Writing is a very lonely passion. You can spend a year or twenty writing something, laying your soul bare for the publish to see, and then you decide to get it published (whether you go the traditional or self route is entirely up to you). You tell your friends and your family all about your upcoming project and while you know they are 100% supportive – they may not know what to do to help your book succeed.
That’s why we’re here today, folks.
Today I want to talk about how you can help your fellow authors – whether they are traditionally published or indie. Because without YOU – the reader – our books wouldn’t get much farther than the printer! So thank you!
Just a little side note: all the photos you see in this post are of books from Indie Authors I have read and highly recommend!
1. Buy or Pre-Order their book!
I mean, this is a given. But I know some people gripe about the price of the book. It’s something that I have been agonizing over for some time: how much should I charge for my physical book. I know I will shell out $30 for a new Sarah J. Maas novel but what about a newbie like me? I can’t give it all away for free. Sorrynotsorry. Most of the price goes into the actual making of the book (unless you go ebook then that’s a different story). For a good quality book – an indie author has to pay for editors, formatting, book cover, registration, etc. A traditionally published author has the fortune of having their house pay for these things. But all that money has to be earned back somehow. Only a fraction of that money you paid for that book will go to the author – whose blood, sweat, and tears went into making it.
2. Check it out/reserve it from of the local library
But if buying it is truly out of your budget and you still want to support your author friend: never fear! Use your local library! If the book has already been released – ask them about it. If they don’t have it, they can put in an order and those sales will still help the author. If the book is still in pre-order, you can still have them reserve a copy. It’s still a win-win! You can still help your author friend without breaking the bank. Plus! Once it’s in the library, that’ll mean other people can enjoy it, too!
3. Ask a bookstore employee where it is located
Even if you know where it’s located – still ask. If enough people ask, then the bookstore employees will start to notice. They may even decide to read it themselves. And if they like it? You may see that book under the “Employee Picks” section of the store or they may even recommend to customers who ask. I know I have been turned to quite a few books because of recommendations at a bookstore. The store could even become a regular retailer for the author as well!
4. Turn the book face out at your local bookstore
This is a little trick a I learned a while back. If you see a book that you want more people to notice but it is wedged between a few others and only the spine is showing – pull it out and face the cover out. I know they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover….but the truth is: we do. There are a lot of gorgeous covers out there and if your author has one (I hope they do) – make sure people notice it. They will be more likely to pick it up and possibly even buy it!
5. Tell your friends and family
This is also a given. Most of the books I have read came from my other reader friends and they are ones I will continuously ask for more book recommendations. Even if the book isn’t the genre you would normally read – there’s a big chance someone in your circle will like it. Most books get exposure more through word of mouth than advertisement. You have way more influence and marketing power by being a fan than the million of posts an author could do about their own work.
6. Give copies to others
Books make awesome gifts! This can also be a solution if it turns out the book you bought just wasn’t for you. Say you wanted to help out an author friend but a space opera with a romantic subplot is just not for you. You may have a friend who obsesses over a story like that so why not gift it? Or if you have several friends – you can buy it as a gift or just follow number 5 and recommend it!
7. Leave a review
People underestimate how important reviews are. Not all of us have a tight-knit reading group so we have to use reviews to give us an idea of whether or not we want to read the book. Would you read a book that had zero reviews? Yeah, I would be suspicious, too. That’s why it is imperative to leave a review for a book when you can! Where should you leave a review? Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million just to name a few. It only takes a few minutes to write a review and it could mean the difference for one other reader.
8. Tell the writer directly that you liked the book.
What most writers won’t tell you is that our feelings about our own work comes in waves starting from uninhibited narcissism followed by crippling self-doubt…..and repeat. Hearing someone liked our book is like a balm to our soul. It really means a lot. So even if all you say is, “Hey, I liked you book.” I guarantee that you will make that author’s day – no matter who they are.
9. Follow them online
If you like an author – check our their social media presence. You literally can’t be an author today without a platform. If you really like an author’s work, you’ll find out how to get front row seats into their mind as well as when they will be producing more work! Do it! They put out all that effort into Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Author Website just for you!
10. Connect the author or book with your circle of contacts
I love connecting people. I love watching people succeed and if I know someone who may help a friend succeed in their dream, you best believe I will connect them. That’s why I am such a hardcore advocate for Indie Author Central. Their goal is to empower indie authors around the world to succeed at a higher level. It is our belief that indie books can compete with those from traditional publishers. Of course that requires that the author has the book professionally edited and formatted as well as a professional book cover. Literally what you would find through the traditional route – but the author has organized it all themselves. IAC offers those resources as well! I cannot gush enough about this group and I want to yell about it from the rooftops! If you’re an indie author and this group looks like something you would be interesting in joining – I am happy to connect you! (See what I did there?) First – go check out their website https://www.indieauthorcentral.net/ or if you prefer Instagram: @letztalkbooks. We would love to have you on our team.
Well, my lovelies, that is a quick list of ways to help your author friend. Seriously, this works with either Indie or Traditional – if your Author friend is a newbie, these tricks will be a huge help!
What other ways would you recommend in helping your author friends out? Comment below!
In the meantime, if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you probably already know this. My novel is a space opera called The God Queen. It’s currently with its editor – but in the months leading up to its release, I plan on giving you guys little peeks… If you want a behind the scenes peek, then sign up for my newsletter! Just click the subscribe button below!