I was listening to a podcast interview with Karen McQuestion the other day on how she got her start on Amazon. She mentioned that a reader, who had loved her book, advocated for her on forums and through social media. That specific reader was so enthusiastic about spreading the word about her book that Karen credits her for her start…incidentally, that book was later optioned by a major film production company. In the same conversation, Karen and her interviewer, Steven Lewis, reference the interview with JK Rowling, where Rowling speaks about the woman who read her manuscript—the first Harry Potter that had been rejected by agents time and time again—and insisted that her boss give the manuscript a chance because she believed in the story so much. The young woman’s insistence won over the protests of her boss, and the rest, we know, is a billion-dollar history.
So, my question is: Readers, do you know how important you are to writers? Do you know how much your voice counts when you’re talking to friends and family about books and authors? Do you know that you have the ability to “make” an author?
If you don’t, then take heed now: YOU ARE THAT POWERFUL! You have the power to make a difference for an up-and-coming author. You have the power to, literally, make an author’s career!
So, readers and authors alike, if you love a story, advocate for it. Write reviews, talk about it, tell your friends. You have no idea how far your word can spread and how much you can help a great story get discovered by the rest of the world. You’re now part of a dream…a dream maker if you will, who holds the key to helping a story take flight.
And let’s be honest! Authors need you. Without you, we would wilt and dry up. Our stories would go unheard, and a little piece of us would die as our creations floundered—unable to be shared. But with you on our side? We climb to the top of slush pile heaps, we make it to the top of Amazon sales rankings, or even the New York Times bestsellers list and in some instances, into major motion pictures.
YOU, dear reader, are the novelists’ best chance at survival. YOU, dear reader, are the reason we write and the way we find our audience. YOU, dear reader, have the power! I am not asking for myself, but for authors and great unheard stories all over the world: If you find a story you truly connect to, words that move and inspire you, let your voice be heard and tell the world how great that book is. You just might become THAT person (like JK or McQuestion’s advocate) that changes an author’s life.