Carolyn on Giving A Frugal Gift to Authors and Readers
In my how-to book on marketing for writers, I suggest
that they make thank you notes an important part of their marketing
campaign. Strange as that may seem, especially to readers, there
are many others who recommend thank you notes for a variety of reasons,
including—probably—your mother. It’s about…well,
you’ll see. Keep reading.
Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, says
that Mother Theresa, upon being asked if she would support an anti-war
rally said something like, “When you have a PRO-peace rally,
let me know.” She probably sensed that energy affects the
world and that we gather around us energy similar to what we give
out. Byrne recently made the underlying theory Mother Theresa was
espousing a popular theory, and sold so many books one would have
to live in a box without books or newspapers not to have heard of
At first I had my doubts. Her theory—though
I loved her Mother Theresa anecdote—seemed a little far out.
But the more I learned about particle physics and quantum mechanics
(I’ve become a sort of science buff!) the more truth I found
in much of what I’d originally thought of as hocus pocus.
And, I was glad to change my mind. It seems that a positive attitude
has always worked in my life.
Make that usually rather than always.
I recently received an anonymously posted e-mail that invaded my
comfort zone. I reprinted it under Letters to the Editor in the
last issue of my SharingwithWriters newsletter, even though I decry
anything anonymous. Anonymity may offer some value in feeling safe
enough to say things one might not otherwise say, but that same
insulation often encourages people to offer their opinion in destructive
When I first started using the Web, the word “flaming”
was used quite frequently. It seems that term is being used less
frequently and that people have come to view the Web as a place
where decency, sharing and critiquing in a positive way, and the
use of etiquette—all those good things that hold the threads
of culture together—have been and can be marginalized. Maybe
they have been influenced by Rhonda Byrne’s Secret.
Maybe more thank you notes are making the rounds and spreading their
good energy wherever they go.
Anyway, those of you who have actually read The Frugal Book
Promoter rather than using it as a reference when important
events are at hand know that there are lots of ways for writers
and their readers to send thank yous, or what amounts to good energy
1. If you like a book, review it, but only
if you like it. When critiquing someone else’s
work, one tries to do it in a way that will help them write or
publish better in the future and—if one is tempted to slash
and burn—they might avoid writing that review at all. We
never know what spirit or what talent we might end up destroying.
There are all kinds of places to review books these days. On Amazon,
B&N.com, on one’s own blog, and on my www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com.
Readers’ opinions are welcome and submission guidelines
are in the left column.
2. If you read a book you don’t understand,
has a typo or two, or is flawed in some way, give it some time
to sink in before spreading the bad word. Books can be
like tea. They often get better if we let them steep. And even
if they don’t, we might find something to love in them,
something the universe wants us to know. It is much better to
offer something positive along with a constructive criticism.
Flower in Bambi, said something like, “Don’t
say anything unless you can say something nice… .”
I don’t think that’s as important as learning how
to correct or suggest with love.
3. Go to the Author’s Amazon page
and “Like” their book. You’ll be sending
good vibrations out into the world (read that energy!), that can
only come back to you in a positive way. Or subscribe to their
fan page on Facebook. There are more social networking ways than
ever to let appreciation be seen.
4. Blog about the author or his or her book.
In fact, if you can reach the author, ask if you might
get an interview for your blog. Truly. Most authors will say yes
and all will appreciate that you cared enough to ask.
5. Send thank you notes. In a word,
it’s about being grateful for others’ help and for
our own successes, which are always influenced by the good will
of others. Paper is nice. But e-mail will do. Most authors have
a “contact” tab on their Web site these days.
Anyway, the writer of this e-mail I received, didn’t
agree with my take on a writers’ organization. Actually, we
didn’t disagree at all, but he hadn’t read the article
carefully enough to know that. Once started, he just kept going—and
going—and going. But even that—when allowed to steep—made
me realize I should have included an extra bit of advice along with
my recommendation in the Frugal Book Promoter to write
notes. When you are really ticked off, it’s fine to let off
steam. We’re all human and writing is great therapy. But I’m
not the only one who thinks we shouldn’t send a venomous letter.
Sleep on it, too. Rewrite it if you think there is something of
value someone might learn something from it. If not, burn it. Send
it in bright red cinders to heaven where it can do no harm.
Tips and Tidbits
(Each month in this box, Carolyn lists
a Tidbit that will help authors write or promote better. She
will also include a Tip to help readers find a treasure among
long-neglected books or a sapphire among the newly-published.)
of all patterns and stripes will enjoy the quick tips
and questions and answers format of my blog, The
Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor Guidelines
for submitting questions are in the left column of the
blog. It is inspired by The
Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid
Humiliation and Ensure Success which won USA Book
News Best Book 2007 Award, Reader Views Literary Award
and was a finalist in the New Generations Indie Award.
It is also available for Kindle, www.budurl.com/FrugalEditorKindle.
Tip for Readers' Tip:
chapbook that I coauthored with Magdalena Ball was a
popular Christmas gift for many. Those who missed someone
special on their list and would still like to remember
them might find the $6.95 price tag of Blooming
Red: Christmas Poems for the Rational just
right. It is part of our award-winning Celebration Series
MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.