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10 Simple Ways to Support Authors You Love

Monday, May 9, 2011

Before I was published, I didn’t realize how much authors appreciated readers taking the time to publicly support them. In fact, I didn’t know my support was important. And even if I had known, I wouldn’t have had a clue what kinds of things would help my favorite authors the most.

But now that I’m on the other side of the fence, with one published book out and another hitting the shelves in four months, I realize just how much it means when readers take a little extra time to offer their public support.

Yes, THE best support is actually reading the author’s book. But, if you enjoyed the book, you’ll do the author a BIG favor by taking the support one step further. That one step can make a huge difference. A reader’s word-of-mouth promotion has an enormous influence on pushing a book even further into the public eye.

The support doesn’t have to require enormous effort (like a blog review/interview—although those are good too!). In fact, many of the most effective ways to show support require only a couple of minutes of time.

Here are some the short but sweet things readers have done for The Preacher’s Bride, things I would urge all of us to consider doing:

10 Simple Ways to Support Authors You Love:

1. Write a book review and post it on Amazon. If you’ve ever ordered on Amazon then you’re eligible to post a review. It’s very simple to do and incredibly helpful (if it’s a good review!). The Preacher’s Bride has garnered several #1 slots on Amazon’s Kindle store due to the positive ratings readers have taken the time to write. (SO THANK YOU to those who’ve done that already!)

[Side Note: If you’re a writer, use your author name when writing reviews. This can give your name extra exposure. For example, Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont, put the first review for The Preacher’s Bride on Amazon (and she did a fantastic job with the review!). Now her name and book are the first that people see when they visit the Amazon page for The Preacher's Bride.]

2. Copy and paste your review onto other online bookstores. There’s nothing wrong with copying your Amazon review and using it on other sites, like GoodReads, Shelfari, Barnes&Noble.com or CBD.com.

3. Click the “Like” button on a book’s Amazon page. (If you're not sure what this is, head over to The Preacher's Bride Amazon page and you'll find it near the top.)

4. Click on the “Tags People Associate With This Product” on Amazon. If you scroll down on The Preacher’s Bride Amazon page, you’ll see approximately 32 tags. The more tags and the more clicks, the better a book will come up in search results.

5. Tweet about the book. Recently Pamela Trawick tweeted a noteworthy tweet about The Preacher’s Bride. In 140 characters she managed to capture the essence of her reading experience: The Preacher’s Bride is outstanding. Great tension, good pace, fabulous plot. Read it. (Thanks, Pamela, for a fantastic shout out about the book!)

6. Make a short comment of praise about the book on Facebook (or copy the one from Twitter). Twitter streams move quickly, and so tweets come and go. But on facebook, news has the ability to stick around a bit longer. Be sure to include the author’s name (when you use an @ in front of any name, it will make the comment show up your facebook wall and theirs).

7. Pass along the book to a friend or to family. And ask them to pass it along when they’re done.

8. Better yet, BUY the book as a gift for friends and family. For birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, or any other special occasion. Publishing houses keep track of every book sale. And each purchase is important to an author.

[Side note: If you win a book or get a free influencer copy, you can still buy a copy of the book and give away one copy as a blog prize or gift to someone. My critique partner, Keli Gwyn, purchased many copies of my book to use as giveaways.Thank you, Keli!]

9. Ask your local library to carry the book. First check if they have the book (you can usually look it up online). And if they don’t, next time you’re at your library, personally request the book.

10. Make an effort to pass on your love of the book. Somehow, someway tell someone how much you liked the book. Word-of-mouth is the best way to help support an author! The more times a person hears about or sees a book, the greater the chances that they'll pick it up and read it.

What are some other practical ways readers can help support authors? What have you done? Have you taken the time to publicly support a book or author you’ve liked? Or haven’t you given it much thought before now?

*A special THANK YOU to all those who’ve supported me in one way or another! Your help means SO much! I appreciate each and every effort!!

51 comments:

  1. It's so true. Before I was pubished I never really thought about stuff like that. I took books more for granted. :-)

    But now if I win a free book I make an effort to post a review on amazon and/or goodreads.

