I glance up from autographing a copy of my newest book to see my husband across the store. He has our mastiff Henry with him—a character in all of my novels—and is surrounded by women asking him questions. Then, the dreaded question, the one we both hope he won’t be asked, comes out of a woman’s mouth.
“So what’s her newest book about?”
I sigh in relief when one of our friends leaps in and gives a description of my book’s plot. I grin at how much Chad’s stomach probably plummeted. Sure, he knows it’s a love story, and he even knows there are three women from the same family.
Other than that?
Well, he’d probably just tell you to read the back cover.
My Husband Doesn’t Read My Books . . . and I’m Okay With It
“Does your husband read your books?”
In addition to “How many books have you sold?” and “Is this like Fifty Shades of Grey?” this is the most common question I get when people find out I’m a romance author.
The answer? A resounding “No.”
When people hear this, they’re often shocked. How can my own husband not read my books? Shouldn’t he be more supportive?
The fact Chad doesn’t read my books is fine by me. So many times, non-authors think the only way to support an author is through the purchase and reading of a book. While we do love to see you buy and read our books, this isn’t the only thing that matters. There are so many ways you can support an author, and Chad certainly proves this.
My Husband, the Advertiser
Chad calls himself my “walking billboard.” He has a shirt for every book I’ve published and wears them every chance he gets. He has also adorned his truck with magnets of my book covers.
His advertising, though, doesn’t stop there. He never misses a chance to mention my books or talk about my writing journey. As somewhat of an introvert, I struggle to confidently promote my work. Chad is the voice for me, making sure I don’t undercut myself.
You don’t have to wear T-shirts or adorn your vehicle to advertise for an author friend or family member. Word of mouth is so important. Just sharing the news with a few of your friends can make a huge difference.
My Husband, the Roadie
We’ve been to three Barnes & Noble book signings in my hometown. We’ve been to a book signing at a coffee shop. Yesterday, we traveled to Gaithersburg, Maryland, for a book festival. Chad drove me the five total hours, carried a tote of seventy books five blocks, and sat in the miserable rain with me for hours to promote my work. Along with my parents, my husband is the best road team I could ask for. He has sacrificed so many days off to help me with my dream.
If you have an author friend, try showing up to events, even if it is just to stop and say hello. You’ll help combat the fear that no one will show up and we’ll be sitting at a lonely table in the metaphorical darkness.
My Husband, the Encourager
Publishing can be a harrowing task. There are days of unbelievable excitement, but also days of horrific disappointment. When I first signed a contract for Voice of Innocence and was just getting ready to shout it from the rooftop, the publisher went bankrupt. Chad came home to find a blubbering mess of tears. I vowed I was done.
He didn’t let me quit, though. He encouraged me to keep going, telling me I could do it. So I swiped away the snot and tears and tried again.
Thanks to that encouragement, Voice of Innocence and two other novels would make their way to the bookshelves.
Chad’s been there on the other tough days—days a book was rejected, days of harsh reviews, days of mean comments. He’s there to boost my confidence when I feel like a nobody author.
“If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
These are the words my husband tells me during every “failure.”
He is always there to remind me of the successes. When I worry about my sales numbers, he reminds me people in other countries have bought my book and how amazing that is. When I worry a book won’t get published, he tells me it will. When I feel like it’s not worth it, he tells me it is because I’m living my dream.
Every author needs an encourager in his or her corner. I’m lucky to have found mine in my husband.
The Bottom Line
There are so many ways to support an author. Buying a book and reading it is one way, a very important way, to support an author’s dream. However, there are so many pieces to the writer’s life. My husband has managed to help fill so many of these pieces.
So the next time you see my husband at a book signing or driving around town with his magnet covered truck, remember that he’s supporting me in so many ways.
But don’t ask him what my book is about . . . just read the back
Lindsay Detwiler is the author of three contemporary romance novels including Voice of Innocence, Without You, and Then Comes Love. She is also a high school English teacher in her hometown. She lives with Chad (her junior high sweetheart), their five cats, and their mastiff Henry. You can find out more about Lindsay at www.lindsaydetwiler.com, www.facebook.com/lindsayanndetwiler, or on Twitter @LindsayDetwiler.
Category: How To and Tips