Monday, October 08, 2007

Giving Back

Before I sold my first book, my entire mindset was about reading and writing. I never thought about what would happen if I became a published writer. Then I sold and everything changed, I had so much more to think about. I had so much more to learn.

And as I geared up for GRAFFITI GIRL to hit bookshelves, and basically held my breath as feedback trickled in, something happened that I never thought would. Readers actually enjoyed my book. I felt honored and still do each time I hear from a reader. I really wished there was something I could do for each reader who took the time to tell me how she/he felt about GG. Of course, I’ve thanked everyone for their kind words, but could I do more?

Maybe I can’t reach through cyberspace and give each reader a hug (which is my first instinct when I open a thoughtful email), but as an author, I can giveback in small ways.


My hometown is holding a read week where they are looking for citizens to read to schools in our community. It’s to show the elementary kids how much we love to read by sharing a favorite book and explaining how important reading is. I’ve volunteered and looking forward to my reading day.

Book Club

I can take the time to read the thoughtful letters book clubs have taken the time to write to me about my story and characters, and give the readers a little more insight about the process of writing and the backstory behind the story. If readers are taking the time to write, why can’t I?

School Projects

I received a note from a student who is writing about me for her school project. I’m flattered and really blown away. Of course, I’m taking the time to answer the questions for her report because not only is she polite and courteous, but by her questions I can tell she she’s serious about becoming a writer. And that's a dream I only want to encourage.

These are just a few things I’ve tried to do to give back to readers. As time goes by, I hope to give more. Is there a writer you know of that has given back to readers in some small or big way? :)

6 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Kelly, kudos to you for giving back!

I'm doing some of the same things--answering reader letters and questions for book reports, donating books to charity baskets and to classrooms and libraries that don't have book budget money. And since the theme of TOP TEN USES FOR AN UNWORN PROM DRESS is prom dresses, I have also made some book and dress donations to prom dress recycle charities.

Like you, Kelly, I'd love to hear from and about other authors and how they are giving back!

Erin said...

How about the readergirlz divas!? They are constantly giving to others.

stephhale said...

I answer every single email and Myspace comment that I get from readers. It's such a privilege getting to know the kids who took the time to read my book.

I think that Meg Cabot really gives back by blogging daily. She always has these huge, entertaining posts that have to take forever to write. I think it's nice that she gives readers more in between books!

Kelly Parra said...

Great job, Tina!!
So true, Erin, thanks!
Great job, Steph, and I agree about Meg Cabot! Thanks for sharing!

Celise said...

I'm a mentor in the Absynthe Muse program, which is way rewarding. Like Tina, I also donate copies of my books to charities and libraries that need more books. I got a helping hand when I was in school when a teacher encouraged my talent. If I can do that for someone else--especially when the book gets published--then I know I'm doing something right.

In honor of Teen Read Week next week, I'll be posting interviews with the main characters from my novels. If you'd like to ask my girls a question, pop on over.

Kelly Parra said...

Celise, that's awesome!!