    I like emails too. I sometimes email an author to tell them I liked their book. I know I really enjoy that.

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  2. These are great tips. One of the things I do, whcih doesn't exactly help sell more copies, but I do think offers a lot of encouragement is send a personal note to the author. If a book really resonates with me, I send them an email letting them know. I do this because when my book hits the shelves, I'd love to hear from my readers in this way.

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  3. I'd thinking receiving notes from fans would be extremely encouraging, like Katie said. Books I love I try and highlight on my blog in my genre of MG and YA. And what I learned from them. I always write Goodreads reviews.

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  4. Jody,

    I love these and I haven't thought to do some of them before. Thank you for sharing this list.

    Going to go click a few likes now.
    ~ Wendy

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  5. Good advice. I'm meeting more and more authors now whose books I want to read, so I think I'll be taking some of these tips and running with them.

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  6. Hey Jody,

    What a great post!

    I'm not published yet, but i have close friends who are. Every time someone does one of those things for them, they squeal. It's so nice when your work gets appreciated.

    If we support others, them hopefully they will be there for us. Let's face it the future of reading and literacy and good stories is in the hands of all writers. Lets help each other through.

    Love your blog :-)

    Sarah Ketley

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  7. I think most readers are unaware of how important reviews can be to an author. Thanks for sharing that information.

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  8. @ Jennifer,

    Actually i think Jennifer is correct. As a long standing lover of books and reading, i would never have thought to support them by posting a review, or posting a blog entry about their book.

    Now i do, because i know the value.

    Thanks
    sarah

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  9. Goodmorning, everyone!! I think writers are some of the most supportive readers out there, mostly because we know how important it is!

    And I agree with those who said writing emails to authors shows support. I LOVE, ADORE, and COVET getting those emails!! :-)

    However, I would encourage those who write emails to their favorite authors to take it one small step further, copy your praise, then post it as a review onto one of the online bookstores. The PUBLIC affirmation is SO incredibly helpful!

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  10. This is one of the reasons why debut authors' groups can be so beneficial. The Class of 2k11, a promotional group of middle-grade and young adult novelists, has an ARC exchange set up. We read each other's work and either blog about it, comment on FB, Twitter, or Goodreads. I've started a monthly blog post I call One-Sentence Debut Reviews where I can showcase the new titles I've read and give away debut bookmarks.

    It makes me proud to be a part of such a supportive group.

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  11. Good ideas. I usually only review books on Goodreads. For whatever reason, I haven't posted those same reviews on Amazon or anywhere else. I'll get on that. I have people following me on Goodreads just for my reviews, so I must be doing something 'write'. ;)

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  12. What a great post, Jody. I post all my reviews on Amazon, B & N, Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing. Once you write a review, it doesn't take that much extra time to post it all over.

    As an author, I know how my reviews and a personal word from my readers mean to me. I'm trying to spread the good wishes by supporting other authors.

    Thank you for the mention in your post.

    Holly Weiss
    http://www.hollyweiss.com

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  13. Great ideas. I wouldn't have thought of some of them.

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  14. Great tips, Jody. When I write a review, I post it several places. It doesn't take that long, and I know it will make my efforts go further toward helping the author.

    Another thing I do to support my writer friends is visit some of the blogs where they're being interviewed and leave comments saying how much I enjoyed their books. That way those who haven't read them get to hear from a satisfied reader who has.

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  15. This is helpful information. I'm not great w/ this kind of thing, but I did review your book, Jody, and I passed it along to others. I should have suggested they write reviews, too, but I don't like asking people to do things. That's a hard one for me. I know for a fact my mom loved your book, but I never thought to suggest she write a review of it.

