This week’s post is a recycled theme. I’ve previously written about the importance of sharing our “Book Love”, but the more authors I get to know, the more passionate I feel about this. The books we love don’t just appear. There is a hardworking author who chose every single one of those words that we are savoring! I frequently see posts on social media where they comment on how a review, tweet, or fan letter has touched them or inspired them. When you work for months or years, all alone, pouring your heart into a piece of writing, you hope that it is meaningful to some reader out there. Well, dear readers, let’s show them if it is!
I know many who do. There is a whole nerdy nation of readers who are passionate about books and authors. One of the biggest tribes is the Nerdy Book Club . Here they are always sharing their love of books and love for their writers. But what are some other avenues readers can take to spread their appreciation for the writers who gift us their words?
Here are a few ways I have tried.
- I created a Facebook Album for the 40 Book Challenge I had for myself this school year.
- I have taken the #BookaDay challenge the past two summers (averaging one book for each day). I share my books in that album on Facebook and tweeted them out with #Bookaday .
- I join Twitter chats such as #TitleTalk, #MELit, #GoodReadsChat, #Read4Fun.
- I follow passionate readers like @ShelfieTalk @MrSchuReads, @ColbySharp, @donalynbooks and @ProfessorNana (and many others!)
- I created a Facebook group called The Best Places to Read 2015-16 where we post selfies with great books in our favorite locations!
- I post the books I am currently reading, have read, and want to read on Goodreads.
- I tag books in our libraries with post-its or other notes to recommend or spotlight those I think others would love as much as I do.
Last year one of my favorite authors, Gae Polisner, (The Pull of Gravity, The Summer of Letting Go, and on Sept. 6 The Memory of Things) reminded me, as I read her blog, about the importance of book reviews to authors. Click below.
Her message was that authors need us to keep them in the public eye. Sharing our favorite books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr will inform our friends and followers. But how can we expand our Book Love beyond our relatively small circle? How can we support those authors we love so they can continue their writing careers and bring us even more Book Love??
Our reviews on sites like Goodreads will certainly expand our influence and love, but sites like Amazon have a much stronger impact for sales of books. THAT is the ultimate way we support our favorite authors. Love a book? Let others know!! Don’t know how to post an Amazon review? Go here. Don’t worry about sounding like an editorial reviewer from Kirkus, New York Times, Booklist, or School Library Journal. The length and quality aren’t as important as the willingness to do it! Here are a few quick tips for posting reviews for the books you love!
- (This book) is about brief synopsis (but I think it’s really about)what it means to you. (Your review doesn’t require a complete retelling-editorial reviewers have already done that! What is this book about for YOU?)
- If you like_____________this book is for you! Who would like this book? Who would be a target audience? Why would they enjoy it?
- I really liked ______________ . Were the characters compelling? Was the writing engaging? Was it humorous? Suspenseful? Realistic? Heartwarming? Mention one or two things about the book that made it memorable for you.
- Mention the author’s name (and illustrator). Remind readers of the person behind those words who pounded out that plot, those characters, that dialogue, those facts and worked their bums off. Books don’t just happen, someone dreams them and brings them to life-we need to honor that!
THAT’S IT! Sure you could do more or less. You could write a review any way you want. Check out how kids do it at The Spaghetti Book Club! The big idea isn’t HOW?…it’s WHEN?!! When will you take a few minutes and go to the independent or big box bookstore or the website where you purchased your copy and leave a quick, but important review? We want to keep this authors “employed” and creating the books we love!
What if I can’t afford to buy the book? No worries. I try to be a book patron as often as possible, but my local library knows me by my first name. I check out dozens and dozens of books a month. I always make sure to tell the librarian about the books I love the most and that ensures they’ll be recommended to other patrons. As I said, I’ve also been known to leave a post-it note or note card sticking out to grab readers’ attention, “Hey! You should check _______ out! You’ll love it!”
So now that you’ve read my soapbox spiel – click on over to Amazon and post a review for one of your favorite authors! They deserve it!
What’s On My Book Radar?
Since the day I read A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, I knew I would pre-order any other book she would publish. Some writers help you visualize, Natalie makes you feel! She creates characters that you want to befriend (or adopt!) Her writing is almost lyrical. I find myself rereading lines to taste them tripping across my tongue! Some may call it folksy, I find it charming.
The Key to Extraordinary did not disappoint!! It is a joy to read. It is filled with imagery like this:
“If God had a stethoscope, and if He held it up to this part of the dreary world to check for a heartbeat, I hope these are the sounds He’d hear: The sound of boots stomping rhythms out of the dust. The sounds of happy squeals and laughter when people spin out, nearly dizzy from joy. The sound of a scratchy voice, a thumping guitar, a plucky violin. That’s what pure joy sounds like.”
When I came home from school last night and saw this book sitting on the kitchen counter, I ripped it open and dove right in. Part of me wanted to slow down and savor it, but I just couldn’t. As I got into it, I was compelled to see what Emma’s Destiny Dream was, and how it was going to be realized. I wanted to see if the mysterious boy would ever speak again. I had to know if they could save their family bakery, the Boneyard Cafe. I was curious if the ghosts in their backyard cemetery were real. I needed to know what the key in her dream unlocked!
If you love stories with multi-generational families, compassionate characters, traditions, and eccentricity, I think you will love it, too! The Key to Extraordinary is extraordinary. It will satiate a hunger you didn’t even know you had!