Monday, June 20, 2016

How to Support Your Local Authors

Well, tomorrow is the big day, folks. My first novel shall be released upon the world!

In anticipation of that, I thought I'd try and answer a question that I get asked in varying forms more and more often, and that's along the lines of "how can I best support you as an author?"

Well, the short answer is that there are a LOT of things you can do--but some help more than others. Let's start with the most obvious (and I'll frame it referring to a sort of nebulous grammatically questionable plural-form author, because just referring to myself feels super pretentious...even though that's obviously what I'm getting at here...).

  • Buy the book! Again, obvies, but of course it's true. A few other perhaps less obvious things in regards to buying the book, though:
    • Having trouble thinking about what to get someone for a holiday/birthday/whatever? Get them the book! There is LITERALLY no limit to the number of people you could buy a book for ;-). This also goes without saying, but the more copies you buy of an author's book, the more you support them. (That said, I certainly don't expect anyone to go out and buy a bunch of copies of my book. Seriously, I'm going to be ecstatic if you pick up just one!)
    • Buy the book during the first week of publication. The sales numbers during the first week are what matter the most--they're weighted the most when it comes to algorithmic ranking and search engines, and it shows my publisher that they maybe aren't wasting their time with the author, strengthening the possibility that you'll see more of their books in the future.
  • Post reviews! Amazon and Goodreads are the most helpful places. Reviews are almost as helpful as someone buying the book. They don't have to be long, just a few sentences, but they help IMMENSELY. They're really a form of word-of-mouth marketing, but with the added benefits of aiding search algorithm placement.
  • Tell people you enjoyed the book! Word-of-mouth is still the single most powerful marketing tool. If you enjoyed the book, don't be shy about telling people.
  • Post about the book on social media, and/or re-share the author's posts!
  • Attend the book launch, signings, readings, etc.!
If you're looking for even more ways to support a local author, or an author who might be a friend of yours, Dave Butler (a fantastic author in his own right, by the way) compiled a great list of a ton of items to consider. Check it out!

One more thing. All of the above is helpful, but you should never feel obligated to do any of it. I for one would be immensely appreciative if you did anything on that list to help me out, but I don't expect it from you or anyone. You don't owe me or any other author anything. But, if you know me, like me, want to support me, and most importantly, if you enjoyed the book, then please consider doing any one or combination of the the things above :-).

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