the care and feeding of your author


Perhaps you love an author. Physically. Or maybe just in your heart because love and friendship or maybe really truly intellectually because you have a real connection, man. Or maybe because you’re blood-contractually obligated to, in a familial way. Maybe you’ve never met but you admire from afar, which is also totes legit. (Katherine Dunn won’t you call me?)

However you love an author, in your pants or in your heart, it is important to express that love. Chocolates and cheese and Mars rovers are acceptable tokens of affection. But if you really, really want to be beloved, if you want your author to continue to be happy in this world and that whole writing career to take off, you’ll want to support their authoring gig.

It is a very easy thing to do, and I heard from a friend that it is hugely, incredibly appreciated and probably she will come over all misty EVERY SINGLE TIME because she is a sentimental sap at least that’s what I have heard.

How do I support my beloved author, you ask? Here are some excellent ways.

Buy the book(s). I know, right? But seriously, book sales are love. However you buy it, wherever you buy it, even if you don’t read it (though you should probably read it if only to make small but encouraging talk about it with your friend if they look at you all soft and vulnerable and eager-eyed), buy the book. I am told by Mz Wimmer that I should actually be encouraging you to buy three copies (minimum) and I have to admit, she is very smart so maybe you should listen to her! Also those are totally extra bonus points right there.

Tell your friends. Tell all of your friends! Here is a sample script: “Listen to me I want to tell you about a book you must read. You must go buy it now. You must go read it. READ IT OR I WILL KILL YOUR FAMILY okay not really, darling, don’t cry, I am so sorry, I would never hurt a single hair on your precious and beautiful family’s collective and individual heads. I am just excitable. But please consider reading it?”

Ask for it! Casually wander into libraries and bookstores and enquire as to whether your beloved author’s book is stocked, and if not, why? This is an outrage! I am writing a strongly worded letter that I will distribute to various media outlets! YOU WILL RUE THE DAY. Etc. Perhaps leave off that last part, instead swapping it out for something like, “would you consider ordering it? It’s a great book.”

Write reviews. Amazon rankings don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but what they CAN do is build buzz and interest. Write a review of your friend’s book—an honest one, obviously. Five stars are always appreciated, I mean obviously, but only give as many stars as you feel in your loins for the book. Be honest and thoughtful! Readers tend to read books that other readers have read first. It’s an ouroboros/lemming thing that I’m not entirely clear about, but I am told it is both important and true. I am nothing if not a provider of true facts.

Recommend the book to others on your blog and on various social medias. Yell about the book online! Link to its sales pages. Talk about how rad it is on facebook and twitter and that tumblr thing you kids are always going on about with your transistor radios and your Velcro cigarettes and the business. Write a blog post about it and then twitter about your blog post! Awesome all the way down!

Talking about a book online is one of the coolest ways to spread the word about your friend the author and it apparently is fairly effective (and always really appreciated). PLUS when your author friend gets her $4.75 royalty check, tacos are on her!

Tell the author she is the prettiest in the world. Your author is likely nervous about her book, and hoping people will like it, and worrying that people will hate it, and wondering if maybe she made a mistake, writing a book? Because this is a lot of anguish, this whole sitting around and thinking about people with their faces buried in your pages, helpless and unable to slap the book out of peoples’ hands. A kind word and maybe a big hunk of Easter candy goes a long way.

And that’s how to support your author, both emotionally and in her exciting and terrifying career as an author that she really hopes doesn’t crash and burn before it’s even barely lurched out of the gate.

17 Replies to “the care and feeding of your author”

  1. And that is why you are my love, hannah. Let us have a nuclear exchange of chocolate! (also, thank you so so much)

    Jennette, liquor’s a given!

  2. I have done all of the above except tell you that you are pretty. You are not pretty. You are beautiful.

  3. What if I already bought the book, talked it up, ordered one for a friend, and mailed my copy to my mom?
    And by the way, where do you get off being so pretty? So talented? You are winning with all of the points.

  4. Jen – since you didn’t put a copy in the raffle I did buy you book right when I got home and I finished it last night – bravo! I really enjoyed it and have already been recommending it to friends.

  5. Jen, I finished your book yesterday. You can have all the chocolate in my house and whatever else you want. Your book is full of pain, truth, and I am so glad you did not write the “OMG my life is perfect now that I am no longer fat” book. I think you are amazing.

  6. I just got your book from Amazon after I read the review in people magazine. I am 30 pages in and it is amazing that I can relate to all you are saying thus far. You are amazing! Bless you for this book!

  7. I read your book in one sitting while waiting for my dear friend to have weight loss surgery (VSG) at the hospital yesterday. She got weight loss surgery because she saw my “success” from weight loss surgery 18 months ago. She will be reading your book while she recovers to help prepare her for what’s to come, even though we are all aware that her journey will be unique of course. Even though I told her some of what I went through as far as “life won’t be perfect, you will cry, you will not believe you are allowed to wear size 8 pants so you will run out of the dressing room crying,” your book had so much more in-depth insight into the feelings that I have had but could not articulate throughout my “weight-loss journey.” Everyone sees my thin body and says “woo-hoo, you found success!” and I think, “woo-hoo, I’m thinner in the body and totally effed in my head, WOO-HOO!” So reading your book was like the best therapy session I could imagine – I laughed, I cried, and I felt totally gripped with a sense of being “KNOWN” while I read your words, so much so in certain paragraphs that it took my breath away and I froze for long moments. I took pictures on my phone of my favorite sentences so I can carry those snippets with me always to ponder. Like when you said you felt like a fraud being thin, that you were lying somehow, that you were still a fat girl inside, I WEPT – it’s exactly how I feel and have never been able to put that into words or understand it fully.” No one can truly be prepared for the results of weight loss surgery but I feel like your book should be required reading for everyone heading in and then a repeat read every month afterwards. Just knowing that what I am feeling is not obscure and crazy, but that at least one other person (you) have felt that way too, restored a feeling of okay-ness that I have truly not felt since before surgery. I will read it again and again and highlight it and order a copy for the other 3 people I know who are set up to have WLS this year. THANK YOU for writing it and being so honest and clear. You and your book are a gift to me.

  8. I bought your book yesterday afternoon and cried my way through the ending this morning. Thank you for sharing your journey…and inspiring others to re-examine the “whys.” I went with a friend to an informational meeting about WLS two years ago and I was impressed that the surgeon told everyone the muscle they needed to exercise the most was the one between their ears. His comments ring in my brain every time I think about WLS…its an effective tool, but still just a tool. The reasons why I am the weight I am will still be here as I lose weight (or not) and the patterns are still there. I will be recommending, sharing, and purchasing your book to give away…in the proper manner to care for my author! Thank you.

  9. I bought your book after reading an excellent review in my favorite literary journal, “People” mag.

  10. I just read your book today. I spent the whole day sick in bed with my dogs, ignoring them and glued to the iPad instead. I loved it. Next up, I’m ready to go forth and tell everyone to read it.

    I have also authored a book about cats in wigs. I hope you will buy three copies. You know how we authors are (though, really, my writing was really just snappy captions to accompany photos of cats in wigs. No surgery required).

    Thank you for this book. You have given me the courage to remember that surgery is not the choice for me and to love myself more as I am right now.

    p.s. you are the prettiest author in the world (did I do that right?) I will drink a toast to you, you brilliant brave girl!

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