How to Stand Out from the Spam: The Art of Appreciation

Eric G Reid
5 min readFeb 14, 2024

By: Eric G. Reid

Thank You

For those embarking on the writer’s path, few moments can match the exhilaration of receiving a message from a reader whose life has been irrevocably changed by your words on the page. These heartfelt interactions, filled with intricate details of your work’s emotional resonance and transformational impact, have an almost magical ability to validate your creative passions and reaffirm that the dedication of your craft can lead to profound human connections.

In my conversations with authors across the career spectrum, from those releasing initial short stories to New York Times bestselling veterans with extensive catalogs, I’ve discovered a unifying truth: No matter the scale of one’s readership, these earnest messages of life-changing impact never cease feeling monumental.

Beyond the intellectual fulfillment of storytelling, every writer I’ve encountered fundamentally strives to forge vectors of meaning with their readership; to establish the vulnerable spaces where the power of words can reshape identities and catalyze growth. And hearing directly when your intentions have manifested holds incomparable significance no matter the level of fame or commercial success.

I’ll never forget the conversation when a debut novelist friend first described the intensity of reading a stranger’s message about how pivotal scenes in her book had both resonated with past trauma and allowed healing and reconciliation that had evaded this reader for decades prior. The specificity of detail andcascade of emotions had left my friend in joyful tears, knowing her years of creative struggle had birthed something that would now live beyond her and enrich people’s lives in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

And the recipients of these messages aren’t the only ones profoundly affected. As the writers share how much these reader testimonials meant, I can’t help but feel my own grateful awe toward the power of words to facilitate such vulnerability, catharsis and transformation. It’s a chain reaction of inspiration lighting collective sparks.

The Crafting of Connection

While deeply personal reader messages can feel akin to unanticipated miracles, creating channels for meaningful connection within your literary community requires more proactive cultivation through consistent engagement and outreach.

This concerted fostering of relationships and expanded perspective can yield immense creative and career benefits for writers navigating all stages of development. The supportive community available to guide your literary journey expands exponentially when engagement is prioritized.

Potential collaborators, influencers, mentors, colleagues, friends — what may start through a single tweet or email can morph into manifold blessings of partnership. But that initial outreach requires fighting past fears of unworthiness and exposure to embrace the vulnerability of appreciation.

The Channel of Appreciation

Echoing the profound reader messages that brought such inspiration, I’ve found that leading connection-building interactions with fellow authors through the channel of authentic appreciation can lower barriers and establish receptive mindsets like nothing else.

And particularly when seeking more formal collaborations like cross-promotions, podcast interviews or co-created projects, an initial expression of sincere admiration stands worlds apart from the cacophony of spam requests and marketing pitches authors regularly receive. Even a brief compliment, when specific and heartfelt, sparks reciprocal goodwill and

If I had to quantify emotional impact compared to other correspondence, these earnest appreciation messages undoubtedly rise to the top in eliciting thoughtful, engaging responses. Where an impersonal copy-paste pitch may be ignored without a glance or even elicit active annoyance, appreciation melted away any inhibitions so even declined offers retained a glow of positivity and care that left future possibilities glimmering.

And in many cases, while the specifics of the initial offer didn’t make sense, the rapport and intrigue catalyzed by my appreciation instead sparked alternative collaborations neither of us had originally envisioned. When you lead from the heart instead of proposed transactions, the organic unfolding of synergies reaches spaces unexplored.

The Ripple Effect

What continually amazes me throughout the evolving landscape of my literary connections is witnessing the exponential ripple effect just one initial appreciation exchange can manifest.

In showing authentic support for an author’s work, our dialogue then opened doors where they shared from their communities about impactful voices I hadn’t before encountered. Which led to my own awestruck messages showering these recommended authors with praise, more accepting responses despite declined offers, increasing bonds and even collaborated charity works.

Before long, the web of collaborative support and inspiration stretched beyond my capacity to engage every deserving creative spirit. But walking such a journey leaves an imprint of motivated urgency to keep finding ways to elevate exceptional work that resonates. The compounding inspiration mandated I carry on the ripples.

Because in times where social media spotlights privileged platforms monopolizing attention more than ever, I believe firmly in the obligation of readers, authors and publishing professionals to keep shining resplendent glow upon creative works that speak to us outside the spotlight. Beautiful words exist in shadows everywhere longing for engaged spirits to nourish their growth. We must champion these brilliant seeds however we’re able, so their branches can spread and bear the fruits of connection, compassion and positive transformation our polarized world desperately requires.

When messages amplify beauty, more beauty has space to arise. And realization of our interconnected nature pierces veils of illusion keeping humanity chained inside Plato’s cave, blinded to truth outside shadows.

The Spark of Reciprocity

In my ever-unfolding journey through realms of creativity, consistently offering sincere support and appreciation without expectation of reciprocity or collaboration remains core to my mission. But an intriguing pattern I’ve observed is that such selfless positivity still tends to organically boomerang back in unexpected blessings.

Especially when publicly spotlighting creative works that inspire me on social platforms, reciprocity manifests as authors organically promoting my editing services or consulting engagements to their own audiences. Several referral partnerships emerged this way without any solicitation beyond my initial appreciation.

So while cynics may view support and praise as naive or self-sabotaging from a ruthless business mindset fixated on quid pro quo transactions, I’ve grown convinced genuine appreciation establishes relational equity on levels deeper than surface gains. Expressing what you authentically value attracts those who share your vibration.

The world always requires more champions for emerging ideas that can push society forward. More connectors revealing common humanity behind surface-level differences. More creative bridges built on authentic emotional resonance rather than tactical interests orBaseCommand mindsets clinging to comfort.

If you long to see more light bonding people together, be the spark that keeps igniting rays anywhere you’re able. The collective impact reshapes the landscape so realities once unimaginable emerge as commonplace miracles. But the fortitude required stays rooted in wisdom knowing darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.

Eternal sunlight shines behind every cloud if you walk with faith toward the glow.

Be the change by focusing first on appreciation, unconditionally given and received. The gravity of gratitude perpetuates upward spirals carrying you higher than any plans made solely for personal profit ever could.

Trust abundance flows when your heart leads, even in vulnerability. The riches of connection outlast temporary gains garnered from self-interest. And creative gifts you share return to you tenfold when your pure intentions align with divine will.

Keep shining. Keep connecting. Keep uplifting. The light you manifest today ignites innumerable candles in the future.

Eric G. Reid, a champion for writers and visionary thinkers, serves as the Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Skinny Brown Dog Media. Eric’s mission is to assist writers and thought leaders in disseminating their messages.

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Eric G Reid

I'm Eric G. Reid, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Skinny Brown Dog Media. My mission: transform aspiring writers into authors, and help them create an impact