Gramercy, Reader Friend!
I have a revelation that will come as little shock to you. I love archaic words. Bring back all the old words, I say!
Let’s begin with gramercy.
In the fourteenth century, this word found its use as an interjection of thankfulness. Its French roots make it mean, literally, “great thanks.” As many words do, its use evolved. It became more of an interjection of surprise—I imagine it similar to the Southerner’s “Have mercy!” (Whether or not that last statement is accurate, you’d need to consult someone far more well-versed in etymology than I.)
What is certainly not archaic is the daily cause for thankfulness. As a community of readers and writers, we share, create and promote the written word. We have—I believe—tremendous cause to be thankful.
As I see it, we’ve got at least three distinct sets of thanks going on here: Readers thanking Writers; Writers thanking Readers; and ALL of us thanking the Written Word! Hold on to your hats for a three-part series during this week of gratitude that, I hope, will inspire you throughout the year.
How can we as Readers express the gratitude we hold for the Writers who create worlds or impart knowledge to us?
I’m so glad you asked!
Read on for a few suggestions.
When you read a book that gives you chills, makes you utter a contented sigh, transfers you to another realm, teaches you something about yourself or gives you an imaginary friend to brighten your day, don’t you just want to run up to their creator and give him or her a giant bear hug?
I agree. The words restraining order popped in my mind as well.
So, maybe we can’t attack authors with a well-meaning hug; but there are plenty of ways we can let them know just how much they mean to us.
By saying (or typing) Thank You, of course!
Email, DM, social media posts and website comment forms—readers have many ways to reach their favorite authors these days. And, trust me, they LOVE to hear from you. Whether or not they’re able to personally respond, your appreciation of their stories means more than you know.
Interact with them on social media.
Follow them on social media and interact with what they’re posting. Subscribe to their newsletter. Enter their giveaways—someone’s going to win; it could be you! Attend their events if you live nearby or if they come to your area. Be sure to capture your experience with photos and tag them online. Comment on their blog posts or reply to their emails. If they invite feedback or send a survey or anything like that, it’s because they’re doing their best to thank you by including you in their writing journey!
Spread the word.
Share their posts, tweets, news, events and books with all your reader friends. Marketing isn’t cheap or always effective, but recommendations from friends are gold. Many of the books I read come highly suggested by my friends.
Buy their books … and make sure your library does, too!
Yes, you can do that! Next time you’re at your library, ask how you can place a book request! [Sidenote: Libraries are supportive of Indie Authors, too!] You could also purchase extra copies for your local Little Free Libraries, for friends or to leave in a public place for a lucky reader to discover.
I cannot repeat this one enough, and I’m trying to do it more now before I’m officially an author and will need those reviews for myself … but will feel weird asking! Reviews, quite literally, drive the success—or not—of authors these days. If all you have time for is to tap your chosen number of stars, that’s fine! Just get it out there as many places as you can—wherever you bought it, other booksellers, Goodreads and anywhere else you can think of. Be honest in your review, though. It can get challenging when you want to support someone, but their book just isn’t for you. If it’s just a matter of personal taste, do your best to rate fairly and explain your reaction. If you can’t think of anything positive to say, though, it really may be best to just skip a review on that one.
Not every book is for everyone, so if your dislike stems simply from the fact that it was out of your personal comfort zone, don’t ruin their ratings. Certainly be honest for other readers with similar tastes to yours, but don’t give a well-written, carefully conceived story one star simply because you don’t like dragons.
But—if you’d don’t like dragons, we need to talk.
Seriously … DRAGONS!
Readers, have you thanked an author today? Did I mention anything you’ve never thought about before? Can you think of anything else? Writers, hop in here! What have I forgotten? What is the most thoughtful thank you you’ve ever received from a reader?