If you have a friend or family member who’s an author (or even if you’ve enjoyed a book so much that you wished you knew the author), there are several ways for you to show your support or appreciation for his/her work.
Doing just one of the things on this list is guaranteed to put a smile on the targeted author’s face. And making it a habit to do several or all of these things consistently could lead to increased success for the author.
Become a Facebook Fan
Liking an author’s Facebook page is probably the easiest way to show your support. However, if you really want to make an impact, be an engaged fan. What does this mean? Like, share and/or comment on the author’s posts.
A lot of Facebook users aren’t aware of how restrictive the site is when it comes to fan pages. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Posts aren’t shown to every fan of a particular page. I’m not certain how Facebook determines whose feed a post initially pops up in, but it is said that for every ‘like’ a post receives, 10 additional fans will see it.
- Posts are also boosted when they are commented on and shared.
- If an author mentions the words ‘share’ or ‘like’ in a post, Facebook downgrades the post and won’t give it the usual boost.
Follow the Author’s Blog
In order to follow an author’s blog, all you have to do is click ‘follow’ or type in your email address to subscribe. Then you’ll receive automatic updates when your friend or family member posts new content. If you have time, comment on a post every once in a while or share a post on social media.
Follow the Author on Goodreads
Goodreads is the perfect outlet for increasing an author’s visibility. If you aren’t familiar with the site, it’s a Facebook-like platform for book lovers. When a user follows an author, the action shows up in her feed, which is shown to all of her friends (just like a Facebook wall post). Goodreads also allows users to categorize books by placing them on different shelves, the most common being the ‘to-read’ shelf. Categorizing a book is another action that shows up in a user’s feed, so adding an author’s books to your to-read shelf is another great way to introduce her work to others.
Promote the Author
It isn’t easy for authors to promote themselves or their work, but it’s a necessity. Help by telling co-workers, fellow book lovers or even random strangers about your author friend’s work. You could even suggest your friend’s book to your book club. Ask for promotional items (such as bookmarks, business cards and pens) to distribute.
Attend a Signing
I know it might seem weird to attend a book signing event for your friend when you probably already own her book and when she most likely won’t have a lot of time to socialize with you. But trust me, your presence will mean the world to her. Plus, a book signing is the perfect place to spend some time promoting your friend’s books!
Purchase the Author’s Books
I have no desire to make money off friends and family, so I typically offer free copies of my book to anyone I personally know who expresses interest in my work. The other day, a friend of mine refused to take a free copy of my new YA novel. I can’t tell you how much it touched my heart.
If your author friend somehow slips you a free copy of her book (which I’ve successfully done a few times), consider purchasing an additional copy in a different format or as a gift for someone else.
Read the Author’s Books and Write Honest Reviews
Whenever I discover a new review, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Whether they’re long or short (good or bad) I appreciate each and every review that my books receive. Keep in mind, reviews don’t have to be lengthy – a line or two expressing your opinion is sufficient. Also, it is extremely helpful if reviews are cross-posted on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and/or LibraryThing.
What other things have you done to support an author?
My book received a new rating on Goodreads yesterday. Three stars.
Goodreads Rating Scale
5 = It was amazing.
4 = I really liked it.
3 = I liked it.
2 = It was okay.
1 = I did not like it.
While three stars isn’t a bad rating, it still hit me hard. I can’t help it. Anything less than four stars pushes my self-critical nature into a tailspin and my mind into overdrive.
After seeing this particular rating, questions flooded my brain for a good 15 minutes.
- Why didn’t this reader include a review?
- What didn’t she like about my book?
- What is this person’s average rating on Goodreads?
- Does she normally read books like mine?
- To what other books has she given three stars?
Craziness, right? Don’t worry. It was only temporary insanity.
When the reader in me finally spoke up, I started to come to my senses.
- Maybe she didn’t have time to write a review or maybe she never writes reviews.
- Maybe the main character annoyed her. (Chloe Thompson is unnecessarily picky at times, you know.)
- This person’s average rating is completely irrelevant! You have given plenty of three-star ratings, and your average is currently 4.14.
- Whether she normally reads books like yours doesn’t matter either! You read all sorts of books, and genre never influences your ratings.
- No two books are exactly alike. HONESTLY. Let. It. Go.
And when this entire thought process came to an end, I reminded myself that most of my favorite books have gotten three-, two- and even one-star ratings. All of them. Even books like The Hunger Games, Cutting for Stone and Charlotte’s Web.
I wonder if Suzanne Collins ever obsessed over a less than perfect rating.