Monday, 6 June 2016

Seven Acts of Kindness for your Favourite Author

Seven Acts of Kindness
 to Show Your Favourite Author
How Much you Love their Books
I’m a reader, as well as an author. I frequent bookshops,
Readers, writers and photographers at the Hay
hang around libraries and love literary festivals (just back from the Hay Festival). I try to get to author’s events. But it wasn’t un
til I became a published writer, that I began to understand just how important is a reader’s support. Before this, I didn’t do much more than pass books I’d loved onto friends, but, if you really love a book, (and especially if you love mine), there is so much more you can do to help your beloved authors – and it’s far easier that you might think. Here are seven little acts of kindness that are quick and free, and could mean so much to those poor, half-starved writers who have grown pale and thin in garrets, while they created the books you love.

Recommend their books!  
Recently, I explained to a new fan who was asking me when number four would come out, that publishers don’t continue with series which aren’t selling steadily. “Oh, my goodness,” she said. “I’ll get my friends to order it.”
Pop into your local bookshop to ask them if they’ll stock the series you’re reading so avidly. Tell them how you loved this book and how you know people in the neighbourhood will too. Take a copy, show them how the cover worked for you.

Be there for them
Events, workshops, signings, readings, launchesit is awful to do one of those,
and find only your sister and a few close friends in the audience. Recently, I held a launch for the third of my series, and the place was packed; so I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for taking time out to be there. It was a great day and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Write an honest review. 
Love them or hate them, they are a massive component in book sales. Reviewing on Amazon can really help books you loved rank higher in the Amazon search engines.  My kind reviewers have help me keep five stars for my Shaman Mysteries, reviews like this one for the latest in the series; 
By Sandy on 5 April 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is innovative and interesting. The writing is excellent. The weaving of the Arthurian legends into the book adds quite another dimension to the Sabbie Dare stories. It is mystical and intriguing. The atmosphere of 'otherness' works well. I really enjoyed the smooth transition from what is - to what might be. Hidden among the ancient tales in the mists of Avalon. The plot is complex, and dare I say devious, it twists and turns to the final climax. Nina Milton is to be congratulated on this most original and intriguing story.

Amazon reviews don’t need to be long, but if you end up writing a lot, you could think about sending your review to a magazine you take. Recently I had a lovely review In Indie Shaman, a magazine for modern shamans, which was also kindly posted on Amazon by its writer – here’s an extract:
Beneath the Tor seamlessly blends the mystical with the realities of every-day life into an absorbing and intriguing murder mystery. Set in the West Country, Beneath the Tor is the third of author Nina Milton’s Shaman Mystery series in which therapeutic shaman Sabbie Dare uses her shamanic skills to solve murder mysteries. But the Otherworld rarely gives a direct answer, as discovered by many a contemporary shaman…

Sign up your support.
Your cherished author will have a Facebook Page you can ‘like’, a twitter account you can  ‘follow’ and a website – or, like me,  a blog site where you can sign up to receive each blog as a regular email. My followers have signed up because it prevents them missing out on news and great reviews of other books, as well as hints and tips for writers. Just go to the top of this page and fill in the very short form. And nothing is permanent; you can cancel just as easily.

Ask your local library to carry their books.‎ Bristol Central Library new wing
So long as you recommend my books to others, I really don’t mind whether you get my stories from a library, a charity shop, an online order or a visit to a local bookshop. What’s important is telling others to read too. A friend of mine recently recommended a crime fiction author I’d never heard of, and I’m reading his book, borrowed from the library, but if I enjoy it, I’ll probably buy the next one. Librarians are always on the lookout for new works, so go ahead and ask for them to stock the writers you love.

Share the love on social media!  
Authors rely heavily on social media to spread the word about their work.  When you read something they’ve shared, pass it on, with a share on Facebook, a retweet, or a pin on Pinterest. I get a real buzz when I post something and someone comes back saying - “just reading your book and loving it” - that’s happened several times. And don’t forget the book-loving social media sites, like Booklikes (independent) or Goodreads (Amazon-owned), My most recent review on Goodreads  was by Facebook friend by Sue Hewitt; I was charmed to read this well-written novel full of diverse characters reminiscent of people I have met on my own life journey. Shamanistic elements of the story merge seamlessly with the more mundane day to day lives of these characters. It does not matter whether you believe in the ability of a Shaman to travel between the physical and the spiritual world. For sceptics, suspend your disbelief for a while, and just go along for the ride. The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing throughout and the various threads are drawn together in an unexpected climax. Thanks so much Sue!

Go really crazy!
I know a doggie-loving fan of  Shiela Webster Boneham's Animals in Focus Mystery Series, who pinned up photocopies of the book covers at her local vets, where she works as an animal nurse. It's up on the board amongh dog food adverts and notices about pet-sitters. I have a lot of lovely support in the pagan and shamanic communities, with people recommending my books by taking their copies to moots and festivals and showing them around. Thanks so much for that!

I use bookmarks to share with my friends and I’m always happy to hand more out (I’m at After all, many authors make little profit from their books - they write because they have a story to tell. Send the ones you admire the most an email saying how much you appreciate their work. Add a picture of yourself reading their book! If you do that for me, I will love you back forever!

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