I received a nice email today from a reader who loved Die and Stay Dead. She called it “fucking AMAZING” and wrote, “This is not my typical read, but I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it and how much I could not put it down.” She even called it “beautifully written,” which is always nice to hear!
And “nice to hear” is exactly the point I want to make. We authors rarely get feedback from readers, so it’s always a treat to hear from someone who likes our work. Sure, good reviews are great, but critical acclaim doesn’t always translate into sales or reader attention. (Trust me, I know this from experience!) Hearing from readers who have actually taken the time to seek out, purchase, and read your book reminds us why we’re doing this in the first place: to tell stories that we hope others will enjoy.
More than that, though, hearing from readers is a lifeline of sorts. Authors work in solitude most of the time — it’s why you’ll find so many of us hanging out on Twitter; it’s our version of the workplace water cooler — and every nice note we get from readers reminds us we’re not alone. It lets us know that we’re not wasting our time, that there are people out there who appreciate our work. It recharges our creative batteries when they’re low, and reinvigorates us when we’re in our “why bother?” moods, which for writers come remarkably often.
So please, if you love a book, take a moment to let the author know. Online reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are extremely helpful and appreciated — we love those, too — but nothing beats a personal email. Seriously, nothing. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re just bothering us or that we don’t want to hear from you. You’re not, and we do. It’ll only take a few minutes out of your day, but I promise you it’ll make the author’s day.
Why not try it right now?