Of Coffee and M&Ms … or

The Care and Feeding of Your Favorite Authors

Grey (left) and Earl were so cute looking out the window. Then I leaned back to take a picture. Obviously that meant that I needed them to come my way. Cute little buggers.

A week ago, this post had an entirely different focus. But then, I was coming off a rather intense period of twelve – fourteen hour days and a book release. I might have been more than a little whiny. Better that I just keep those thoughts in my head.

Just after publication, I get a huge influx of communication. Most of it is wonderful, some of it is a little critical, but every once in a while, something really awful shows up in my in-box that just rips me to the core. Not with every book release – and not with this last book release. But it happens.

Growing up in a minister’s household … okay, my father’s household … I learned that keeping people in the community happy was a primary goal. So I do everything I can to keep the largest percentage of the population happy. When I discover that I fail – for even one person – it is hard on my soul.

In the beginning of my writing career, nasty (not just reasonable critiques) words would devastate me for an entire week. I’d come up for air, the words would resonate through my head again, and I wondered why I was even bothering.

People on the outside told me to toughen up, grow thicker skin. Seriously – there is no armor strong enough to hold back some of the barbs and lances that are hurled. I often wondered if that person realized that I was a real-live human being with feelings and a heart.

I’ve gotten much better at managing my way through those. The truth is, I rarely read reviews – whether positive or negative – because they mess so badly with my psyche. Even if I’m there to read a positive review, I can’t stop myself from looking at the negatives. They’re a magnet I can’t resist … and I end up staring at the computer screen with my mouth wide open at how much someone hates what I’ve written. I’m just not that polarizing.

Wow … that was a lot of words pouring out over something that’s actually pretty personal. Sorry about that.

Back to the point.

Last week I went to the post office and lo and behold, there was a wonderful package from a friend filled with various flavors of M&Ms. Yep. Perfect snack for the late night writer. Between those and coffee, I can write for hours!

But what else do authors and other artists you follow on Facebook need to sustain themselves?

A. Well, we need you to *like*, comment, and share posts from our FB page. Every time you like a post – as simple as that – the post is exposed to more people. It also helps Facebook know that you want to be engaged with us and they will deliver more of our posts to you. If you feel like you’ve been missing things – the way to fix it is to re-engage on a regular basis.

B. Sign up for email newsletters and engage with them. Open them, click on the links. If you decide you’re getting too much in your in-box, simply unsubscribe (don’t mark it as spam, that sends us into a tailspin because the provider freaks out that we’re doing something wrong). Authors, artists, musicians – we want to share what we’re doing with you because you’re interested. We spend hours trying to decide what is important to send out, so you can get to know us better and learn what we’re doing.

I send out one email newsletter on the twenty-fifth of every month  to the entire list. The last thing I want to be is intrusive, but I hate for you to miss anything.

Facebook limits how much will be delivered to your feed. Email newsletters show up with detail that you might miss otherwise. For instance, no matter how many times I tell you all that I publish Bellingwood books on March 25, June 25, September 25, and December 25, I get at least one question per day from readers wondering when the next book comes out. It’s not that they aren’t paying attention – they simply aren’t getting that information in front of them. (See what I did there? LOL)

C. Reviews. I despise asking for reviews. It’s enough that you pay to read my stories, I shouldn’t ask you to do anything else. I will never be able to express the depth of my appreciation.

But reviews have become an important part of an artist’s life. Many of us don’t think about writing a positive review, but when we’re upset about a product, we rush to write a one-star review. We want to warn people off a bad product, but don’t think to encourage them to purchase something we love.

Positive reviews are vitally important to us who are artists, authors, musicians … creatives. These increase our visibility and then when people end up on the book page, they encourage those folks to investigate further.  Whether it’s Amazon, Etsy, YouTube or another outlet, being a positive voice in a sea of trolls is important and necessary.

Oh … and unicorns. I like those.

22 thoughts on “Of Coffee and M&Ms … or

  1. Shelli

    I cannot imagine anyone not loving your books! And saying mean things to you! That makes my blood boil. Send me their address and I will go beat them up! You deserve ten unicorns!😃

    1. nammynools Post author

      Haha. Marshal the forces … we’re heading off to beat up the bad people. 🙂

  2. Sheri Gann

    I don’t know why anyone would be critical of your writing! I am sure more of us love you then not! Just be our Diane💞

  3. Laura

    I’m sending you a big hug !!
    I don’t understand why someone would be so critical except that maybe they are just miserable inside!!!
    It still doesn’t justify their behavior though. I am so sorry that this happened to you.

    1. nammynools Post author

      The thing is – there are so many people out there who hurt in ways we’ll never understand. The only mode of communication they have left is anger and spite. It’s not a good place to be – and it stinks being on the other end of that. I try to avoid it now. 🙂

  4. S Kellogg

    Just finished your latest book and loved it as much as I have enjoyed all your books. It’s hard to wait for the next installment. Please don’t stop writing about Bellingwood and all the wonderful people

  5. Jeanne Benck

    Love the books, love the Facebook page, love to engage with you, love the newsletters, love the vignettes, love cats, love M&Ms. And … I did just write a good review of Marks in a Lifetime on Amazon. You’re a gem, Diane. Thanks for keeping me entertained. ❤

  6. Cindi

    I think these people hide behind their anonymity because they are just cowards. It is so easy for them when they are not face to face. They are not worth your losing a moment’s peace about what they write. I love your books and so look forward to them. Keep up your wonderful work!

  7. Jackie Duhon

    I love your books. They are an inspiration to me to do little acts of kindness. Also I have a suggestion, get Noah and Elijah into sports. Baseball, soccer, track something. It will burn off some of that energy and find them friends that accept them for themselves without looking at their skin color.

  8. Sharon Dunn

    I LOVE your Bellingwood series and I hope they never stop! What a beautiful gift you have of storytelling and Bellingwood is the best! Thank-you for sharing with us! Sharon

  9. Susie

    Just finished reading your latest Bellingwood adventure… loved it.. Can’t wait for the next one to come out to see what else Polly gets herself into..

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