About once a year at a Bethany House meeting, someone will read excerpts from reader letters, either sent directly to us or to our authors. Hearing stories of people whose lives have been changed by the books we publish is always very meaningful to me, and it made me realize how much the end goal of what I do—getting great books to readers—motivates my daily routine.
Because of that, and because Thanksgiving is coming up, today I wanted to list a few reasons why we here at Bethany House appreciate readers.
One: You give us feedback.
Everyone’s participation in the Ask Bethany House survey has been great, and last January we held a BHP Book Banter where you answered survey questions and helped us brainstorm. Look for that to be coming up again this year! All of that is really helpful for us, and we appreciate you giving of your time. (If you’d like to be invited to future BHP events, add BHP Amy on Facebook.)
Two: You interact.
I can’t tell you how fun it is when people comment on the blog or Bethany House Facebook posts. I love it when readers share novel recommendations, spread around the latest book news, and give feedback on cover designs. Keep it up! There are actual, living people behind author social media, and even (gasp!) publisher social media. And we really do enjoy hearing what you have to say. (And here’s one super-relevant way you can interact: vote for The Secret of Pembrooke Park in the Goodreads Choice Awards final round! I’m so excited that Julie made it to the finals, not just because it’s great that inspirational fiction is represented, but because I loved this book.)
Three: You love books as much as we do.
Okay, some of you may love books more than we do, especially if you measure that by the sheer number of books you read per year! It’s always fun to be around people with a common interest, who “get” your desperate need to know what happens to people who don’t exist (but should).
Four: You pray with us.
Besides our monthly “Prayer for Authors” post, I know many of you routinely lift up both the authors and readers of our books in your prayers, and that’s so important to the success of what we do. Though I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: thank you!
Five: You encourage our authors.
This is last on the list, but it was easily the first thing that came to mind for me personally. At Bethany House, we want our authors to feel like part of our family. So, just like a mom appreciates the coaches, teachers, and friends of her kids who pour into their lives, I’m very grateful to those of you out there cheering “my” authors on and encouraging them. Whether that’s in a professional way by promoting and reviewing their books or a personal way by being there for them when life gets hard, your support matters, not just to the people writing the books, but to those of us who are watching.
Thanks, everyone, for being part of the larger Bethany House team. We wouldn’t exist without readers, and the fact that you’re enjoying our books makes what we do worth it.
To celebrate, I’ll be giving away one of our December releases to five random followers of the blog. (You can follow the blog by clicking the little red button on the left sidebar and entering your email. It will send you weekly updates when we post.) If you’re already a follower, there’s nothing more you need to do. I’ll notify you via email by 11/30 if you’re a winner!
What’s something that you as a reader do to encourage authors? (Or, if you’re an author, what’s something readers have done that has been encouraging to you?)