When you say ‘charities’, the first things that pop to mind are organisations who help people in need, like the Salvation Army or Medecins Sans Frontieres, or who raise money for good causes, like the Cancer Council. Or even NGOs such as Amnesty International, who support little things like the rule of law and the right not to be locked up without trial or murdered in the name of justice.
Still, we can’t all save the world, right? Some of us just write books and try to make people happy that way. But authors, in general, aren’t charities. We work for profit, even if it’s a small profit, and even if we’d probably be writers even if there was no money in it, just because we love what we do.
The real non-profit people in our industry are the book bloggers. Book bloggers just love to talk about books. They read – boy, do they read! Some of these people are reading a dozen books a week, and they can’t wait to tell people about them. Honestly, I don’t know where they find the time, on top of their day jobs and families and whatever. But they do. And they keep on reading, and reviewing, and enthusing over great stories by authors new or familiar, and generally being awesome.
And there’s no money in that (blogging, that is, not being awesome. There's money in being awesome. You just have to be awesome in an awesome way.) Well, unless you’re selling advertising, but hey, we’ve all got to make a living, and if your book blog is so awesome that people will pay to be seen there? Good luck to you.
But the best book bloggers (in my humble opinion, of course, and authors must always be humble when talking about bloggers) the best book bloggers are motivated mainly by love of books. And it shows.
They understand genre and style and authorial voice, because they’ve read a lot of books - and not only books that are just like the one they read yesterday.
They’re always happy to talk to authors, and they’re grateful for review copies, even if the books turns out not to be their thing – because they get that not everyone will like everything.
They get that not every book they enjoy needs to get a five-star review, because they understand that the reviewing continuum contains more data points that OMG LOVE!!! and WORST BOOK EVAH!!!
And they get that ‘this book isn’t what I thought it would be’ and ‘this book is awful’ are not the same.
I know lots of great book bloggers, and I’m grateful to them all, even if they’ve never read or reviewed my books, and even if they have read them and loathed every second of it. I’m grateful to them just for existing, and quietly promoting common sense and level-headed discussion of books, while the rest of the house is rapidly dividing into Team Sunshine and Team Vitriol and to hell with discussion.
So my shout out for charity is to book bloggers, near and far. May they keep reading!