Dear Self Published Author,
I applauded you. I rise to my feet before you and give you a standing ovation for your bravery. Don't balk at me. Don't roll your eyes dismissively or duck you face to hide the blush that is creeping to your cheeks. There will be none of that. You must truly have courage deep within to be able to pour your heart into three hundred pages for all the world to see.
One of my favorite sections of a novel to read is the acknowledgments at the end, and that of a self published author is my ultimate favorite. I love reading the thank you's to the children who were forced to eat macaroni and cheese night after night while you immersed yourself in your words. The apologizes to those near and dear for the blood shot, puffy eyes cause by late nights. The loving sentiments to husbands and significant others for putting up with being ignored day after day while you poured your self into each chapter.
Do you know why I love reading these sections so much? It is because my own children have been forced to endure macaroni and cheese night after night while I was immersed in your words. It is because I have also had to apologize for my puffy red eyes caused from staying up until the wee hours of the morning having to read just one more chapter. And because my own husband has stood by my side and been ignored while I poured myself into each sentence.
See, we are in this together. Author and reader. Reader and author. You can't have one without the other. I think each self published author should be encouraged to share the struggles of their journey with their fans. It is human nature to forget that authors are normal people. Their celebrity doesn't discredit their struggle. (If you need a good 'celebrity' novel to remind you let me know).
Authors, create this connection with your fans by joining Facebook and Twitter. Post and tweet. Comment. Engage. Ask your fans to write reviews. I can think of countless examples when I may have overlooked writing a review if it hadn't been for a request by the author.
My fellow readers, READ. Review. Comment. Recommend. If you love a story shout it from the roof tops. Tell everyone you know. Talk about the fictional characters as if you know them in real life. Most of us will understand.
So, to the average person who had a dream of writing an amazing story and sharing it with the world, my hats off to you. Keep those pens flowing and keys tapping.