There’s something about the holiday season that puts people in a generous mood. From random anonymous acts of kindness to time-honored remembrances, it truly is the giving season. Heck, even the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes during the holidays. So what can writers do to pay it forward within the literary community? Here are a few ideas:
- Gift your readers. Above all these people are the people that should all be on your “nice” list! There are plenty of ways you can make your readers feel more connected to you and your books. Run contests, offer giveaways, reveal new cover art and excerpts. Show them you appreciate their loyalty during this time of year and you’ll enjoy the benefits during every season.
- Give back to fledgling authors. Share freely of the secrets of your success. Host workshops so other writers can benefit from your expertise. Perhaps you’d like to make this gift more personal; focus all your efforts on one or two struggling writers and act as a mentor. Be realistic but encouraging. Your feedback and valued opinions will be appreciated. Volunteer to assist at a writer’s conference or at your local writing group.
- Support your local libraries and bookstores. Think where we would be as a society without them! Offer to do writing workshops at your local library or contact the Friends of the Library and let them know you’re available for book and author events. Likewise for the bookstores in your locale. Show your support by frequenting events there, buying books, and mentioning signed copies of your titles are available there to readers along with a link on your website.
- Help your author brethren. Every author can use a boost by commenting on their blogs, sharing their posts, retweeting their messages, and signal boosting their new releases. Spread the word about their work to your own readers. You can even consider doing a book review as a gift!
- Use your books to support your favorite charities or the community. One of our publishing partners, Publerati (publerati.com), donates percentages of its proceeds to Worldreader Organization. One of our authors, Aaron Zerah, (www.atozspirit.com) has provided free books to Worldreader and also offers free children’s books on his website.
- Last but not least: Give away your book in the local community. Here’s just a quick list where you can donate your book: Women’s shelters, VA hospitals, homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, retirement homes, prisons, church libraries, rehab centers, doctor’s offices, community centers and senior centers.