‘Tis the season of goodwill and I’m thinking we should share the love.
In Judaism, the teacher Maimonides offered eight levels of giving – the highest being to help a person find a sustainable way to lift themselves out of poverty. I have written numerous times about micro-lending, which I think is an amazing solution, but I want to focus on the world of writers. There are many new authors out there and they need a lift up to be noticed.
I want to invite you to adopt the three R’s and adopt an author for a few months. Disclaimer – you are about to discover I am dyslexic!
R – Read the work of the author. There is no bigger compliment for someone who has spent years writing a novel than to have others read it. Believe me – when I receive a tweet or email from someone I don’t know and they tell me they are reading my books, I get so excited.
R – Rite about the person. No put away that athame (Pagan ritual dagger) away, but make your computer your sacred space. (W)rite to friends recommending the author, blog about her/him, or comment on other people’s blogs, take to the twitterverse – it works!
R – Review. Despite the controversy surrounding paid reviews, it is still one of the most powerful tools that helps a person perusing amazon, smashwords, B&N, goodreads, etc.
Here are a few other ways to help a struggling author (I couldn’t find an R to begin the sentence!):
1. Buy their book, if not for yourself, then as a gift for a friend’s birthday, or instead of a bottle of wine next time you’re invited for dinner. Maybe as a Xmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa present. Did you know that you can buy an e-book as a gift and send it to your friend’s e-Reader?
2. Know someone who is in a book club? Suggest that they nominate your friend’s book for the group to read.
3. Donate a copy of their book in a fundraising raffle or silent auction as a prize. It is great exposure.
4. Hug an author. It won’t propel them into the New York Times Bestseller list, but it means a lot.
This is my final post for the year. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking a few moments each day and sharing our blog posts, agreeing, disagreeing, laughing and sighing. Thank you to Tom Rossi and Roger Ingalls for offering different voices and enriching the discussion.
Wishing everyone a year of peace and meaning.
Alon Shalev is the author of three social justice-themed novels: Unwanted Heroes, The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Jewish Student Center, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).