9 Ways to Make an Author's Day ... for Free!

So ... hello again, internet. 

I'm not dead, I swear, I just managed to seriously get out of the habit of blogging in the last couple of months. I've missed it every day, honestly, it's just that stuff got crazy and then when it finished being crazy my brain seemed to have forgotten how to open a new post without having Pinterest available on another tab for procrastination.

I AM trying to fix this. Promise. Maybe a regular posting schedule will happen again at some point.

Anyway, the post. Introductions. Geez, I'm out of practice. Today, I've decided to have a chat with you guys about authors. Because, well, we all know they are the rockstars of the bookworm universe, and since we are unable to buy concert tickets for many reasons (only one of which is their general lack of existence) I figured it might be nice to suggest some ways you can support the artists you love with no budget because you've already spent all your money on books

There are nine, but make of this what you will - you could do a week and a bit of supporting different authors in a different way every day, have a day of incredible kindness doing all nine at once, or just pick and choose as you like. Don't forget to comment or tweet me when you do stuff, either!

Recommend their work to your friends

This sounds obvious, I know. If you're reading this, you're probably a book blogger, and spend what seems like every second of every day shoving books into people's faces. But if you do that, then you know how important trusted recommendations can be to sales. If you know someone who you really think is going to like a book you love, then waste no time forcing them to devour it.

In the terrible case your friends aren't bookwormy enough to throw paperbacks at (or you've run out of people who are willing to read it), then there are other ways to drum up support. For instance ...

Write a review

It can be scary if you've never written a review before, but once you sit down to write about a book you adore it will just pour out of you - probably not coherently, but as long as people can get a general sense of how awesome it is then that's okay.

Go to your local bookshop - suggest it to people who can't decide what to buy

Yes, this sounds absolutely bonkers, but it can be brilliant fun if you're sensible about it. Don't be rude or freak anyone out - and definitely don't put yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe or uncomfortable - but even just sneakily rearranging the shelves so your favourite is facing out can encourage people to pick it up.

Failing that, you could always just go and buy more books.

Send them links to your nice reviews

Only your nice ones, mind. In the not-so-rare event that I write a review which is 100% positive (or incredibly close) then I do tweet them about it. It's up to them whether they want to read it or not, of course, but I want to make my appreciation known.

(If you're struggling to establish whether a review qualifies as "nice" or not, then I find this post from Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf to be very helpful.)

Cross post! Cross post it all!

As I type this right now, the next thing on my to-do list is to copy-paste a bunch of my Goodreads reviews and transfer them to Amazon. Because, do you know what? That's literally all you have to do. There's no pressure to rewrite for the different audiences or anything - and almost every author I've ever had an in-depth chat with about my reviews has asked if I could cross-post to Amazon. That's how important it is for those who are umming and erring about whether to press the buy button to see a positive opinion.

And, yes, authors aren't just in it for the money. But they still need to, you know, eat? Apparently you're not allowed to pay for food with good intentions anymore?

When you like their book, tweet them about it

No. You're not going to annoy them. You're not going to seem selfish when they just have to take a second or two out of their day to like it or even reply. Unless they're J.K. Rowling, I can absolutely assure you that they're not being sent so many tweets that it becomes a chore.

Put it this way - if you'd written a book, would you want the people who loved it to keep quiet because they fear you, or would you want to have a conversation with them? I mean ... you know how amazing it is to fangirl about other people's books with awesome folks on the internet. Can you imagine how mind-blowing it would be to fangirl about your own?

Ask them how their latest book is going

You'll probably get a lot of pterodactyl screeching and angst, but at least they'll know you care.

Request their book(s) at your local library

Or, you know, all the libraries. ALL THE LIBRARIES IN THE WORLD. 

If a book gets requested at a library and the decision-making librarian likes the sound of it, then it has to be bought (Yay royalties!), either from the publishers or library services. And THEN its presence on the library shelves encourages word of mouth (as well as allowing readers with small book budgets to experience it, which of course is wildly important).

Win win, yes?

UPDATE: The lovely Cee Arr from Diary of a Reading Addict has just informed me that, in countries with a Public Lending Right (PLR) programme (which includes the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) authors, authors get paid a small amount for every book of theirs is borrowed from a public library.

If you're an author, you might have to get registered in order to receive these payments; check this page to see a full list of countries with a PLR, and if you're published in any of them make sure you look up what you need to do to register in that country!

Readers, you can be safe in the knowledge that you're not cheating your favourite authors when you borrow instead of buying.

Follow them on social media

This is particularly important for more up-and-coming authors, since nowadays publishing houses like to see prospective authors with big social media followings - if you love their writing and want to see more of it, then this is a great way to support them.

Support campaigns for authors' rights

Remember that thing I said before about noble intentions and devotion to your craft not being exchangeable for food and other life essentials? You know, that money is important for survival?

Yeah. That.

Authors are amazing people. They work incredibly hard at what is not only a dream job but an incredibly difficult (and important) one. It entertains us. And do you know how important entertainment - escape - is in the world we're living in right now? These people deserve proper pay and respect. Sometimes they get it ... sometimes they don't.

So please. Support authors who ask for pay to speak at conferences and fight for their right to be identified as the author of their own work. Being an artist is amazing, but it's hard work and people get taken advantage of, or even just not appreciated. They need those who love their art to have their back.
In the comments: How do you guys like to make an author's day? Have you ever used any of the techniques here? Which ones would make you smile the most?
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  1. Great post, Lara! Aside from buying books, there is so much we can do to support an author's work, but it's easy to forget. ^_^

    1. Why thank you my dear ^_^. I'm glad to have at least jogged your memory.

  2. Yes yes yes, I love all of these! I've definitely had more than a few conversations with strangers at bookshops who were looking for suggestions, especially for their teenage daughters after they saw me with a gigantic stack of books in my arms. My favorite thing is when someone sends me a tweet or comments on my blog to say they liked something I wrote. And reviews! All the reviews! They're so much fun to write and read. :)

    1. Oh, I seem to be a magnet for parents unsure what to buy their children at bookshops. I think I spend so much time taking books off the shelf and putting them back that people assume I work there? Honestly, I think we need to start charging for our services.


  3. In the UK, the author receives a small fee (with a cap of £6000-ish per year) every time their book is lent out from the library :)

    1. Wow, did not know that! It definitely makes me feel better to be borrowing books from the library when I'm broke if I know the author is getting a cut ... would you mind if I edited the post to put this in?

    2. No, go ahead! It's only applicable in some countries though, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Lending_Right> more info here</a>

    3. Right! Coded it right that time, lol! XD

    4. YAY! Thanks for the link and extra info - I'll work it in now.


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