How to Support Indie Authors (Indie Author Week)
There is nothing more important to an author—indie or trad, published or not—than support. I mean, we all need support, don’t we?
As easy as it may sound to shoot an author an email saying how much you loved their book, there are other, better ways you can show your support for them and their work. That said, I personally love it when I get a message from a reader—warms my heart more than anything else—and I’m not the only one! Unfortunately, those emails are a personal, private thing, and while they sure bolster us authors, they don’t help the book.
(So should I have titled this post “How to Support Indie Books”? Probably. But it’s not Indie Book Day on Saturday, now is it?)
Anyway, my point is that I would like to show y’all some simple but effective ways that you can support your favorite indie authors—or authors in general!
Review their book(s). This is the first thing that comes to mind, isn’t it? And there’s a reason why. Reviews are extremely important on so many levels—sharing your thoughts about the book with your friends and followers; informing potential readers about what to expect; leading fellow bookworms on the path to their next great read; spreading love (or healthy criticism) to authors; and boosting popularity. We all know that Amazon’s algorithm is triggered by reviews, reviews, and more reviews. It doesn’t matter if they’re all five-star or all one-star—if a book has fifty reviews or more, they get bumped up considerably, putting them in the eyes (and hopefully the shopping carts) of many more readers.
Follow their social media. Yep, this is an easy one. With the click of a button, you can really make an author’s day. Following authors on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, whatever social media platforms they use can not only keep you up-to-date with their writing, it can also boost the author’s popularity (I hate using that word; it makes me sound like I’m talking about cheerleaders in middle school or something). Plus, liking, commenting, and sharing a few of your favorite posts every now and then helps other people see more from the author. Who knows? Something you share might peak their interest!
Add their books on Goodreads. Ah, yes, the almighty Facebook for readers! (Which would be...Facereads? Goodbook? Eh, I like Goodbook myself.) There is no virtual tool more powerful and necessary than Goodreads. Why? Because it allows readers to connect with authors and show their love and support by not just posting reviews but also by simply adding their books to their want-to-read shelf, recommending their books to friends, sharing quotes, voting on Listopia, joining book clubs, and more! The possibilities, my friends, are endless. Start by adding an indie book that looks interesting, then see what you can do next!
Subscribe to their blog and/or newsletter! Most authors have a blog where they post updates, snippets, advice, reviews, interviews, giveaways, glimpses into their personal life, and more! Subscribing to their blog (and, better yet, commenting and sharing posts) will help them grow their following and show your interest and support...and you’ll get the chance to learn more about them and their writing! They also typically have a newsletter, and subscribing to it will keep you posted on whatever updates or opportunities they send out through email as well as give you access to exclusive content like free downloadables and stories! (That would also be a great opening for you to send that email we talked about earlier...just sayin’.)
Share about their book(s). Often when we think about sharing about books, we confine ourselves to word-of-mouth sharing. And while chatting all day long about your favorite books to everyone you come in contact with sounds like a ton of fun, there are many easier and more effective ways to share about books. Yep, you guessed it. Social media. Sharing quotes, graphics, or—best of all—a photo of you reading the book gets that book out there to all your friends and followers. Also, if you have a blog, posting the cover and blurb is not only super easy (#copyandpaste), it’s also really effective. Just sayin’.
Join their street team. A lot of authors have street teams or launch teams (which I talked more about in yesterday’s post) that come in all shapes and sizes—from Facebook groups to emails to Slack or Discord groups—and joining them will give you all the resources and motivation you need to help them spread the word about their books!
Request a copy at your local library. This is actually extremely important for indie authors, because our unknown niche books don’t just show up in libraries like traditional books do. They must be put there. (Okay, technically trad books are put there too...but that’s beside the point.) Sometimes by authors themselves (like in my case...I donated copies of my first book to my local libraries) or by readers such as yourselves who request a copy!