Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The Best Author Support You Can Give

(3 minute read)

Occasionally posts will pop up on social media about how to support your favorite authors.

After all, if they are your favorites, you want them to keep writing, and in order to do that in this competitive market, they need support from their readers. For according to one post I read recently, an estimated 4,000,000 (yes, 4 million) books were published in 2022. That is a lot of books to have to wade through.

So lists about supporting authors often include the following suggestions:

·         Purchase their books.

·         Request their books at libraries.

·         Recommend them to a friend or a book club.

·         Post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other such websites.

·         Subscribe to their newsletters.

·         Share and comment on their social media posts.

Now these are all great ideas, and I hope you are already doing many of them for your favorite authors. But over the past couple of weeks I realized that one of the most important ways we as Christians can support authors is often missing from these lists. Even better, it won’t cost you a penny:

Pray for them.

That seems so simple and obvious, doesn’t it? Yet when was the last time you prayed, unprompted, for an author? Or even more, which authors do you pray for regularly?
Because we do need prayer. A lot of it.

It might not look like it, but writing can take a deep mental, emotional, and spiritual toll on us. A few of the ways are:

·         Our work can take us to difficult emotional places, which will only show up marginally on the page.

·         Tight deadlines can have us working ten+ hour days.

·         Tough edits leave us wondering if the project is even worth finishing.

·         Our solitary work can leave us feeling disconnected from the rest of the world.

·         The pressure of self-promotion and the surrounding competitive atmosphere can be toxic to our creativity, with all its emphasis on sales numbers, awards, trade reviews, bestseller lists, and social media followings.

·         Worries over finances can constantly nag at us, as few ever earn enough on their books to even make minimum wage for the hours they spent.

·         That is often compounded with concern about landing a next contract, especially if sales aren’t going well.

·         Negative reviews and scathing reader mail can dishearten writers to the point of giving up.

Indeed, over the years, I have seen many wonderful authors burn out and walk away, not believing the work they do worth it.

So, dear reader, pray for us. Pray for our creativity. Pray for our mental and emotional energy. Pray for our spiritual health. Pray for courage and encouragement, hope and perseverance, humility and joy.

Pray, because our God is able to do more.

And that is the best support we can give any author.

Looking for ideas of how to pray for authors? Find weekly prayer prompts on my Facebook page.

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