Home > for this i am thankful, FTIAT, Guest blogger > FTIAT: The Thankful Writer: A Guest Blog About Gratitude

FTIAT: The Thankful Writer: A Guest Blog About Gratitude

Rusty Fischer (Zombies Don’t Blog) first caught my attention with his free YA author’s guide to social media. The care he took to help others avoid pitfalls to which he’s fallen prey touched me not only as a writer, but also as hippie, kindness-loving Deb.

While Rusty runs on the busy side, that busyness hasn’t once yet stopped him from offering his thoughtful, enthusiastic voice of encouragement. For this I am deeply and personally grateful.

Recommended post: The Limits of Advice, Or: Giving Yourself Permission to Forge Your Own Path

The Thankful Writer: A Guest Blog About Gratitude by Rusty Fischer

I joined a new forum recently and one of the posters was asking for advice in advance of her first ever author interview. Having just done a few of my own and, of course, written a blog AND FREE Ebook about it (‘cause that’s how I roll) I posted a dozen or so tips on the forum and wished her luck and went about my day.

Never thought twice about it. Then, since I had joined this forum to find book reviewers in the first place, I hopped back on the site an hour or two later to check my messages and, wow. Just… wow.

A fellow author had weighed in on my earlier post to dispute several of my things “to do” for a great YA interview. Most of those things had to do with, you know, making it easier for the interviewer.

It was this author’s opinion, apparently, that authors were “putting it all on the line” by “doing the hard work” of being interviewed and that, basically, the interviewers should “come to us.”

Okay, well, I’m more than happy when I wake up in the morning, check my email and find a few dozen interviewers lined up begging to ask me questions, but… that just hasn’t happened yet. How about you?

I’m not being snarky. (Wait, I totally am.) What I mean is, I’m not trying to be snarky. (Okay, just a little.) The fact is, I just flat-out disagree with authors who act this way. If you’re Stephen King or Stephanie Meyers, yeah, okay, I think your days of requesting interviews are pretty much over. But the rest of us? Come on.

Now, I don’t personally go running down interviews either. Not specifically. But every few weeks or so I feel like I’m not doing enough to promote my books so I’ll dust off a pitch letter and approach half-a-dozen or so bloggers about receiving a review copy of one of my books and possibly doing a giveaway, guest post OR interview as part of the promotion.

It’s my way of saying, “Here, I’d love to give you a FREE book and, if you have the time, the space or the inclination, I’d love to say a few words on your blog. BUT, if not, it’s all good. Please take the book and review it fairly, or don’t review it at all. I’m just glad to have reached out and made a connection…”

No harm, no foul. It takes, what? An hour or two? Not everybody bites, but those who do are usually up for just about anything. Sometimes these pitches result in a review, a guest post, an interview AND a giveaway. Even better, lots of them result in loyal, supportive and friendly online relationships that I cherish to this day.

And I guess that’s my point. When I was asked to write this guest post about “gratitude,” I immediately leapt at the chance because if there are two things I’m grateful for it’s 1.) the chance to write a good book and 2.) the opportunity for others to be able to read it.

The first of those is up to me; the second is up to others. And so anytime anybody says a kind word about one of my YA books, or spreads the word, or reviews it, or rates it, or “likes” it, or shares it or tweets it or just mentions it let alone recommends it, I am absolutely, eternally and usually pretty vocally grateful for it.

I make it a point to respond to everyone who comments on my blog. I Google the titles of my books every day and if there is a new post or review or mention or blurb, I try to reach out to that person and thank them.

If someone requests a review copy, I’m on it; ASAP! A guest post? Let me do it in the next 48-hours so I don’t forget about it. An interview? You? Want to interview ME? Well, absolutely. Why wouldn’t I do everything possible to make that easier for the person doing the interviewing?!?!

I know, I know; everyone’s unique. There are big tippers, little tippers, stingy tippers and NO tippers. Why should authors be any different? I guess, I dunno, it’s such a simple thing: to thank someone for commenting, or reviewing, or mentioning, or sharing or tweeting.

Maybe I’m just lucky right now in that my day job allows me the time to do these things. I know not every author is so lucky and, yes, it can be work keeping up with emails and obsessively Googling your book titles and writing guest posts, but… I enjoy it.

Writing isn’t about just the book, or just the reviews or just the cover art or just the royalties. It’s about connecting with people; first as readers, oftentimes as bloggers, occasionally as reviewers and, ultimately, as friends.

I have met so many wonderful, generous, kind, loyal and avid readers since Zombies Don’t Cry came out. It would take pages and eons to list them all here, but if you visit my blog or check out my reviews on Amazon.com or Goodreads.com, you’ll see them there; bright and smiley faces and generous and positive words and a true love of reading and, I think, writing as well.

I just think we’re all in this together. How can we not be grateful for each other?

Yours in YA,

Rusty

About the author: Rusty Fischer is the author of several YA supernatural novels, including Zombies Don’t Cry, Ushers, Inc., Vamplayers, I Heart Zombie and Panty Raid @ Zombie High. Visit his blog, http://www.zombiesdontblog.blogspot.com, for news, reviews, cover leaks, writing and publishing advice, book excerpts and more!

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  1. October 7, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Great post, Rusty!

