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Like books? You can help!

In the natural flow of modern life we tend to consume vast quantities of art without giving too much thought to it. We listen to music all the time. We watch movies. We watch TV, play video games, take in sculptures along our drives, and … one hopes … read books.

I’m not going to go into why you should read. If you didn’t like books, I have to assume you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place.

What I am going to say is, whatever forms of art you enjoy, maybe stop and give consideration to the artists. They probably spent years (and often lots of money) learning their crafts. Then, who knows how many hours crafting the specific piece of art you’re looking at.

Making a book is a labor of love, of course, but still a labor.

So here’s where I ask for your help, not only for my books, but for any books you read and enjoyed. You liked it, so presumably you want the artist, and others of his or her ilk, to go on making more art. How can you help make sure that happens?

Three ways.

Pay for the art.

It probably goes without saying, but you’re no more entitled to free art than you are to a free car. Someone had to manufacture both. Don’t pirate stuff; it undermines artists.

Tell others about the work.

I’ll belabor this one a little … When I have a friend, whose taste I respect, come and say, “man I loved this book,” I’m more likely to check it out than I am to check out a book I saw an ad for. That’s just human nature. We trust opinions attached to faces.

Ads are good. Word-of-mouth is better.

It’s so easy for us to consume something and move on to the next thing. Savor the good stuff. Share it.

And reviews …

You had to know this one was coming, right? It’s like #2b. Reviews on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, wherever, they’re what’s called social proof. The average purchaser isn’t necessarily going to get word-of-mouth from someone they know.

But they come across a book, aren’t sure whether they want to try it, and they see … “huh, 200 reviews! Holy shit, a lot of people read that book. If that many people liked it, I should see what it’s all about.”

Of course, for authors, it’s more than that, because we often can’t just buy ads to even get people to see our descriptions and covers. With many advertisers, writers apply for a limited number of spots, and those advertisers consider potential titles based on things like the description, cover, and … reviews.

We tend to put off doing these things, maybe saying, “nobody really cares about my opinion.” That’s not actually the case. People care that something entertained someone else.

And even two sentences is enough to make that difference.

More reviews help a book get noticed, which helps the author sell copies. Which means, the author is more likely to pay their bills and keep on writing.

If you liked a piece of art, especially a book, take 3 to 5 minutes to share your feelings. I promise you the artist appreciates it.

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