by Shanyn Hosier
I’ll bet you have at least one favorite indie author. The one whose backlist you’ve gobbled up, the one whose new releases are an automatic one-click. The one whose stories gave you so many hours of so much enjoyment, you’re wondering how to repay the favor?
You’re in luck! Here’s a list of pretty easy ways to make your favorite author’s day (Or week. Or month.) I’m going to highlight just a few…
First, buy—don’t steal by downloading online bootlegs—their work. The most common price for an indie ebook is $2.99. That’s less than 3 bucks for a novel, a labor of love that often takes a writer months, if not years, to produce. How far does $2.99 get you at Starbucks? Or even McDonalds?
Being an author is like being a small business. Surveys show most of us make $10K or less a year from our writing. If you like a story… if you want more stories… then support and encourage your favorite authors and buy them.
But hey, not every voracious reader can afford $2.99 a pop, right? Do yourself—and your favorite author—a huge favor by requesting their titles at your local library. Libraries want to buy books their patrons want to read, and those purchases help your favorite authors. You can also check for titles by indie authors on subscription services like Kindle Unlimited. Authors get paid when you borrow their books there, too!
Another way to endear yourself to an author: post a review. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed (though authors love those, too)—even something as simple as, “I loved it!” counts. Amazon’s algorithms factor the number of reviews into search results and “Also Bought” recommendations, both of which are hugely important to improving an indie author’s visibility. Go the extra mile and cross-post that review on Goodreads, or any other reader review outlet you prefer.
If you really love an author and want to earn yourself a dump truck full of gold stars in their eyes, follow them on Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. Interact with their posts—even a basic “like” on a post increases the chance you’ll see other items they’ll post, as well as boosting the odds other users will see it, too. Go the extra mile and amplify their signal by sharing and re-tweeting their stuff.
Looking to take your author crush to a higher (yet still legal) level? Some authors have—or dream of assembling—a street team. Part superfan, part cheerleader, a street teamer makes a conscious effort to promote an author, building buzz for them through social media connections and other marketing outlets. What’s the upside for a reader willing to put in all that extra work on behalf of a favorite indie author? Potentially plenty, from cool swag to insider news to even advance copies of an author’s latest release. If that sounds like catnip to you, reach out to your favorite author and let them know you’re interested in spreading the word.
Shanyn Hosier adores reading and writing in the same way she loves breathing and eating, deriving a similar nourishment from each. For more information about current and upcoming releases, please visit her website, www.shanynhosier.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.