just get there. Ricardo is a hottie but it’s time he settled down.
I finished reading All That He Is by Australian author, Jill Staunton and it is my favourite read so far this year and to be honest, it might be hard to match. I see the novel as an ode to the Australian bush. If you want to know more the watch this space for when she does a podcast with another favourite Aussie of mine, Claudine Tinellis.
Claudine has been doing some wonderful things for Australian authors for quite some time. She is an advocate for Australian talent. Whilst I will keep you updated on the Jill Staunton podcast Claudine has some wonderful books and interviews on tap. Check out Talking Aussie Books. She really does do an awesome job.
I just started another book (almost finished) and am loving it because it’s about character and reader connection. More on a grumpy old lady who drinks too much hiding a tender heart in February Chilling. I also re-read Ann Brashares’ The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (I mean the whole the series) and loved it just as much the second time. Or is it the third, maybe fourth time or more? It’s character driven and I am a character driven addict. I forgive a lot if the characters and I connect.
Ci vediamo il prossimo mese,
Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and I will get back to you.
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An excellent blog with realistic strategies for helping others to progress their work. Thank you Barbara for your selfless wisdom!
We can all use the help. Thanks for stopping by.
I also enjoyed the emphasis on character in the Sisterhood stories. For me, that was far more important than the magic element.
Exactly. I find more and more these days I need that element of realness even whilst it is a fiction.
Great post! I do love a good horror novel. You are right there are so many different ways to support an author’s efforts.
People worry they have to purchase and whilst that is great, the other things encourage the author to do better and that is important.
LoVED the “How to Support Authors” section. Thanks!