How can someone best show an author their love?
This question is lifted from author Sahar Sabati's informative Ask an Author series, which ran from 2015-2016 and included responses and reflections from English-speaking authors from around the globe. Since I'm often asked these questions by readers, I have republished my answers here on my blog with Sahar's kind permission.
For the best ways to shows an author your love, my answer is, the three R’s: Read, Review and Recommend. That’s it. Showing an author your love is simple as that. Nothing makes a writer happier than to know their stories are being READ, that their hard work is not simply languishing on a shelf or in a file somewhere. Writers need to know that people are reading their words, engaging with their characters, getting carried away with the plot, and lost in their worlds. Because like that proverbial tree falling in the forest that no one sees, writers, even famous writers, don’t feel like writers if no one reading their work. And if you enjoyed the story, then write a REVIEW, explain what you liked, and even the things you disliked. Yes, it’s okay to mention what you disliked. Writers love an honest review. They do! For example, recently I received a review of my young adult novel from someone who felt it was achingly slow, and that there was just too much waiting around. The reader wanted me, the writer, to hurry up and tell the story. They wanted to know what happened and I simply wasn’t getting to it fast enough. I wasn’t discouraged by this review because Misplaced is the story of how a teen copes when his mother mysteriously goes missing. In this situation, the hardest part is the not knowing, the interminable wait for news, good or bad, which sometimes never comes. So for me, this particular review showed me a lot of love, because the reader’s impatience to know what happened, told me I’d been successful in capturing my protagonist’s frustration. But, in general, a good writer will consider constructive reviews and use those suggestions to inform and improve their later writing. Your favourite writer, like a good wine, will get better over time! If you liked the story, then RECOMMEND the book to everyone you think might like it. Spread the joy and let your friends in on the secret. Or, for extra credit that will make your favourite author shiver with excitement, put your money where your mouth is and buy a copy. Or buy the series. Get one for yourself, and one for a friend. Making a living as a writer is hugely difficult, so you never know, your economic encouragement could be the difference as to whether or not your favourite writer is still around next year.