Monday, August 8, 2016
How Do You Support An Author?
"I like them on Facebook."
"I follow them on Twitter."
This is not enough.
Authors are struggling to make it. The sheer numbers of books being published makes it almost impossible for any author who isn't JK Rowling or Stephen King to get noticed. We're here! We matter!
How can you help?
Easy, peasey... and it won't cost you anything more than time.
1. Yes, like/follow/interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. (I think I missed a few). They like to hear from people who enjoy their books and unlike Kanye West, we don't disappear. Plus, by interacting with us, you make us visible to more people who might want to give our books a try. And who knows, you might just strike up a great friendship (but don't stalk, that's creepy and not the objective).
2. Even if you don't read our books, check them off on Goodreads as "To Be Read" (unless you've already read them). With growing numbers of people doing this, it gets us more notice. Kind of like that whole "6 Degrees of Separation" with someone connected to someone, connected to someone (makes me wonder if I have a connection with Anne Rice, Stephen King, Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, and other famous people who might read/mention my books....)
3. Leave a review! You don't have to love or even like our books, we understand (better than the cast of Suicide Squad who're pushing to have negative reviews pulled) that what we write isn't for everyone. Hey, I've shelved about 10 books this year already because I didn't like them. All we ask is that you fairly state why the book didn't meet your expectations; don't get personal, no foul language because that makes it personal, and don't b.s. (we can tell when you haven't read the book because all the details are wrong). An honest review, even if not stellar, helps people understand our books.
4. Want the book but have no money? Check it out at your local library. They've bought a legal copy so you get to read the book for free, the author gets a royalty so they can eat and make more books, and EVERYONE is happy.
5. Don't patronize pirate sites. There is absolutely NO JUSTIFICATION for going to these illegal, thieving, low-down, corrupt, immoral, amoral, scum-of-the-earth sites. If you want the book but can't afford it, see above- LIBRARIES. By going to pirate sites, you cheat the author. Then we'll have to give up writing because we're not making any money, publishers see this and won't offer more contracts, so we have to get jobs at Starbucks. Do you want that on your conscience that because you can cheat us and did, that you have destroyed a career, a dream, a LIFE?? Think about it (because Karma certainly will...) If you go there, we can't be friends.
6. Recommend us! Sitting at the beach with gal pals? Hanging at a friend's BBQ? Sitting next to a person on the train who's reading something similar? Please! mention our books. Like I said, we're struggling. We need help. Famous authors (see above and you know the rest) don't need you to gush about them; everybody already knows their names and publishers spend millions on ad campaigns. Mid-list authors get a few pages of 'suggestions' on how to promote our book from an over-worked publicist (if we're lucky).
7. While not for everyone, if you like an author and want to help, ask them if you can do something to publicize their books. Some authors are blessed enough to have 'street teams' which is one or more fans who help get the word out about their fave authors. (Bueller? Beuller? If you're interested, you know where to reach me...) This can be anything from talking about them, featuring them on a FB page or blog, finding out events where the author could apply to appear, to organizing a signing. There is so much work to making a book a success; if you only knew. It's not all 'show up and sign a gazillion books, garnering a lot of money.