Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to Support Authors You Love Without Spending Another Penny

First, let me say this: Authors love readers. You're the reason why they do what they do and they'll continue doing it as long as you'll let them.
I know you can only spend so much money on books - no matter how much you love them, so below is a list of FREE things you can do to support the authors you love.

1) Tell your friends. There is absolutely nothing better for a book's reputation than word of mouth. If you love a book, post it on your facebook, text your friends, tweet about it, pin the cover to your Pinterest, recommend it to that stranger browsing the bookshelves. Thousands of dollars in advertising can't hold a candle to a single devoted fan.

2) Post reviews & ratings. Everywhere. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Shelfari, anywhere that will let you. There are a lot of books out there. The more voices telling a potential reader "this one's worth it," the more likely they are to take a chance.

3) "Like" everything. Their Facebook page. Their Amazon Author page. "Become a fan" on Goodreads. Again, this is just another way for you to tell someone on the fence about trying out a new author, "Hey, this person doesn't suck. I like them; you will too."

4) Tell the author you enjoyed their book. Authors spend a lot of time in seclusion. They hear a lot of, "This isn't good enough." No, it won't help them sell copies, but your appreciation and encouragement may be just what they need to finish that scene they've been struggling with - which means that book you're waiting on is going to get done sooner.

5) If your library does not carry their book, suggest that they do. All libraries take reader's requests and most of them honor them. Check out the book, even if you've read it. Libraries keep statistics on how often a book is checked out - if it's enough, they may get extra copies.

6) If the author is having an event in your area, invite everyone who might be interested. Offer to distribute flyers and bookmarks before the event.

7) Read the book in public. On the bus, in the Dr's office, in line at the post office, in class (kidding... kinda). If anyone asks you about it or stares too long, tell them how good it is.

8) Like other readers' reviews. Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble allow you to vote on reviews and these often determine the placement of the reviews on the page. The more up-votes a review has, the more likely it's going to be read.

9) Fan art. This isn't for everyone, obviously, but if you're artistically inclined, create a drawing of your favorite character or scene and share it on Tumblr & other social media sites. Fan art says, "I loved this book so much I spent extra time just to honor it." And it literally makes authors cry with joy.

10) Bookstore employees, close your eyes for this one: Face the book out in bookstores, if it's not already. A reader is A LOT more likely to take a closer look at a book if they see the cover versus just the spine. Don't tell the booksellers I told you to do this.

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to make sure an author you love is going to continue to write books you'll love to read. Any other ideas? Leave them in the comments!


  1. This is a great list! Word of mouth really is a powerful tool.

  2. Yes, this is a great list! I buy a lot of books, but I also get books from the library. We can't buy them all, but the steps you listed are all easy to do.

  3. OK, yes I'm sure this is a big no no. But I've definitely like reorganized bookshelves at book stores to display books i think deserve to be bought and read. Yep, i'm guilty, guilty, guilty. :D

  4. I'm definitely guilty of facing books out on shelves and I sometimes get mistaken for a bookstore employee because I'll spend all afternoon giving recommendations to anyone within earshot. Great list, Sarah!!!

  5. Great tips! If I love a book, I try to email the author to let him or her know. I also Like his or her author page and follow his/her blog.

  6. Great ideas! I'm trying to get better about posting reviews to Amazon and Goodreads, but I hadn't thought about "liking" other's reviews. Thanks for the tips.