Here’s a doable list of things you can do to help your favorite author (or any author, really) stay in the business of writing the books you consume.
1 – Request your local library buy a copy of the author’s book.
While libraries make up around a little over 1.3% of book sales (according to a 2015 Publisher’s Weekly article), they are still buyers. Also, libraries display books, giving the casual browser an opportunity to see the covers, blurbs, and so forth. At a later date, the browser might be more likely to buy the same book they saw in the library when they come across it in a different setting. Like Barnes & Noble. Or on Amazon. Frequency illusion (the appearance that something is more popular than perhaps it really is because it crops up multiple times) could lead to a purchase. (Here’s the article by PW, which also gives reasons why we should continue to support libraries: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/66106-the-case-for-libraries.html)
2 – Check out the author’s books from the library.
If a book isn’t circulating, it might be discarded and future books by the author probably won’t be ordered.
3 – Leave a review on Goodreads, BookBub, and the place you bought the book from.
Reviews help drive sales, even the negative ones. If you see a novel with all rave reviews, you might think only family and friends read it. The review doesn’t have to be long. It could be a few notes on what you liked about the book, what you thought didn’t work, or you could just…
4 – Leave a rating.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of writing up a review, Amazon now allows customers to leave a star rating alone. This is still very helpful for writers trying to get their work noticed.
5 – Tell your friends.
Just a word in passing. “Hey, what are you reading? I just finished THE ATLAS SIX by Olivie Blake and it was AMAZING!” Word of mouth sells books.
6 – Interact with and follow them on social media.
This especially goes for non-fiction writers. Literary agents/publishers want to see they have a good following before signing them. As for fiction authors, well, we could use the encouragement. Writing can be a lonely business, and our efforts a lot of times feel like they were for naught.
7 – Send them fan mail.
I mean, really, who doesn’t love to know they’ve made a difference in someone’s life? This sort of thing makes our day.
We’ve talked about helping authors, but what are some ways AUTHORS can help READERS? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or in my inbox: bethovermyer [at] gmail [dot] com.
Keep your nose in a book,