Joy of Fan Mail

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Reviews are nice, but they come with a star rating, grade, or something.  This are great to have because they help with the book marketing and bring a smile to the author’s face . . . at least the good ones.  Time is taken to write these and post them on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, etc.  We all look forward to that first glowing review or pray that the first one isn’t a shot to the jugular.

Yet there’s something even better than a review.  Getting a personal email or letter from someone who read your book.  (Again, this is supposed to be about positive messages, so let’s stick to that side of the coin.)  There’s something about receiving a letter of praise from a stranger about your book.  Even the tone is different because it is meant to be personal unlike the more professional review.  You will write things in a fan letter that you wouldn’t put in a review, which makes such a communique rather heart-warming and special.

Such a ‘reward’ is different for every author, but I think it does fall into a unique category.  It isn’t business here.  It’s personal because your book had such an affect on the reader that they were willing to take the time and effort to write you.  You can’t avoid smiling when you get something like that.  I’ve had a few, but they came after I had made initial contact with the person for one reason or another.  There was one that I had a copy of that was lost when my hard drive died.  I do remember grinning at the idea that my story made someone happy.  That’s a big goal of mine and a fan letter gives a sense of justification that I’m on the right path.

So, has anyone else received a fan letter about their book?  How did you feel?

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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31 Responses to Joy of Fan Mail

  1. I’ve received a couple, and they’re AMAZING. 100% make my day.

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  2. Sue Vincent says:

    I’ve had a few… and they are always very special indeed. people only take the time and trouble to contact the writer when something has really had meaning for them on one level or another… and it is that to that level that a writer is speaking, heart to heart, when they put words on paper. It is a direct relationship with the reader, and when the reader comes back and tells you so, sharing their own story, it is an incredible feeling.

    Even if the dog does get more fan mail than I do!

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  3. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    I have gotten a couple — but then, I also got one awful one, so I figure I need a couple more good ones to balance out the awful one!

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  4. sknicholls says:

    I have a few and they are deeply meaningful, especially when you can communicate back and forth about the book and what they enjoyed about it. It makes you feel…well, a bit important.

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  5. The first time I was completely surprised. What a pleasant surprise. 🙂 At the time, it hadn’t occurred to me that nonfiction writers might receive personal messages from fans. (Back in the early days, I wasn’t easy to contact either. These fans did some amazing research.)

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  6. Jack Flacco says:

    I’ve received a few emails telling me how much the reader loved my book. And it’s true, nothing quite comes close to the feeling one gets when the praise is hidden and in a personal fashion. I think I enjoy that aspect the most about this job!

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  7. C. Miller says:

    It’s a very special feeling, for sure. I’m always happy to get anything about any of them, even just a sentence or two. Someone asking about the next one or trying to get spoilers from me (which won’t happen). Makes me feel like I’m doing my job (and doing it better than I thought I could).

    One way to look at the negative reach-outs is . . .
    At least you made them feel something.
    ??
    >.>

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    • Learned my lesson on even hinting at spoilers in private. I do enjoy requests for the next one, especially if there’s an added understanding that these things take time. 🙂 Interesting opinion on the negative messages.

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      • C. Miller says:

        What happened with the spoiler hints?
        I don’t even hint at spoilers past saying there are twists. It does make me happy when people ask me about them, or say they want to know. I take that as a good sign.
        It’s not as easy for me in person. I kind of just do this awkward grin whether someone guesses correctly or not. (Usually not.)
        I take interest in spoilers along the same lines as asking about the next.
        And yeah, they certainly DO take time. I wish I could get these out sooner. It gets so frustrating having them just sitting here.

        LoL, yeaaaaah. Trying to spin a negative into a positive. I said something along those lines in the FAQ I made and have yet to post. ha

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      • The person I gave some spoiler hints to kind of abused them. They spread the hints around and altered them with their own guesses. Now I keep things close unless I can really trust the person.

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      • C. Miller says:

        I wish someone had seen my face when I read that.
        How did you handle that? By not saying anything? I guess that’s the only way anything can really be handled with this.
        That’s just . . . really not okay, them doing that.

        You seriously have to wonder what goes through people’s heads sometimes.

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      • I reported it because a public confrontation would have been messy. I’m not even sure why they did it. All I can think is that they hated the books and attempted to hurt the series. A lot of people think it’s okay to sink an author’s career simply because they don’t like the book. Not enough to write a negative review and walk away.

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      • C. Miller says:

        I think I could get into a circle (of something I said before) about people hating things just to hate them. I really can’t understand why people have to spread their negativity. It’s ridiculous, and I’m really sorry that happened to you.

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      • I wonder that every day and I came up with a rather dour explanation. It’s easier to hate something than to love it or ignore it. If you hate something then you can stick to your guns by screaming ‘this sucks!’ and not really have to defend yourself. If you ignore it then you feel left out by those that either love or hate it. If you love it then you are more on the defensive by explaining it, which takes a lot more effort and keystrokes.

        Like I said, it’s rather pessimistic in regards to human nature.

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      • C. Miller says:

        I tend to be rather pessimistic in regard to human nature almost always, unfortunately.
        What you said was sad but true. :/

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  8. L. Marie says:

    Years ago, I received a fan letter from a child. That made my year. I corresponded with her for years. More recently, a teen sent me a fan card. That made me smile.

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  9. aldreaalien says:

    I’ve received one. It took me a while to realise it was fan mail. Then I was grinning like a twit for days.

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  10. M T McGuire says:

    I’ve had two, and a phone call from my oldest fan (aged 93). How did I feel? Completely amazingly happy. 🙂

    Cheers

    MTM

    Like

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