You can find a lot of information about authors on the computer. But nothing beats writing a real letter to a real author. If you write an author, you need to send your letter to the writer “in care of” his or her publisher.
Here’s how. Look in the hard-cover edition of the author’s book for the publisher’s address inside a book. Usually, the mailing address will be listed in the first few pages of the book.
Address the envelope to the author in care of the publisher. For example:
Author Mary Amato
c/o Holiday House, Inc.
425 Madison Ave.,
New York, NY 10017
Will an author write back? Some authors write personal letters in response. Others send printed material, such as a flyer about an upcoming book. Others receive too much mail to respond to all letters.
Here’s how to increase your chances of receiving a response:
- Get the best publisher’s address for your author. Some books are published in hard cover by one publisher and reproduced in soft cover (paperback) by another publisher. Get the address of the hard-cover publisher because that’s the publisher who has a real relationship with the author. Also, choose the most recently published book to get the address from (even if it’s not your favorite book). If you get the address from a book that was published a long time ago, that publisher may no longer be in business.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the author—that’s an envelope with your name and address (written neatly) and a stamp on it, ready to go. Make it easy for a busy author to respond.
- Write a thoughtful, personal letter. Don’t just ask questions. Tell the author something about yourself and why you enjoyed his or her book. Writing is a lonely business. Authors enjoy hearing from readers. Your letter may inspire an author to keep writing!
Copyright © 2004 by Mary Amato. Permission granted to copy for educational use.