But I was recently amazed to discover that I have over fifty books by ACW Writers on my bookshelves. In fact, I have bought more because that number doesn't include two copies of one title (an error!) or any on the kindle app. Nor the ones I have given away as presents or which are under the sofa, lost, or in the wrong bookshelves. We have fourteen bookcases in our house representing 71 bookshelves plus boxes of books from my parents' house and a few shelves are bulgingly double-ranked. I have been trying not to buy books for the last few years (where would I put them?) yet somehow the numbers keep growing.
But is buying and reading enough to support an author? A review will encourage more sales. I will admit I don't always get round to sending my honest opinion to Eden or Amazon, yet I am delighted if someone has reviewed a novel I have written. More delighted if it has 4 or 5 stars, it is true, but now I know that Amazon becomes interested in promoting a book if it has over 50 reviews - good or bad - I am grudgingly pleased to see even lukewarm comments.
Writers' groups are excellent for support and encouragement. For the past five years or so I have been involved with a local group or two and I am sure that without the boosts I received there, my novels may have still languished, cobweb-clad, in one of the large baskets I have in my study for almost-finished manuscripts or, latterly, as a list of chapters in the bowels of my laptop. And our group Brecks, Fens and Pens is particularly excellent at rejoicing in each others' achievements.
So let's support each other by buying, reading, reviewing, inspiring, blogging and encouraging our writerly friends. After all, that's mostly what ACW is all about and it will help us in our own writing journeys.
Annie Try lives in rural Norfolk with her husband. She is Chair of the Association of Christian Writers, for which she uses her married name, Angela Hobday. She is the author of three published novels, two are Dr Mike Lewis stories. Out of Silence is now available for advance order, or for signed copies email firstname.lastname@example.org