  2. October 7, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Holy cow–if someone wanted to interview me, I’d be all over it, too–thankful–all of it! I’m just beginning a memoir about having a father in the mafia and later developing bipolar disorder–kind of an unusual story–so I’d do whatever it took to even get noticed in the first place.

    I loved your post. Thanks for the laughs this morning.

    Kathy

    • October 12, 2011 at 6:33 am

      Kathryn, I couldn’t agree more — obviously! I can understand there are only so many hours in the day, but why not spend the ones you have helping promote what you’ve already worked so hard on?!/?!

  3. October 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

    A zombie (Lover, writer) with a good attitude, now I can be grateful for that!

  4. John Erickson
    October 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

    It’s great to hear from an author who is genuinely humble, and grateful to his readers. I’ve met FAR too many writers who just ooze entitlement, who expect the masses to prostrate themselves in honour of the great wordsmith. If it’s true that you reap what you sow, you should reap a true bounty indeed, rich in the kindness and humility you’ve shown here. Good job, Rusty! Looks like I have another blog to check out! 😀

    • October 12, 2011 at 6:35 am

      John, I think you’ve hit it on the head: entitlement. But it’s not just authors, it’s everywhere you look. I just think people have this HUGE misconception that success will land at their feet, reality TV star style, and most adults know better. I appreciate your comment today and I hope you do check out the blog, ’cause there’s lots more where this came from! Best to you and yours…

  5. October 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I’m the exact same way … Well, I will be once I get that book written. Written and published. Written and published and distributed. Well, you get the idea! Thanks for the honesty and the tips.

    • October 12, 2011 at 6:36 am

      Good luck with that book, Stacia! If it’s one thing I’ve learned, pesristence pays off. ANd remember, there is no due date except the one you set for yourself!

  6. October 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    You don’t sound obsessive at all…just thorough about reaching out, giving thanks and connecting…all in that order. I can imagine if you have books out there, it’s about throwing all the pebbles you can for the ripples to flow out. And this post, Mr. Rusty Fischer, washed over me. As John said, “Looks like I have another blog to check out.”

    • October 12, 2011 at 6:37 am

      Definitely a ripple effect versus a tidal wave, and perhaps that’s what some authors don’t get: when it doesn’t happen right away, the default response seems to be, “It’s someone else’s fault.” I dunno, personal accountability is important no matter what your job is, and I try to make my success my responsibility, not “the masses,” whoever *they* are! I appreciate your comment and hope you make it over to the blog for more…

  7. October 8, 2011 at 5:49 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Rusty! Even though finding the time can be challenging, how can we NOT reach out to those kind enough to want to interview/review/comment about our writing? I had no idea how blogging would bring me into this wonderful community of supportive writers. I’ve definitely been lucky to have Deb and people like yourself as role models! Looking forward to checking out your work!

    • October 12, 2011 at 6:39 am

      It definitely is a community, and like any relationship you have to play well wiht others. The really great thing I’ve found is that these are people — like Deb and you and so many other great writers, bloggers, reviewers, etc. — who I genuinely WANT to spend time and network with. I think it’s easy to isolate ourselves as writers and whiel I often lament the amount of social media I have to do to stay “relevant,” this part of it — blogging, commenting, responding, sharing, giving, receiving — is always a welcome relief!

  8. October 9, 2011 at 6:17 am

    I’m grateful for this post!

  9. October 10, 2011 at 8:36 am

    You’ve definitely got the right attitude. Who shouldn’t be flattered by someone requesting an interview? Great post!

    • October 12, 2011 at 6:41 am

      I am always flattered, and a little disbelieving still, when I get these requests, or when I reach out and someone actually says “yes.” Me? Really? You want to hear from me? I think that’s the default setting of most writers, but I’m trying to get over it!!! Thanks for your comment today and kind words about this post…

  10. October 11, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I totally agree with you Rusty. In today’s world of publishing, doing the heavy lifting and marketing your book is a wise move because as the saying goes, ‘the smarter I work, the luckier I get. If that other author feels too important to reach out and connect, God bless em! When I publish my book, I intend to follow your route; at least make the effort to get people to care about my baby… the book. Gratitude is an attitude and you’re living it. Kudos! 🙂

  11. October 11, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I really enjoyed this! Your gratitude shines through in your words. 🙂 Who doesn’t love and appreciate the kindness and attention of others? 🙂

  12. October 12, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I definitely think who you are as a person comes through in who you are as an author. My wife always says, “I’m not going to change who I am just because others don’t appreciate it.” I live by that, in my personal AND professional life!!!!

  13. October 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    “I just think we’re all in this together. How can we not be grateful for each other?”

    Absolutely. Thank you for this.

    • October 18, 2011 at 6:44 am

      Thank YOU for the comment! I’m kinda happy this post touched such a nerve and is still getting comments a week later. I think it really speaks to the heart of the writer, and why so many of us do this and are so supportive of each other when we get the chance. In the end, sales and stats and followers and subscribers are just “numbers,” but relationships and true connections between writers, readers and other writers — of all stripes — really hold up!

  14. October 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I really love this, Rusty! Any time we can be more concerned with our own generosity, kindness and reciprocity when we want people to help us (or lay down money for something we’ve created) I believe we’re on the right track. Thanks for this wonderful reminder to be grateful for the community we writers need and often gain much strength and support from. Nice to meet you! I’m Ré.

  1. October 7, 2011 at 10:34 am
  2. October 21, 2011 at 5:31 am

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