Monday, January 6, 2014

Tips for Readers

Last time I posted on this blog, I had a list of tips for fiction writers. Now it's readers' turn. You might think that all you need to do to be a good reader is read a lot of books, but you can make the experience even stronger and more enjoyable by broadening the scope of the book.

Here are a few tips:
  • Have a "keeper" shelf where you put books you'll want to read again later. You might even want to use Post-It notes to mark your favorite scenes.
  • Is there a book that you absolutely love? Whether the book changed your life in some way or simply provided an enjoyable reading experience, find a way to let the author know. Most traditionally published books have the address of the publishing house in the front matter. Send a letter there and request to have it forwarded to the author. You can also do a Google search on the author and send something through his or her website. Most of us have ways we can be contacted online. My website is You can click the "contact" button at the top and send me a message or email me.
  • Look for other books by this author. Chances are if you like the one you just read, you'll enjoy others on his or her backlist.
  • Get on the author's mailing list and follow his or her blog.
  • Send a "friend" request and follow the author on social media. If the author has a professional page on Facebook, click the "like" button. You can be one of the first to discover new releases.
  • When you're with friends, discuss the book and share what you like about it.
  • Review and rate the book on Amazon,, Barnes and Noble, and other websites that sell books. This lets other readers (and sometimes authors) know what you like or don't like.
  • Share your thoughts about the book on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to keep the experience going.
  • Talk to your local bookseller and librarian about how much you enjoyed the book. They might be able to refer you to others that are similar, and they'll be on alert to possibly stock more by this author.
  • Ask your bookseller or librarian about hosting a book signing by this author and be one of the first to arrive. You'll have a chance to chat with the author, and you might score a bookmark or other promotional material.
  • If you're in a book group, consider involving the author through Skype or other video chat service.
  • Host the author on your personal blog. Most authors enjoy doing this, and if your timing is right, you might even receive a free review copy of that person's next book.
A side benefit of making contact with an author is the possibility of becoming friends. Although it doesn't always happen, it can, and both of you will benefit. Although I'm an author, I'm still a fan of other writers, and I'm delighted to now be friends with many of them.

Here's a picture of me with Cherie Burbach, someone I've known online for quite a while but finally got to meet in person this past September. We became online friends after letting each other know how much we appreciated the other's writing. The cool thing about our face-to-face meeting was that we'd emailed and chatted so much, we just picked right up where we left off with our last conversation. 

Current nonfiction author and future fiction author Cherie Burbach and me at the ACFW Conference - I LOVE her writing!

I'm sure other readers and authors have some great suggestions to add. What do you do to enhance your reading experience?


Cherie Burbach said...

Thanks for the shout out, Debby! Great tips here and nice to know such a fabulous writer.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Debby, I posted on several social media sites about this post. Every reader should read it. Thanks for the excellent advice.

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

Great post. Cherie is one of my favorite people! :)

Beth Shriver said...

Interesting post, Debby!

Martha W. Rogers said...

Great tips, Debby. All readers will find these to very helpful.

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks! I think this is an exciting time for readers because it's much easier to contact their favorite authors than in the past. They just need to know what to do.