Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March is Thank The Author month!

It's time to thank your favourite authors - in writing - for their wonderful books. This month, every time you read a book you enjoy, write to the author and thank them. If that's too much, just pick your favourite author and write to them. Tell them what you specifically liked about their books. Post it care of their publisher or agent. It'll reach them.

I've made an absolute heap of images for you, as beautiful reminders for yourself and to share all over the place and encourage your friends to join in - scroll down for Facebook cover pics, Twitter headers, Instagram pics, and desktop wallpapers. All the versions come with and without the link to this page - Thank the Author is not about driving publicity to my site, it's about thanking the author! But I put the link option in, in case people want to read more details. Like why we should thank the authors and what we can say...
Writers get less fan mail than most readers imagine. We spend our days largely alone, crafting our work and putting in all sorts of details and care – but it’s rare to hear from readers that someone got all that. A thank-you letter has more value than you can imagine. Even when the author is high-profile, acclaimed, and reviewed, they might be getting fewer such letters than you'd expect. When I wrote to my all-time favourite author, she sent me a very generous reply and said that she was carrying my letter around with her, like a talisman.

The art here is to write a pure thank-you letter. Not a thank-you-and-I'd-love-your-attention letter, or a thank-you-and-would-you-like-to-read-my-stuff letter - a letter that's all about them. A pure gift, asking for nothing. Try to express as clearly as you can exactly what you enjoy so much about their work: that attention and appreciation is rare and valuable.

Have a look at your bedside table and in your bag: what books have you just read that you enjoyed? Why did you enjoy them? Pull out a pad of paper and write a physical letter to the author, thanking them. Send it care of their agent or publisher, rather than trying to mine their personal details. (That’s a courtesy they’ll also appreciate.)

If you want to join the March mission, you can use the cover pictures here for Facebook or Twitter. There's also a large-scale version of the picture above you can put on your desktop, to remind you, and share anywhere you like. Each version comes with or without the link (which directs people to this page). And if you really want to do that lovely author a favour, add a comment to this post and to Facebook or Twitter (#thanktheauthor) to say which author you're thanking, what for, and which book you'd recommend we start with.

Share what you're doing!
Nice-size pic to share anywhere - on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, your blog, whatever:


Facebook cover image (click to enlarge)
Add a Facebook cover image for continual sunny inspiration: 

 with the link

without the link 

(I know the mobile Fb cuts off part of the text, check back tomorrow for updated versions, right now I'm afraid I'm rushing off to teach!)

 Twitter cover image (click to enlarge) #thanktheauthor

with the link 

without the link

Instagram pics (click to enlarge) #thanktheauthor
Share on Instagram, and Instagram pictures of your thank-you letters and the books which inspire you to write them.

(with link and details)

(with link, no details)

(no link, with details)

(no link, no details)

Backgrounds (click to enlarge)
Keep this on your background for continual sunny inspiration to write lovely letters to the people who wrote the lovely books you're reading.

16 x 9 (most laptops are this shape) with the link

16 x 9 (most laptops are this shape) with the link

4x3 (most desktops are this shape) with the link

4x3 (most desktops are this shape) with no link

Enjoy writing your thank-you letters, share with abandon, tell me who you're thanking and why if you'd like to, have fun.

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