There’s a bit of a misconception out there regarding authors. I know because I had this bright idea before I published that I would write something like “10% of all royalties will be donated to such and such organization” in the front or back matter of my book. Philanthropic, no?
Another author told me it’s a bad idea. Not because being charitable is bad, but because in her experience, people would think the charity suddenly has all their financial needs met because they are supported by an author, and all authors are, of course, rich and famous.
I was blown away a little. Do people really believe that? *squirts ketchup on a cracker that is lunch*
Maybe next month I’ll be able to afford Dijon ketchup.
Anyway, the point is, 99% of authors need every ounce of readership and reader support they can get. And the good news is, readers often support their favorite authors without realizing it.
Way #1: They tell their friends about the books they’re reading.
This might be more obvious than it used to be, but a simple conversation around something interesting you read could inspire the other person to buy the author’s book. Readers don’t usually know the authors they read, so they aren’t telling their friends about the book as a way to help the author, necessarily. But it does help.
There are lots of books with hundreds if not thousands of reviews. So do they need another one? What about that indie book you loved but has five reviews?
Yeah. They all matter.
In the past, when I loved a book I’d read, I would rate it and write a glowing review simply because I wanted to share my enthusiasm for the book, and I wanted others to experience the joy that was that literary work as well. I honestly didn’t think of the author. But I guarantee the author read and appreciated my review.
Way #3: They follow their favorite authors on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media they like.
This is a fairly new phenomenon, and one I think makes lots of readers and authors uncomfortable. There used to be this nice barrier between reader and author called “reality”. To the reader, the author felt like a a distant thing that pounded out word babies all day and didn’t deign to talk to the unwashed masses. Or something.
Now, if a reader feels so inclined, they can find the author online and talk to them! And the author is likely to talk back! I bet the author can recommend a good brand of ketchup for those seed crackers you have. Point is, readers and authors are, in fact, human. Make with the talky-talk.
Way #4: They share the author’s social media posts.
They don’t even have to be about the book, and they don’t have to be shared on the same day they’re posted. You don’t even have to literally share the post. In fact, it’s beneficial to simply hit “like” on a facebook page’s post a day later, because then Facebook alerts your friends that you liked it. Ergo, exposure for the author. Which is good. We’re all about exposing ourselves.
Don’t read too much into that.
Way #5: They read the author’s work.
Simple enough, right? Debut novels. Future novels. Blog posts. Whatever. Authors can’t possibly do what they love to do – write more books – without readers.
Do you have any other tips to add to the list?