Rewards for an Author: Not by the Numbers

Trophy Clip Art

Trophy Clip Art

We all see posts by authors, myself included, about sales numbers, rankings, reviews, and other things that we accept with glee.  I know during a debut month, these things are very important.  They can make or break an author’s confidence.  Well, I’m not going to talk about the breaking point.  I’m going to spend this week talking about other ‘rewards’ that an author may receive that goes beyond the numbers.

What do I mean by this?  Well, I’m talking about the feeling that your book affected the reader.  Did it make them rethink their life or simply bring a smile to their face?  In a world where people seem to be more miserable than happy and it takes less effort to hate something than enjoy it, being an artist is becoming a thankless job.  You get drawn and quartered for the smallest mistake while you never hear about how your book may have improved someone’s day.  This really is a shame.

I’m sure there are many ways that this can happen, but I’m only going to mention a few this week:

  • Fan Letter
  • Fan Art
  • Cosplay of characters
  • People quote your book with credit

I admit that I’ve only received Fan Art and one or two fan letters.  Both were only near the beginning of my writing career and the letters seemed to be more about what I did that upset the reader.  Again, negativity and criticism seems to be so much easier to dole out than praise.  Even alongside each other.  That’s just a pet peeve though.

So that’s the topic of the day, but I think it’d be great to hear any stories about an author whose book touched someone and they were told so.  Also readers can say how a book affected them and if they contacted the author.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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19 Responses to Rewards for an Author: Not by the Numbers

  1. sknicholls says:

    There are also the many rewards found along the way in producing the project. And the most rewarding moment of all if you’re an indie is pushing that publish button and sending that hard work into the world for other people to enjoy as much as you have enjoyed its production..

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  2. C.N. Faust says:

    My career as a writer has not been very long, but in my short time I have received a few much-treasured tokens from my readers who felt inspired about what they had read. Some art, some makeup looks, some poems, a fan story or two, and some beautifully long, enthusiastic communications about the characters and how they made the reader feel. As a writer I will always treasure these things.

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  3. twixie13 says:

    Most of the feedback I’ve gotten was through excerpts on one website, but it always makes me smile when someone expresses concern for a character that’s been through hell. I think the ultimate reward, though, would be if someone were to ask “What is WRONG with you?!”. Since one of the genres I work with is horror, I find that to be one of the highest compliments. Maybe one day… Of course, not a lot of people have read my stuff yet.

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  4. I got a fan letter from a person who felt my book was talking directly to them due to the subject material and the setting. I was thrilled since the reader really appreciated the POV and the setting.

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  5. tjtherien says:

    I haven’t gotten too much in the way of Fan appreciation, I’ve had a couple of people ask if there is going to be a sequel, that’s about it, but on the other side of the equation, my worst review had to concede moments of absolute brilliance and natural skill in the writing. So if critics afford me that concession then that itself is my reward.

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    • That’s great for your worst review. Mine are simple ‘it sucks’ messages.

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      • tjtherien says:

        trust me when I say the rest of the review was less than flattering, You books can’t suck because I reread your first two books the other week before I downloaded a bunch of classics that have fallen into public domain. Once I set up a Pay Pal account and get a little money I will be downloading the rest of your books… there is something very whimsical about Windemere.

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      • Might come from my focus being on fun instead of dark events. I’ve received a few complaints that my stories stay light and positive instead of falling into grittiness. I think many of the ‘it sucks’ comes from the odd style that I use and expectations about my books being identical to established works.

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  6. As long as it’s not being hit in the face with a tomato. 🙂

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  7. This is what I hope for with my books. Haven’t heard anything to that tune yet though.

    I am disappointed at how, in all areas of life, criticism is so rampant while kind words and thanks are so sparse. It’s sad.

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  8. Years ago, I was at a SF convention and got to talk to Marian Zimmer Bradley. My friend told Bradley that she loved Andre Norton’s books so much she named her son after one of the characters. Bradley said, “Don’t tell me, tell her (Norton)!” Her point was that writers need these positive contacts with fans and to know their work had that much meaning for at least one reader.

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