Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Support an Author

As part of National Reading Month I wanted to write a post on how you can help authors (not to mention, make their day!).  It doesn’t matter how good of a story one writes, writers need readers. Authors rely on their readers to make their living. It doesn’t matter if you know writers personally or not; you can still be a great help to them. How? You may ask. There are many ways that readers can help writers become successful.

#1 – Purchase a book. This is the most obvious way you can help a writer. Buy their book, but be careful not to buy pirated copies – yes, there are A LOT out there. I can’t tell you the number of horror stories I have read from authors whose work is in print or in ebook form and they are receiving nothing from it. I read one such story just this morning. If you are given a copy, buy a copy to give away. If you don't see it at your local bookstore, ask about it. Sometimes it may need to be ordered. If stores get repeated requests for a certain book they will consider putting it on the shelves.

 #3 – Spread the word. Tell other people you know about the book if you enjoy it. Of course no one wants you to promote a book that you don’t like. But when you do enjoy a book tell your friends. Tell everyone you know that likes to read.

 #4 – Write a review. This is where you become the writer, but don’t get obsessed about everything sounding just right (that’s our job!). When you write a review to post on sites such as Amazon or Goodreads just tell what’s on your heart. Your words don’t need to be fancy or long winded. Many of these sites allow you to give your opinion based on a number of stars. Reviews help boost ratings and also help other readers decide if that is a book they want to purchase. Many people may not have heard about the book before until the review popped up on their screen.

#5 – Follow. If your favorite author has a blog, website, Goodreads profile, or a Facebook page that can be followed do so. Numbers at least help an author feel good about himself. Numbers say that people have visited and liked what they saw.

#6 – Respond. When authors have contests, participate. Many authors host contests on their blogs when new books come out. These contests are usually fun and require very little from you. Leave a comment on a post you enjoyed. Let the author know you are a part of her life.

#7 – Share. Blogs make it so simple to share. Many times all you have to do is click a button at the end of the post and you can share in any number of places such as Facebook or Twitter, just to name a couple. Click on those buttons to share with others who might need to read that post. Facebook also makes it easy to share posts; simply click “share” and you have broadened the scope of the author’s reach.

So, this National Reading Month do some of these things to spread the word about one of your favorite authors. It takes very little of your time, but I guarantee the author will be smiling all day long!

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