Reader University: Give

This is the twelfth post in a series of 12 ways to help authors (and your writing) by reading.

This can be another form of “buying,” but I see it as a little different.
Consider giving a book:

  • to all ages.
  • books for all occasions.
  • books as love notes.

As a parent to a toddler, I get invited to birthday parties. If I know about them in advance, I’ll buy books at writer’s conferences and get them signed by the author as a personal gift for the birthday boy or girl. I’ve noticed these gifts aren’t a favorite. They don’t make noise or have parts to be lost. One can hope they bring joy at a quieter time after the birthday cake and decorations are long gone.  My son isn’t old enough to mind at the moment. So, until he protests — books will be our gift of choice.
Books make a nice hostess gift too. They can drink up the words later while relaxing.
Books make nice  holiday gifts whether they have a religious theme or not. My son received a nice Easter Story book last year in a basket from his grandmother.
Books as love notes? You may have provided a book love note without realizing it. You give a book that touched you in some way. I enjoy sharing The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow. While sad, to me, it’s a book about living and worth giving to others.
Giving books obviously helps authors with sales, but the act also helps writers, who share a love for a book that touched her, moved her, or made her laugh out loud.
How do you give books?
Reading: I read the Queen of Reciprocity author and illustrator Katie Davis’ updated How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller. I bought the first edition back in 2012. A while back, she asked people to join her launch team … you know the drill read an advance copy and give an honest review. The book offers a ton of information for authors about to launch a book or for those of us not-yet-published. There are dozens of tips on how to get involved in the kid lit world, how to give back, and how to streamline some of your social media time. I say streamline social media time, because she shares information on how to use different sites like Twitter and Pinterest. This second edition is available March 25 on Amazon. There are tips on how to do things on your own and resources to find professionals to help you. There are a ton of links, so you may want to go easy with those. I’m a bit of a “squirrel” type personality, so I clicked through to a lot of them. One could easily take one or two chapters a day to study and complete the action items in preparation for a book release.
Thanks for following along with the Reader University 12-part series. This wasn’t intended as a reading challenge, but the series kept me focused on reading and helping authors. I’ve read more novels and nonfiction books over the last 12 weeks than I’ve read in the last two years. I participated in the adult reading program at my library by reading eight books. I have an official volunteer, “reading” project and a volunteer job at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in April that will keep me busy. I anticipate reading will continue to be a focus of 2014!

If you missed any of the Reader University posts,

Reader University: Buy

This is the eleventh post in a series of 12 ways to help authors (and your writing) by reading.

And, here is where we spend money. 
Consider buying: 

  • a print book
  • a digital version
  • as many as you can

Buying books is essential to your writing career. If you don’t buy books (when you can), who will? If you don’t buy books, how can you expect others to buy your books?

I utilize many of the free ways to read books — the library, a loan, a review copy, and free promotions. But, I also strategically use my extra cash for the books I really enjoy and want to own. If I see an author at a conference, I will buy books and get them signed.

If you can’t get the physical book, consider digital versions of your favorite books. If I can’t find a picture book at the library, I will buy the discounted ebook. {I recommend you review picture books immediately after purchase, because the format quality is not always ideal. I’ve asked Amazon for a refund for some picture book ebooks due to the poor quality. So, always check your picture books. If you aren’t happy, return it.}

The digital market has reduced the cost of many books, especially series. You can often buy the first book at a reduced rate (or even free), because the publisher knows you’ll get hooked and buy the other books in the series. Divergent by Veronica Roth is less expensive than Insurgent or Allegiant.

The fact you can begin reading ebooks immediately is priceless.

If you don’t have money for books, don’t buy them! But, remember, if you don’t make buying books a priority, don’t be offended when a publisher says the market isn’t ready for your book, because {insert your type of book} doesn’t sell well.
For writers, buying books is important to keep the publishing industry open for business, to authors who want to make a living, and to bookstores and online retailers.

What’s your favorite method for buying books?

Reading: I’m still working my way through the  The Death Class: A True Story About Life by Erika Hayasaki.

If you missed any of the Reader University posts,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I don’t have anything green for you, but I did make this video for a contest our Pikes Peak Library District is holding. I’m taking the Video Idiot Boot Camp with Katie Davis. I’m not finished with the class, so I’m sure the remaining lessons will help me clear up a few problems I know I have. I shot this video with my iPhone and an 8mm app. I used graphics instead of audio, because I haven’t had that lesson yet.