Why You Should Write to an Author You Admire

Inspired by Carolyn See’s Making a Literary Life in which she suggests that if you read a great book, article, or anything, that you write a simple thank you note to the author—I started emailing and tweeting thanks to authors after I read a particularly good book.

At first, I felt a little awkward contacting writers this way. But I keep it simple and I never ask for favors (like read my book, introduce me to your editor, or tell me everything about how to get my book published!). Overall, it’s been a successful experiment. If an author’s website has their email address, I’ll send a SHORT email. I emphasis SHORT because no one wants to read a page-long email from anyone any more. I’ll write about what I enjoyed in the book and thank them for writing it.

I even wrote to Carolyn See for making me laugh about the rejection process. I was feeling so crummy about getting so many rejection letters, but her chapter on rejection made me realize that it’s better to laugh about it, then continue to write.

Here’s a tweet I sent to Yangsze Choo after I read THE GHOST BRIDE. I sent her a few questions about her book and I shared her answers with my book club. It was great to get the author’s insight while discussing the book!

Being a writer can be a lonely process. And who doesn’t like being told their work is awesome? Too often Twitter is used as a dumping ground for nasty comments (UGH), but it’s been great to send positive notes to fellow writers. I wrote to Jojo Moyes after reading ME BEFORE YOU, and she was so kind in her response. Btw, ME BEFORE YOU is a gorgeous, funny, and heartbreaking book (add it to your reading list!).

Take the time to thank someone whose work you admire because kindness is always welcome.



5 Comments on “Why You Should Write to an Author You Admire

  1. Love this post! And totally agree. Sometimes I write to authors of articles when I’m really moved or excited about their piece, or think it was really important for them to share the topic and am grateful for them doing so. I’ve never written to an author of a book, but I’ll try that. Most of the authors I like are dead, unfortunately, lol. I’ve been catching up on a lot of classics. 🙂

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