Keep the Love Going
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15 Ways to Support Authors
How to spread the word in the writing community
We all know the book market is more competitive than ever. The good news is, the publishing world is also becoming more collaborative than ever too. Whether you are an author, know an author, or just like to read books, it is so important for the writing community to support one another.
Perhaps you want to let your fanboy or fangirl shine through, but you just aren’t sure how. Well, look no further. Below are fifteen ways you can make a difference for the writer in your life, and many of them can be done in just a few minutes without spending a dime. (Though note that the best way to support a book is to buy it!!)
If you have a twenty in your wallet…
1. Preorder the book. Preorders are HUGELY important to a book’s success. They determine the number of copies stores and online retailers will take, and they can also help books hit the bestseller list.
2. Buy the book. Okay, so you didn’t preorder? That’s fine. Buy the book as soon as you can. And buy the physical book, if possible. Ebooks are great, but they don’t put as much $$ in the author’s pocket, especially depending on the retailer.
3. Buy the book new. There are lots of great used bookstores out there, but used books rarely provide an author with royalties. Buying new means you are supporting that author’s career right now.
4. Buy the book locally…if you can. The publishing world has a serious love/hate relationship with Amazon, but we have a serious LOVE relationship with local booksellers. Pick up the book at your indie store or B&N whenever possible—that’s another surefire way to make sure the author is receiving the compensation they deserve.
5. Buy the book for a friend. Because nothing says “you’re a great friend” like a great book.
If you have access to the Internet…
6. Tell the world you read the book. Even if you only have 10 Twitter followers, post about the book and recommend it to your friends.
7. Review the book when you’re done reading. Reviews are essential to authors. Go to a site like Goodreads or to an online retailer to share your thoughts with other readers and inspire them to check out the book.
8. Follow the author on social media. Authors love followers! And if you love an author, don’t be shy about following them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, etc.
9. Share the author’s posts with your friends. Repost interesting tidbits the author has shared on their social media accounts with your followers. You may be able to get someone else interested in the author and/or their book!
If you have a library card…
10. Check out the book. Read it, and then accomplish the internet-related items listed above!
11. Reserve the book if it’s in use. Libraries respond to the way their patrons read and reserve books—you could cause another copy to be purchased for the library!
12. Request the book if it’s unavailable. No copy at your library? Ask a librarian to order one. If it is in their budget to do so, they could bring a copy to a shelf near you.
If you go to the bookstore…
13. Attend events. If an author has an event in your area, go! Nothing means more to an author than a room full of people who like their work. Get your book signed, snap a picture, and leave feeling like you met a rock star.
14. Be a bookstore ninja. Go into your local bookstore and search for the author’s book. When you find it, place it so the cover (not the spine) is facing the store. This is called putting a book “face out.” Customers have been trained to believe face out books are more important, and are more likely to pick up a book when they can see the entire cover instead of just the spine. The bookstore employees might get mad that you messed up the shelving, but that’s where the ninja part comes in. (RUN!)
If you can use the English language…
15. Tell a friend about the book. Word of mouth is often cited as the #1 seller for books. Tell a friend what you’ve read, and recommend they give the story a try too. Then direct them to this article so they can try 15 ways to help their new favorite author!
We’d love to see how you are supporting books and authors you are passionate about. Share your stories in the comments section below!
Jillian Bergsma Manning is a contributing editor for Independent Publisher. She loves reading and writing but not arithmetic. Follow her on Twitter at @LillianJaine or on her blog at www.editorsays.com.