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  16. These are wonderful tips; I appreciate your insight from being on both sides of the fence! :)

    One bit of influencer advice I got from Bethany House (for your book, actually, I think) was to take the book with you when going out. So I did; it went with me to the salon when I was getting my hair done. I made sure I held it in plain view while I read it!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  17. I always find such great posts here, and this is certainly one of them. I love #10, in particular. This may sound sacreligious for a bookworm but I have almost ZERO books in my house. As soon as I finish one I pass it along to someone I think will love it or, if I don't have a specific person in mind I'll bring it to my hairdresser's lending library or pass it on to my sister-in-law, who has a huge lending library at work. Especially since I've been reading a lot of indie authors this year, aka new friends on Facebook and Twitter, I've been sharing lots of new books that aren't by the 10 usual authors everyone's always reading; they get snatched up quickly!!! Again, great post and thanks for the super ideas...

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  18. All great suggestions, Jody. As much as we depend on other writers for support because they may be the first one reading our blogs (and us, theirs...), our readers can be a huge support system. I hadn't given it much thought up to now, but you've presented some great ideas here to start to consider. Thanks!

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  19. Love this, Jody. I was just thinking about this very topic. The idea of making your Amazon review your real name is stellar--special thanks for that one!

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  20. Such wonderful ways to show appreciation and gratitude while helping your writing colleagues. Bravo!

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  21. Great advice for the dedicated fans. It's also great to start a conversation on social media to discuss the book/author. The more it's talked about between people the more it spreads. Plus, if you motivate your fans to share reviews/book to as many people as possible as part of a contest it can help spread the word.

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  22. And authors are so generous. I support those I know and read.

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  23. Thanks for this reminder. I review books on Goodreads but I rarely copy them over to Amazon. After reading this post I went and copied a bunch of reviews for my favorite books to Amazon. Hope it makes at least one author smile :)

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  24. This is an excellent list, Jody. You've presented some ideas I hadn't thought about.

    I recently read a book that was amazingly written but that wasn't my cup of tea in terms of plot. But immediately a friend who would LOVE the plot came to mind. I passed it along to her and encouraged her to read it.

    I think it's important for us to recognize that even if we read a book that isn't our favorite style, there are still ways we can support those authors and spread the word to people who would love them.

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  25. Great ideas. Will share on FB (which is where I found it originally!)

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  26. When I love a book I go to the author's website and post a comment, I link it to facebook and I tweet about it. When I don't like a book I keep my mouth shut because it is, after all, only my opinion.

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  27. Easy. Practical. And oh so encouraging.
    Thanks, Jody.
    And thanks for visiting and following my blog today!

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  28. These are all great tips Jody and I hope all the readers out there in your world of followers take note! Like you, I never really considered how important these things could be until I had my first book published.

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  29. I whole-heartedly agree with this great post! I am a self published Children's PB author and really rely on all of these tips...especially #1! If all of the people that purchased my book could just take the time to leave an Amazon review...how great would that be? I hate to ask that of them on top of everything else, but it's so important and beyond helpful in the marketing of books.

    Great tips!
    Jenny Lee Sulpizio

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  30. Hey Jody,

    One of the people on my flist linked to here, and it kicked off a blog post I'd been meaning to write for a while, so I also linked back to here.

    http://onyxhawke.livejournal.com/121521

    Cheers!
    Mike

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  31. Hi Mike,

    Glad that the post got you thinking! I tried your link and it didn't work. But thanks for linking back to my post!

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  32. Thanks Jody,
    You gave some helpful ideas I wouldn't have thought of on my own. I connected with a pretty popular author by posting a review of one of her backlist books on Amazon. I was amazed she even noticed the review, and when I emailed her a week or so later, she was thrilled to meet me. It was a great way to connect, and it all came from just being nice.

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  33. Great advice.I have in the past sometimes left comments on Amazon but had not really thought about how important they were.I will now make more of an effort.Thanks

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  34. Excellent tips. I always RT book-related tweets of all the writers I follow, and Share all the relevant posts by writers I am FB friends with ...and as I get more involved in writing and publishing, I hope to do more.

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  35. These are fantastic tips and are ones I practice as much as possible. And sometimes it feels like it's taken for granted by some. But I continue helping out where I can because it makes me happy to.

