Libraries: Librarians recommend our books, buy our books, shelve our books, and provide forums for us to discuss our books. Now we can support the libraries by joining Authors for Libraries, a program of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundation.
Social Media for Readers: The explosion of sites where readers can gather, share information, reviews, thoughts and recommendations is tremendous. Even when we wince at reviews, we should cheer at the sheer number of people out there talking books—like Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing and so much more. Jefferson County Library in Colorado has a great list of links for readers . . . which leads to another reason to be thankful:
Online Bookstores: Whether you love or hate Amazon, IndieBound, Powells, B&N, Borders and other online bookstores, those who live in remote places can now access every book at any moment. And that is good.
Facebook and Twitter: Scoff all you like, nonusers; I can’t believe the number of writers and readers to whom I now feel close kinship. I truly feel as though I have a worldwide web of friends.
Backspace: This is a closed forum (which any writer can join for a small yearly fee) where writes support and teach each other. (And sometimes, um, debate.) It’s a safe haven in the huge Internet. Best sellers help newbies, newbies help each other, and it’s the only place I’ve found where you can uncover the hidden secrets of launching a book (like what you buy as a present for your editor.) You too can join.
Agents: Listening to writers moan about having to do so much of their own promotion in this social media crazy world, I imagine this scenario—what if I had to also go out there and sell, bargain, contract, etc. Sure, I know self-publishing is one option, but for those of us who stay in the mainstream, knowing you have someone who has your back is gold.
Editors: Face it, these men and women are laboring over your love. I know my book is a stronger read because of my editor. Don’t we all need a pair of cold, cold eyes? Don’t even get me started on the importance of those patient copy-editors, without whom my characters would never know how old they are.
Publicists: Writers like to work alone wearing sweatpants. Or pajamas. We like to shower at around 4 PM. We should be very grateful for having people willing to force us out there, making us put on grown-up clothes, so we can sell our books.
Bloggers: Who else could get a debut novelist (without a penny for publicity) in front of readers? Who else would spend their time creating word of mouth for an unknown book? It means the world.
Readers, Halleluiah, Readers: It’s a fast world with a billion media choices. If not for those who still revel in the stillness of a book, our words would fall in darkness. As a writer, I am eternally grateful to be read. As a reader, I am eternally grateful to the writers for providing me with the endless stream of books that are my lifeblood.
About Randy Susan
Causes Randy Susan Meyers Supports
Women for Women
New England Home for Little Wanderers