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.
50 Broad St.,
New York, NY 10004
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 SASE 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!