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  36. Jody,

    Odd, I double checked the link before posting.


    http://onyxhawke.livejournal.com/121521.html
    Any way its the most recent post on my blog.

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  37. Excellent post, Jody. Another way to help an author is to tag his/her book on Amazon with keywords, making it easier for other readers to find the genre/subject.
    I shared this link on my FB page (which sends it to Twitter) about this post too. :)

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  38. Great advice! Thanks so much.

    Greg Gutierrez

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  39. I have to admit your book was the first one I'd supported this way. I never thought of how a regular old reader, like me, could actually help the author. Before, I'd always thought the author was out of my league, and certainly wouldn't benefit from a regular person's opinion. But you've shown me the light, Jody!

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  40. Watching your book hit the shelves was the first time I had even thought about writing. Now I've written four novels and I've let my blog just blow up and support all the writers and authors I know and love.

    It's so cool to see the support pay off and all the authors really thank you for doing something as simple as posting a review.

    If you love it why aren't you telling people? Before I wouldn't post a review at all. Now I'll hop on to The Book Depository, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads and let everyone know they should get their hands on that book!

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  41. Great list, Jody. You'd think, as an author of over 50 novels, I'd know all this, and I do, sort of, but never thought of sharing it with my lovely readers. Your list nails it down beautifully. I'm going to mention your blog/list in my newsletter.

    Thank you!

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  42. One you missed - and that I only discovered recently - is that borrowing a book from a public library also generates some income for the author. I've no idea how this works, much less how much income it generates, so I may be wrong.

    If I'm right, then simply borrowing a book and having the pleasure of reading it will also benefit the author whose work you like.

    Roger Beaumont, Keighley, W Yorks

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  43. I'm more than happy to show my support for the authors that I read and love.

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  44. Wonderful post - which I found via Janice Hardy's blog, "The Other Side of the Story." My way to share the love? Repost (but only a teaser so people will visit your page and read more about THE PREACHERS'S BRIDE and THE DOCTOR'S LADY - hope that's okay), which I did at: http://dulemba.blogspot.com/2011/05/other-side-of-story-supporting-authors.html . :) e

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  45. Thanks for reposting, Elizabeth! I'll try to swing by!

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  46. Dear Jody,

    Your recommendations are truly brilliant! I wish I had written something like them on my Website. People seem to think that after an author has sold a lot of books that she/he is immune to mean, hateful things that people say in reviews. When I started my Edilean series, I planned to write about the small town from the seventeen hundreds to the present. I had plots outlined for many books, with lots of secrets mentioned in one book, then explained in another. When my contemporary people didn't know why something was the way it was, I wanted my readers to know.

    But what happened was Amazon.com. Women who loved the book didn't write a good review. If they wrote at all, it was a sentence or two. But others, with lots of malice, wrote horrible things about my books, my characters, and me personally. I couldn't make myself stop reading the dreadful things. Contrary to what was said about me --- that now I pay other people to write for me. How ridiculous is that?! --- I was truly hurt by what was written --- which I'm sure was their intention. I cried a lot, and in the end I couldn't go on with my series. I have one more book to write in it, then I'm not going to write about Edilean anymore. My genealogy charts with over 450 characters will lie untouched. I won't put the hundreds of pages of notes into books.

    I'm not going to follow the advice of those women who wrote such horrible things about me and give up writing, but I am vowing to never again read Amazon.com.

    Thank you very much for writing what you did. You said everything with a kindness and calm that I could never manage.

    Jude Deveraux

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  47. I love your suggestions! Readers often don't realize how important they are to the success of the book.

    Good luck with your next book! I hope it is a huge success.

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  48. Thank you so much, Veronica! :-)

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  49. Thanks for sharing these tips. I'm going to try to be better about doing them. Right now, I'm sharing this on Facebook.

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  50. Great article. Well written and very useful. Thanks alot!

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  51. Jody, this is a great post. In addition to some of the things you mention, I've also pinned my friend's books to Pinterest boards. Anything you can do to get a book noticed/mentioned for another author is helpful. Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas here.

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