A good author will connect with other authors in order to cross-promote, share the spotlight, and increase followings on social media.
A great author will befriend other authors in order to rejoice in their successes, encourage them when they begin seriously contemplating that four-letter word banned from every artist's vocabulary (I'll give you a hint, it starts with "q"), and offer advice, humor, and love in an increasingly difficult market.
Jess Strong was a great author. Like many of the authors I have connected with and befriended over the last couple of years, Jess was just an online presence to me. I never had the privilege of meeting her in person. And yet she was one of those people you felt you had always known. Jess helped polish the dreaded blurb of many an author. She shared author events and attended them via Facebook. She was great retweeter and helped spread the word about new releases, sales, and general posts. Her posts could make you laugh, no matter how down you were feeling. She offered constant support, encouragement and love. Jess loved other authors. You could feel it through her posts.
Unfortunately, her time on earth was far too brief. Earlier this week, the authors at Clean Indie Reads were rocked by the news that Jess had unexpectedly passed away. We have mourned her untimely passing and prayed for peace for her family, her friends, and us. I don't know who started the idea, but it was decided that today, the day after Christmas, each of us would try to purchase at least one of Jess' ebooks. It may seem like a small condolence, but not really. There are over 2000 authors part of Clean Indie Reads. If each of us buy just one book, Jess' rankings will climb. A higher Amazon ranking means it will be easier for other readers to see her books.
So today, I won't ask you to fill your brand-new Kindle with my books. I won't ask you to look at my special sales page and put those gift cards to use there. No. Today, I want you to go to Jess Strong's author page at Amazon. Pick a book, or buy her whole collection, and make a purchase. The money earned in royalties will help her family and perhaps together we can make her a bestseller. It's not much. And perhaps it may even seem like a vain effort. But it's something simple that we can do.
Rest in peace, Jess my friend. You will be sorely missed. May God grant peace to your family and loved ones.
Jessica L. Elliott
Author, artist, mom and super-genius