I love books. I love books more than I love most people. But you know which people I love even more than books?
I love writers, whose tireless efforts fill my physical and electronic bookshelves to overflowing with more books than I will ever be able to read in this lifetime.
And I love readers, whose passion for words and stories give me a reason to continue writing.
So here are 5 simple ways that you can support the authors you love, and help us keep cranking out those pages as quickly as you can read them!
#5 Go to their events
Check your local bookstores for readings and book signings put on by indie authors in your area. Stop in to say hello at their table when you visit book conventions or other events.
But don’t forget online events, too. Follow your favourite authors on their social media platforms, and be sure to show up for launch parties, cover reveals, contests, and whatever they’ve got going on. Not only does it give them warm-and-fuzzies to know you’re out there, but it shows other readers that this author is worth supporting!
#4 Post to your Socials
Sharing is caring, friends. If you are loving a current read, don’t hesitate to shout it from the rooftops. Share a picture of your reading space on Instagram (show off that gorgeous cover!), tweet your favourite line on Twitter, or gush about your latest book haul on Facebook. The more people who hear about your fave authors the better chance they have of growing their audience, supporting themselves, and writing more books! Bonus points: Wow your friends and frenemies with your worldly connections by tagging in your featured writer. We love to be able to say thank you and geek out about other books.
#3 Buy our books
Obviously, right? But did you know that not all buying options are created equally? Here are a few things to consider before buying your next indie book.
- Where to buy – Buying direct from an author’s website will usually garner them a higher payout, but it doesn’t help their sales rankings on bigger book buying sites. Buying from Amazon, or other big online retailers, boosts their rankings and provides the benefit of a “verified review” (see #1). You may have to ask the author which they prefer!
- What else to buy – You can also help out your favourite author by buying other books in the same genre at the same time. This helps online retailers link similar authors together, and provide “Customers also bought” advertisings to other shoppers.
- PRE-ORDERS! – The absolute best way to buy an author’s book is to Pre-Order it. While this isn’t an option for books that have already been published–and of course authors want you to buy their older titles, too–pre-ordering a new release gives a huge boost to that book’s opening week sales, which in turn affects their ranking and visibility on whatever site you buy from. This helps more people find their books!
#2 Read our books
I know. Sometimes we buy way more books that we can possibly get through. Our TBR piles are dangerously close to tipping over and squishing a child or fuzzy friend.
But the writer is a strange creature. We put our hearts and souls into producing a story that begs to be read. We know we may never hit the NYT Bestseller list. We know we may never see our book on the silver screen. That’s okay. We can live with that.
But if no one ever reads it? That kills us. Our hearts flutter with excitement every time one of our books sell. Will you love it? Will you hate it? We need to know! Nothing is worse than knowing someone has bought your book and then never hearing about it again. Please read it. And then…
#1 Review our books
Reviews are the writer’s lifeblood. Real, honest reviews are invaluable. Not only do reviews help the right kind of readers find each book (and the wrong kind of readers avoid them), they help boost a book’s sales rankings and make it more visible to more readers, and they provide feedback to the writer that can be extremely difficult if not impossible to get within our real life circles.
Please leave a review. Tell other readers what you loved, what you didn’t, and what you hope for in the next one. We read them. We learn from them. We try to improve because of them.
And hey, if you’d like to review The Timekeepers’ War, you can do that HERE! Because you don’t get what you don’t ask for, right?
Bonus Points: Library Requests
In case you are looking for one more way to help out your favourite writers, here is one that often flies under the radar. Check your local library (or local bookstore for that matter!). If you don’t see those indie titles you love, don’t be shy. Make a request! Not all self-published books will be available to libraries and bookstores, but it never hurts to ask.
When you’re finished reading their latest book it goes back to the shelf, ready to be discovered by a future super-fan. Be sure to let the author know when your library says yes! You will make their little ink-stained hearts grow six sizes, guaranteed.
Brainstorm with me!
Can you think of any other important ways to help independent writers keep pursuing their dreams? Drop them in the comments below. Better yet, share one of your favourite books!
Please share this post anywhere you like to geek out about books. Let the great symbiosis between reader and writer thrive on!