I had another post planned for this week, but I decided to change it up and condense it into a list of how you, as readers and bloggers, can help authors. While traditional authors don't need as much help as indie authors do, these things still apply. If you want to help authors you enjoy, these simple things make a huge difference!
- Reviews - Even if it's short and sweet, a review can be someone's deciding factor on whether or not to purchase a book. I read reviews of books I think I might like to see what other people had to say, and I've had plenty of reviews that started with, "This book had so many great reviews, so..." Even the simplest of reviews can make a difference.
- Sharing the right links - If you love a book and want to spread the word to your friends, make sure you share a legit purchase link. Never link to a site that allows you to download a PDF/Epub/Mobi for free. Unless the author/publisher has made the book free on a legit purchase site (Amazon, B&N, etc.), then it's a bad link. Don't spread links these links. That's like spreading STDs, and no one wants that, right?
- Tell your friends - If you love a book, tell people! The only way to spread the word is to talk about it, so let people know. If you think a friend will enjoy a book, by all means - tell them about it. Then you can fangirl together. Win/win!
- Buy the author's other books - I actually have a separate post written on this topic that I'll share soon. Authors appreciate your love for a series/set of characters. We do, I swear. But none of us want to be one-book/one-series wonders. We have so many stories in our heads to share with you. If you want an author to write more books, especially in a series you love, then support the author, not just the series.
- Personalize your posts - This is a big one that I've discussed so much lately with authors and bloggers alike. Blog tours and blitzes used to be the best way to promote a book. Now, those posts are like needles in haystacks. Tour posts are buried under multiple posts a day. Blogs want generic, HTML-ready posts (preferably with giveaways) so they can drive traffic and increase follower numbers. There's nothing personal about it. There's no connection for the blogger and the book. And people ignore generic posts. If you want to help support an author or a book, put a little effort into it. I'd rather you not even post if you're just going to slap a cover, summary, and giveaway onto your blog. (But this is just my personal feelings - don't hold it against all indie authors.)