Today, we have a guest post from Nichole Parks, a BHP intern and a devoted reader. Enjoy her tips…I sure did!
“Abridged” was a new word for me. I reread the back cover of the audio book case. My thirteen-year-old heart hiccupped. “Abridged” as in someone-had-cut-out-parts-of-the-story? That abridged? I scattered the rest of the audio CD containers around me. I hadn’t heard the entire O’Malley series.
With that, I took to scouring cbd.com.
The Negotiator and The Guardian fit nicely in my shelf. But I was thirsty by then. Anything Dee Henderson wrote, I read. I even took to reading other authors simply because of her endorsements.
I studied her website.
Scoured the Internet for interviews.
I memorized her back covers. No joke. I can pop one of them out like a verse—it’s not exactly something I’m proud of.
Then I decided, “Hey, why not be a writer like Dee Henderson?” So, here I am, majoring in writing and interning at Bethany House in the publicity department. This summer I finally landed an interview with best-selling author Dee Henderson.
Stalker level: expert.
(But please don’t tell my boss. She thinks I’m here for the advanced reader copies.)
And because it worked out so well the first time, I keep author-stalking as a hobby. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than finding a tape player to listen to The Rescuer on cassette. But you’ve still got to know which windows to peek through.
Level One: Observation
Think of the author website as the gateway. Here authors lay out all of their social media information. With a click and a smile you can access their blog, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Once you’ve entered the author’s website, take note of the subject bar. We’ll take contemporary romance novelist Melissa Tagg’s website as an example.
Her “About Me” offers a general description that you can find on the back of her book covers, but slide down the page and bingo. Childhood pictures. Personal quirks and likes stream as if she’s sharing her heart with you over coffee.
Stalking your favorite author is like befriending your child’s teacher. You trust the teacher with something precious and expect them to nourish that treasure. The same is true for the author and your time. By getting to know the author, you are making a connection and learning why you should entrust the author with your time.
Does your favorite author blog? If so, you’re in luck!
Most authors journal, share devotions, and run contest on their blogs. Some have even been known to share bonus material with their followers or tell book secrets.
Book review bloggers love to host authors for guest interviews. Don’t forget to Google “Author Name interview” to see their Q&As.
Not every author blogs. If you’re romantic suspense novelist Dani Pettrey, you newsletter instead.
Compared to blogs, newsletters contain less information. However, don’t discount them. Newsletters contain the most important information, marketing material such as contest or excerpts, and usually a recipe.
You will most likely find newsletter signups on the author’s website or blog.
If your author is alive, she probably has a Facebook.
Facebook is another gateway. It notifies readers of new events like contests or new blog posts and updates on the author’s life.
Want to know what your favorite authors are reading? What cute thing their kid or grandkid did? Their verse of the day? Check their Twitter.
Pinterest is more than DIYs and memes. Authors are starting to pin! You’ll find character wedding boards, setting boards, and book boards for your stalking enjoyment.
Level Two: Interact
Don’t be afraid to let your author know she has a fan. Like and comment on the author’s statuses.
Review her novel.
Enter the contest or online chat party.
Level Three: Contact
Not many dare try contact, but let me tell you. Authors are more scared of you than you are of them. Authors have big hearts. They like to share their art and if readers are silent, their hearts break a little.
Author Website Email
Authors want to know if their books made you smile or laugh or think for a very long time after. So, please don’t second guess emailing them.
Book Signings and Conferences
Keep an eye on the author’s events page to see if she’s coming to a bookstore near you. Get her autograph and snap a picture.
Or see if your author is speaking at a women’s conference. If you’re a reader who’s a writer, watch for your author to teach at the writer’s conference.
Stalking my favorite author changed my life. Through her books, she taught me what good relationships look like: sacrifice. On her website, I learned how to write more effectively. And by her example, I’ve seen how to humbly offer your talent as a gift to God.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have authors to make “stalkable.” An intern’s work is never done.
Thanks for joining us, Nichole! A question for the rest of you readers: which author got you started on Christian fiction?