In the past, I held back from reading my favorite author’s latest book until a new one came out. That way, I always had one to look forward to. These days, I have another favorite author whose books I’m willing to pay full price for. I enjoy his style of writing so much, I’d read a grocery list if he wrote it!
I confess, though, I’ve never taken the time to let these people know how much I enjoy their writing. Now that I’m published, I see things from the other side of the page. Writing can be a lonely occupation, and sometimes, the only feedback comes in the form of rejection letters. So I’ve come up with a few ideas for you to show your support and appreciation for any authors who make you look forward to relaxing with a good book. These are simple suggestions, and most cost little or nothing except time.
Ask your local library to order the book if they don’t have it on the shelf. This will not only mean a sale for the author, but may also increase exposure for the author, leading to more sales.
Buy a copy for yourself. I’ve been guilty of waiting until the books go on sale or for free e-book downloads. Becoming an author has changed my thinking on that. There’s no way to compensate an author for the months spent writing a book, plus the added time spent editing, cover planning and all that goes into publishing a book. But paying full price if you can afford it helps a little.
Compose an honest review and post it on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Christianbook.com, Goodreads, your blog or even your Facebook page. It doesn’t have to be a professional review, and it doesn’t have to be all complimentary. Be honest. Tell what you liked about the book, whether you’ve read anything else by this author, how the book compared to other books you’ve read, whether you would recommend it. Don’t be afraid to mention things you didn’t like. If you keep the criticism constructive and not snarky or mean, the author will appreciate your thoughts.
Donate a book to your church library. For children’s, middle-grade and YA books, donate a copy to their school.
Email the author to let them know your thoughts on the book. The back pages usually contain a way of contacting the author, and most of us are thrilled to hear from readers. Many will respond personally to a fan’s email. Go ahead–make an author’s day!
Follow your favorite author on social media. Most authors have websites and many can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Google+ and Pinterest. The number of followers on each of these social media sites can sometimes spell the difference between a contract and a rejection by a publisher, especially for a beginning author.
Go tell a friend. Or two. Or three. Word of mouth causes more books to succeed than any amount of advertising and promotion. So if you like a book, you may choose to ignore all these other suggestions. But please, tell others how much you enjoyed reading it. The author will thank you!
If you have any more suggestions or ideas, please leave a comment. Thanks!