5 Wonderful Ways to Support Indie Writers

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!

SF Review: “Chinatown” by Chris Reynolds

SF Review: “Chinatown” by Chris Reynolds

Chinatown

1324524538

I recently downloaded the entire Monolith catalogue from Crushpop Productions. CPOP is a Los Angeles based indie gaming company that produces tabletop and card games . The Monolith is an indie publishing company that sprang from the CPOP game worlds; it boasts a collection of post-apocalyptic fiction serials and mini-series’ set in the Goremageddon universe, as well as some other unique fiction independent of the CPOP brands. Chinatown by Chris Reynolds is the second series released in this world (sorry, I read them out of order! The first series, Absolute Valentine is next on my list…) I will be reviewing each series and mini-series as I read them, as well as the Monolith debut Ling Ling Conquers GRAXXand I will be doing an interview with Neuicon, the founder and curator of the Monolith catalogue later this month. Yay!

I’ve been meaning to read Chinatown for a long time. I collaborated with author Chris Reynolds on another project and really enjoy his work. You’ll be seeing more from him here once I start posting his “Combat Clinic For Writers” series as well as, hopefully, the release of our co-written novella once we finish that up.

Now, serialized fiction is a thing I’ve become interested in recently, both as something I’d like to try writing and a fun new medium to read in. My tastes in fiction have shifted over the last few years to include a lot more short fiction, flash fiction, novellas, etc. as kids and career obligations have eaten into my precious free time. I even attempted to release my NaNoWriMo progress in a serial style last month (with marginal success). But Chinatown is the first time I’ve ever actually read modern serialized fiction.

I’ve gotta admit, I’m hooked. The episodes are bite-sized enough that you can just read one when you have a spare half-hour or so, and addicting enough that you can binge-read an entire season a sitting or two (kind of like the readers’ equivalent to Netflix). Chinatown is the perfect introduction to the Goremageddon universe, too. It’s a fantastic genre-blending mashup that will appeal to a wide audience, and you don’t have to have a deep understanding of the world to follow the story.

Chinatown is part post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller and part hard-boiled detective fiction. Episode One introduces us to Slade Tatum, a gritty police detective with the Chinatown Free Citizens Police Department, in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles safe-zone. The first season follows Tatum as he begins what appears to be an unusually straight-forward missing persons case, and ends up being the most dangerous assignment of his career.

The world that Tatum lives and works in is familiar, but the PA twist will keep you guessing. There are cyborgs, high-tech weapons, complex political machinations, explosions and firefights–not to mention the pithy dialogue and bad-ass characters you’d expect from post-apocalyptic ds320237970922626399_p79_i3_w640etective story–to keep you clicking your way through to the end.

But the best part is, it doesn’t end. Not yet! There are 13 episodes in season 1 so far, plus a bonus story in the Monolith’s annual Halloween release Corrogatio III (which is free! Download it here).  So treat yourself to a new writer, a new genre, a new medium, a new world. Give Chinatown a try!