When I was a kid, He-Man and She-Ra were popular. I grew up watching Princess Adora shove her sword up at the sky, chanting, "By the power of Grayskull, I ha-a-a-ave the Pow-wah!!"
I wasn't a fan. (Sorry, He-Man/She-Ra fans...) My kid sister adored them. I liked them okay and I thought Bo was hot (yeah, cartoon...don't pretend you've never seen a hot cartoon.) but I identified more with Cattra or however you spell it than I did with the pretty princess. I actually really preferred Voltron.
My point in bringing this up is that, as readers and friends and fans...
You do have the power.
I write books. Some of you read the kind of books I write, some of you don't.
But a few of you have asked me, "What can I do to help you? I wish I could support your dreams, but it's just not my thing..." or whatever variations on that we've discussed.
So, well, I figured I'd do a blog on what you CAN do for your favorite authors (and this goes for musicians, movies...any artistic medium.) if you've a yen to support them.
If you've bought the product, you can leave reviews/ratings on most online sites.
You don't have to. I get annoyed when people suggest that this is some crazy responsibility of readers/fans...
But you CAN. They don't even have to be glaringly loving ones...the way some of these sites are set up is by algorithm and ANY reviews and ranks help the sellers that you're ranking/reviewing. This goes for small shops on sites like Etsy, too. If you like a product, vote with both your wallet and your voice. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO. I'm just throwing it out there for those who think these things don't matter. They don't--to you. But if there is a product you want to see more of, supporting that product is a way to ensure it sticks around.
You can share on social networks.
But, but...Virg! I only have like forty friends! I wish I could help people I like, but what good does it do for me to tell twenty of my family members and twenty people I went to school with?
You've heard of things going viral.
This happens when someone shares something. In turn, someone else sees it and shares it. Etc.
It only takes a couple snowflakes to start an avalanche. Just sayin. I'm not saying people should become spambots--PLEASE, don't do that crap. But if there is something you see that is funny, you'd share it. If you've a yen to support a business or musician or artist or writer...
Share something from them once in a while. It's free and even you, Joe Schmoe with the two fb pals, matter. You have a voice. NEVER feel like you don't have a voice. <--this counts="" do="" every="" level="" life.="" matter.="" of="" on="" p="" you="" your="">
You can talk about the things you like.
I have this one friend (Miss Heather, I'm referring to you.) who talked my books up for the past...I dunno, YEARS? Her support might not make me the next Nora Roberts or Rowling, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know someone is excited about what I'm doing.
Does it translate to sales and help me get rich enough to just sit and write All the Books and do nothing else?
Probably not. But supporting artists isn't always about making sure they're making money. Sometimes it only takes one word of encouragement to change someone's day. Your friend the artist/musician/writer/whatever might be doubting their dream, teetering on giving up or keeping on with it...Your one word of encouragement could be the difference they needed in their world. And smile at each other...just because you should.
Don't mistake this blog for anything but what it is...I'm not begging for reviews or back patting. I'm super lucky in the review department since I have some of the greatest readers any author could hope for. But for those of you who've asked...this is how you can support your creative type pals.
You DO have the power.