Monday, August 29, 2011

Support Your Favorite Books!

There are a number of ways you, as readers, as fans, as friends of authors, can show your support. Things beyond buying books. Well, of course buying an author's book is the biggest compliment an author can get, I think. But what about spreading the word? Loving something enough you want to share it with everyone?

Some people blog about books they enjoy. Others Tweet or reccommend by word of mouth. But there might be other things you haven't thought of, places to go to show even more support.

+ GoodReads
I've yet to read a book that hasn't been added to GoodReads, either by the publisher or the author themselves. GR is a great place to find new book recs, and thus great for showing your love for a book. Add things to your personal shelves so your friends can see what you're reading, what soon-to-be-released books have caught your eye, and many other things. Rate books (based on a 5-star rating) and write a review. Be honest. (But don't be mean on books you hated. Criticsm is not the same as hate-bashing. Authors have feelings, too. If you're going to leave a poor review, why not give logical, thought-out reasons as to why you didn't enjoy it?) I can't tell you how excited I am whenever someone on my friends list add a book I think looks interesting and makes me add it to my shelves, too.

+ Reviews
This goes along with GoodReads. Read a book, like it, post about it! It doesn't even need to be a huge, in-depth response picking apart every chapter and subplot. A short paragraph about why you loved it and why you reccommend it goes a long way.

+ Facebook
Let's face it (no pun intended)...a lot of us have Facebook accounts these days, even if we don't utilize them much. If you're an author, hopefully you've set up a fanpage for yourself/your book. (Note: Fan pages are entirely different from personal pages.) You know how you add things to your list of interests/likes? This is where having a fan page for an author comes in handy. Also, you can go straight to their page and "Like" it, which in turn adds it to your wall and your interests, and helps spread work to your FB friends.

+ Twitter
Like FB, so many of us are on Twitter...and pretty damn active on it. Utilize this! I've also found a lot of authors and books (and met a lot of awesome people) via Twitter. Many people link their GoodReads account to their Twitter accounts, so whenever they finish a book and/or rate it, a Tweet is automatically generated. When I see a friend has rated something highly, I'm always going to click to find out what it is.

+ Blogs
Follow your fave authors' blogs. Comment. Comment. It's sad seeing blogs with huge followings, but so few comments! Help promote posts you find interesting. Share them around with friends. Authors should - hopefully - have fun and insightful content worthy of sharing. Also, an author blog is often a good source for getting your hands on ARCs of their most recent books!

+ Book Stores
That's right. Book stores. Have you gone into your local indy store or Barnes and Noble and found the book/author you wanted was unavailable? Did you wander back out thinking, "I'll look somewhere else/buy it online/try again later"? I did this with a book I was itching to read, and yet my local B&N never seemed to have it. Finally, on my third visit, I marched up to the register and asked them to order it, which they were happy to do. Now every time I've browsed the YA section at that B&N, I see that book on their shelves, which means other people shopping are also seeing it. If even one person buys that book because I helped get it shelved, I feel like I've accomplished something.

+ Signings
Once upon a time, authors did signings a lot. Publishers paid for book tours and sent their authors across the country. Unfortunately, such things aren't possible anymore. A large majority of authors do very few signings, and even fewer tours -- especially outside of their own states. But if you know an author who is having a signing, help spread word. (Better yet: attend if you're nearby!) For a lot of authors, especially first-timers, signings can be terrifying, nerve-wracking things. ("What if no one shows up? What if no one wants to read my book??") Say hello! Let the author know you're a fan of their blog or how much you've been looking forward to meeting them/getting a signed copy/etc.

+ Giveaways
Another great way of spreading word are hosting giveaways. Maybe you grabbed an extra copy of your favorite author's super-awesome book. Well, you want people to know about why not host a giveaway on your own blog? (Maybe invite the author to have an interview while you're add it!) Someone might be on the fence about whether they want to read this book. But if it's being given away...sure, why not! They in turn might love it so much and start spreading the love.

+ Libraries
Editing this post to add on, as Jolene and Wendy pointed out (and I so shamefully forgot)... Support your local libraries. Hit up your school library (high school, college, whatever!), or the public library up the street and request books you want to see. Requesting one or two titles by an author just might get those librarians to start stocking other titles by the same author later in time.

This post was inspired because lately, I've come across some really awesome books and have been startled by how little exposure they've gotten. Mostly they come from smaller pubs, or aren't typical 'mainstream' stuff. (Contemporary works and thrillers especially seem to get the backburner; paranormal still reigns supreme no matter what people say.)

I strongly encourage all of you...if there's a book you like, an author you think should be getting more attention, help make it happen. Especially if you're an author yourself. Trust me, when you get to that stage of the game, you're going to want cheerleaders to talk about you to everyone they know, too.



    Request your local library to add the book. SO many people don't do this, and it's so simple, and costs you NOTHING but a little time :D

  2. Excellent suggestions! I'm off to do this right now as I just finished reading a paranormal mystery, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank and LOVED it! Supporting great books and authors is one of my favorite things to do. :)

  3. GoodReads needs more positive reviews, haha. I agree about going up to the info desk and asking the store to order a copy. That's always a good way to not only get the book you want, but also let them know they should be carrying it. Keep talking about your favorite books/authors, too. Pre-buzz is great, but it's important to keep mentioning them afterward, too. :-)

  4. Agreed (on all of the above), Kelley!

    Along with local libraries, you could also hit-up local high school and middle school librarians to be sure they stock it at their school. :)

  5. Jolene, OH MY GOSH, why didn't I think of that?! I have to add it to the post now!

    Heather, AWESOME! Good for you! I'm all over checking out that book now. :)

    DJ, yes, it does. And less people reviewing only half a book, like Jolene blogged about recently.

    Wendy, Very true!! I'm going to mention that in this post, too.

  6. It might be a little sneaky, but sometimes when I'm in a bookstore, I'll put one or two of my favorite books face-out.

  7. lol, Sarah, I do the SAME thing!!!
    Great post!

  8. Sarah, LOL! I used to HIDE books. If there was one I want, they only had one copy, I would sneak it onto another shelf until I could come back in a few days and grab it.

    Jessi, thank you!! :)