I think we sometimes underestimate the impact we have on other people. I know I do. Sometimes it’s a sharp word spoken to my son at which his face turns down. Sometimes it’s a smile on a friend’s face at an offhand comment I make. Sometimes it’s a sentence I wrote that I didn’t think about that is nonetheless profound to someone reading it. Yet every so often there will come a moment that reminds me of the power of human interaction, and yesterday I experienced many such moments.
The Backdrop to My Gratitude
First let me emphasize that as an author, I have found myself vulnerable in many ways. I’ve worked for years, pouring my heart into this story and these characters only to find them printed on a page and distributed to whomever cares to read my work. I don’t have the guarantee that all these people will read with eyes of grace and appreciation. In fact, I’m much more likely to find that some of my readers are critical, nit-picky, unimaginative, and just plain negative. It’s a dangerous world out there for an author—your heart, your very soul, expresses itself in a piece of art that, once having been measured by the degree of honesty and beauty, is suddenly measured by how many stars it receives on Amazon. To be candid, I’ve been terrified of this part of the publishing journey.
I don’t say all this to draw pity or sympathy, however, rather to set this as a contrast for how significant and uplifting your support is in my writing. Yesterday, the launch day for Light of Distant Suns, was a beautiful day in so many ways for me, and I want to share with you how you encouraged me.
I can’t begin to list all the kind words and encouragement I received yesterday. From the smallest “like” on my Facebook live video to the lengthy conversation with one of my friends about this publishing journey to everything in between, I found myself showered with support and love. As a writer, even the smallest “way to go” or “great job” means a lot and helps propel me forward. If you want to encourage an author, it’s as simple as telling them you appreciate how hard they’ve worked, that you’re proud of them, or that you admire them. To everyone who went out of their way to lend me strength with their words, thank you!
2. Attendance and Presence
Another great encouragement I had was all the people who attended my online and in-person launch parties. From my family to my friends to friends of friends, the sheer number of people who showed up has bolstered me to move forward with greater confidence and grace. It’s not always possible, but if you know an author is having an event, whether a release party, a signing, or a lecture, make an effort to show up. Your mere presence is a reassurance that we’re doing something right and a reminder that you care about us. To everyone who stopped by online or in person yesterday, thank you!
3. Reading the Book
Of course, one of the best ways to support an author is to read what they’ve written. Read seeking understanding. Ask questions and search for answers. Reflect on what you’ve read. Share in the adventure on which the author has embarked, and let us know your thoughts with gentleness and appreciation. I am looking forward to friends and family reading my book because it is a way for me to share with them a piece of who I am. To all those who have read or plan to read Light of Distant Suns, thank you!
4. Sharing with others
One last way to support an author is to share their work with others. This could look like mentioning their book in conversation, reposting a tweet, sharing a Facebook announcement, and giving or recommending their book to someone else. Networking, so vital in the corporate world, seems also essential within the publishing world. Word of mouth is a great way to spread the news about an author’s work. I have seen a great deal of support in this capacity already, and I am so very grateful for it. My family have all been amazing publicizers for my book, and I can’t thank them enough. To all those who have helped spread the word about my debut novel, thank you!
A Shared Effort
To wrap up, let me just reiterate how much each of these types of support has meant to me. I believe in the power and significance of what I’m writing, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded sometimes that other people believe in me as well. I see the potential impact of my words on readers, but I won’t see that come to fruition unless people actually read what I’ve written. In a way, this is a type of group project. I’ve done a lot of the work on the front end, but I need you all to help me with the rest. While I might not have the opportunity to thank you individually, let this post serve as a reminder to you—I appreciate what you’re doing. I appreciate you. Thank you.