First, why should you think about helping lesfic writers? Lately I have noticed some very good reasons for this. Every occupation and industry has been affected by the coronavirus, and creative people have taken a real hit. Many writers are already “wound tightly,” and adding a pandemic has stifled a lot of creativity and energy. Symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders have increased considerably in nearly every writer I’ve talked to. A number of my writer friends have been sick with Covid, or loved ones have fallen ill and even died. Bleak times!
So, the stress we’ve all been under for the last year has taken a serious toll. For every person in lockdown who’s managed to continue writing successfully, there must be ten or fifteen others whose talents, vision, and productivity are in quarantine (or have left the building!). At the same time, the books that lesfic authors publish are life-giving, life-affirming, completely necessary, and those of us who love to read need them to keep on coming!
With all of that in mind, I present you with eight fairly easy things you could do to encourage your favorite lesfic writers.
Send an email of encouragement (or a letter or note if you know the writer’s snail mail). This falls in the category of a Random Act of Kindness, and means so much more to writers than you could ever know.
Buy books and/or ebooks for your reading pleasure (especially direct from the publisher if that’s available to support our writers and lesfic publishers most effectively).
Gift your friends and loved ones with lesfic books or gift certificates. I love to give gift certificates from Bella Books to my friends so they can pick out their own favorites. And it sure beats standing in line for hours on end at the PO to mail out gifts! Not only do you have a low-stress purchasing experience and a gift for which the recipient will be grateful, but you’ll also support a 100% lesbian-owned business. (Valentine’s Day is on the way!)
Leave positive reviews anywhere you can. This is a giant boon to any writer. You don’t have to do a “professional” review. Just talk about why you liked the book and how it made you feel.
Use social media to talk about any book you enjoyed—and it can be a new release or an oldie. Put up a cover pic on your social media to tell others not to miss that book and why. You can even put in a link to that author’s website or publisher.
Write or talk about your favorite lesfic authors and books in your own newsletter, podcast or blog. You could even invite your favorite authors to be interviewed in your newsletter or on a podcast or blog and help them spread the word about their books in a really big way.
Send your favorite author a gift. One of my favorite people just sent me a origami crane, and that touched me immensely. So it can be something small and simple (a drawing, a quotation, a comic, etc.), or it could be writing-related (books about writing craft, a t-shirt, a mug, pens and writing gear, office supplies, etc.). If you know the writer well enough, you could send something personal (bath salts, aromatherapy oils, candles, soap, etc.) or an edible thing (homemade freezable meals, wine, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate covered treats, chocolate anything, etc.) If you’re so inclined you could look at 60 cool suggestions at Reedsy Ideas.
Ask your favorite writers if there is anything you can do for them. What might help your favorite writer have more time to write? Maybe you could beta-read, copyedit, take photos, send out postcards, help the author by starting a street team in your area, host a Zoom get-together for the writer with your fellow booklovers, babysit, clean their house, etc. (I’d go for the babies, not for the dusting. LOL)
But maybe the most important thing to do is Item #1: Let the writer know you support her, you want to encourage her to write, and you believe in her talents and like her books. If you have time on your hands, you could even systematically send a couple of emails or notes every day to ALL your favorite authors.
And now I must get back to my stalled work-in-progress which the pandemic continues to attempt to sideline. I won’t let it happen! At least not anymore . . . I hope.