Do you know a writer? Perhaps you have a friend or family member who has a blog, authored a book, or writes for an online publication? Maybe someone you know has had articles in print magazines, anthologies, or newspapers. I’m so glad you are here to learn more about how you can support that writer in your life. I have been blogging for several years and I also write for various online publications. I am in a few anthologies, and this past year, I published my first book. I may not be able to speak to all the important ways one can support a writer, but with the experience I do have, I want to offer you insight and information that can help you support the writer in your life here in the online world.
It’s rare to think of going into someone’s workplace to learn all about their work, then feeling obligated to acknowledge what they do- when in fact, their workplace has nothing to do with your own life. But this is where a writer’s work differs from other careers. If you are reading this, you are in our work place! If you are on social media, you are in our work place! If you read books, you are in our work place! And the digital world holds a wealth of opportunities for your support in our work. Many writers work online, through their blogs, additional publications, and social media accounts. You may notice them in your own social media streams. You may see them sharing articles they wrote or promoting their book.
As most of us don’t know the intricate details of other people’s work, I would assume you may not know much about ours. This is why I wrote this post. I want to educate you on a few things that might be useful in enlightening you to our work.
Most writers pursue writing because they love the craft, have a passion for the art, have a message to share, and want to develop a name for themselves- they want to be read. Many writers might try to make a living off of their words, through freelance writing on other sites, writing a book, or having a successful blog where they can host advertising space, write sponsored posts, or use their blog as a launching ground for queries into regular paying gigs, book publishing, or any writing pursuit they deem prosperous.
With that said, much of a writer’s success is measured by the amount of readers they have who follow their work.
You could be a part of their readership. You could also help grow their readership, consequently improving their reputation as a writer and helping them make a living, create a brand for their work, and validate their efforts, their art, their voice.
One caveat to consider here is the possibility you do not agree with their message, their ideology, their publications. If this is the case, there are different options to consider. The obvious solution is to not support that writer, which is justified. I would however, like to offer you a suggestion about how to approach this issue. When I read and share pieces that don’t completely align with my own beliefs, I am considering the viewpoints and the needs of many- not just my own. There will always be differences of opinions and differences in lifestyles and various values- the beauty of writing is that it explores endless possibilities- and I believe this is the great benefit for us all to consider and appreciate.
With all that said, here are some easy ways you can support the writer in your life:
Support the writer through social media:
1. Like their Fan Page on Facebook.
2. Like their posts with links.
3. Share their posts with links on any social media platform.
If you see the writer in your life share a piece they wrote on their Facebook page, why not like it? It’s as easy as a click. On Facebook, your simple ‘click’ shifts the algorithms increasing the exposure of the writer’s post- expanding the possible readership of the writer’s work! Just one click, and you have impacted those words.
If you take it a step further, you could click on that link and read their piece, then comment on that article- either on the site or on Facebook. This shifts the algorithms in the writer’s favor even more! With your like and your comment, you have made a difference.
Taking it one step further would be to share that piece on your own Facebook page or any social media outlet! If you see them share their work on other social media platforms like twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, you can do the same. There are many various social media outlets people are using these days, so wherever you are- I’m guessing they are too. Every share, pin, re-tweet, comment, etc. opens more opportunities for the writer’s words to be read. Sharing the post will add more eyes on it and more traffic to that article.
Freelance writers often get paid based on the amount of comments, shares, likes, or views on their work. You are contributing to the income of the writer when you comment, like, share, tweet, Pin, Stumble, etc. And to think it only takes about five seconds of your time to have a big impact on that writer! This is one simple way you can support the writer in your life.
The challenge on Facebook is always the question of if you are even SEEING the post your writer is sharing because of so many technical variables that come into play. You can alter your feed to have more visibility of your writer’s posts by going to their writer page, liking it, and clicking on the ‘following‘ button drop down, then click on “see first“. This makes it easy to scroll through your feed and catch the posts your writer is sharing. And liking and following the writer’s FB page is an important show of support. Sharing your writer’s FB page and inviting others to like and follow that page? Well, let’s just say it makes us giddy and grateful.
Support the author in your life.
- Share their book and posts about their book on social media.
- Buy their book.
- Write a simple review on Amazon.
This might seem like more work, because you will spend your money and time, buying and reading an entire book and writing a review of the book on Amazon. Sharing the author’s links to the book and various posts focused on the book on social media, like described above, can be a great show of support for the writer in your life. Self-published authors pay a lot of money to have their book edited and published. Once it’s published, it is up to the authors to promote and market their book for sales. Those sales are critical to the book’s success through Amazon’s system of measuring and marketing exposure of the author’s book. The more purchases and reviews the book receives, the more success the book will have in the industry’s market.
Sales and reviews are the most important part of a book’s success. Buying the writer’s book and then writing a simple review means everything to the self-published author. I am guessing sales and reviews are equally important to authors who have signed contracts with book publishers too.
And here is what you need to understand most: You don’t have to be a writer to write a review! There is no need to write a long eloquent review with explicit detail and summary. A few sentences describing why you liked the book is fantastic and just what any author wants to see. Be yourself, because an honest and genuine review proves to be more valuable than a literary claim. Customers READ REVIEWS and they want to read what regular people think of the book. That would be YOU!
I think non-writers shy away from some of these tasks, because they don’t deem themselves to be a ‘part of the writing community’. They don’t want to step into the writer’s ‘work world’ because they think it isn’t their place of expertise. I had a friend once ask to buy my book and during the exchange, she expressed worry about showing interest in my book, thinking it wasn’t any of her business! I was SO surprised to learn of her apprehension to purchase my book. WOW. Please, please know this:
ALL writers want you to read their work! THAT IS WHY THEY WRITE.
Friends, family, loved ones…
Step into your writer’s world. Read their words, share their words, purchase their books, review their books. All of your support means everything to them. You have a great opportunity to validate their work, because, you are their customer. Their work is revealed to you every day. There is no boundary line that exists between the writer and the reader, except for a choice. A choice you can make to both read and share the writer’s words. A writer’s career is challenging, and often vulnerable to failing in this massive industry we pursue. You may not feel like your click, share, purchase, or review is necessary or even significant.
But oh friend…
I can recall every person who has reviewed my book on Amazon. Each one counts. Each one matters. Each one has impacted the sales of my book.
To sum this all up, writers appreciate your decision to support our work in any way you feel comfortable. It is a choice, and we know sometimes decisions are difficult and often overlooked because of life’s pace and practicalities. We understand this reality, so this post was not written to evoke shame for you having not supported a writer in your life. This post was written, because too many times, I have learned that people want to support writers but they don’t understand how to do just that or they believe it is an area they don’t belong.
The writer’s world is complex and challenging. There are hours upon hours, days upon days, even weeks upon weeks, (months upon months and even YEARS upon YEARS) of work that goes into the writer’s words. There are pitches and contracts and negotiations and rejections and networking and editing and researching- to name a few things that happen behind the scenes of that one article just shared. It’s a ton of work.
And we love it or we wouldn’t be doing it.
Unlike many careers, you have the great opportunity to not only get a view into what we do-
We want you to read the words we write.
That is our goal as writers.
To create something valuable for YOU.