8 Ways to Support Author Buddies on a Budget

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Today, I thought I’d touch on all the ways you can support an author buddy without breaking the bank.

As an author, my income is in the 4 digits.So buying paperbacks is a luxury.

But I want to support my friends that are traditionally published and indie published.

What’s a girl to do?

1) If you can’t afford the Kindle version, go to your local library and request that they carry the book as a paperback or ebook.

It may result in a book sale for your author friend and now you can read a free copy of the book.

2) Offer to put out bookmarks in your area for the author.

Most authors are using their own dollars for promotion. They can’t be everywhere. They will gratefully send you swag and bookmarks to put out at libraries and stores in your area.

3) If you read the book, please write a brief review and post it to Amazon and Goodreads.

The more reviews on Amazon, the more Amazon promotes the book for the author. Authors need at least 30-50 reviews to get that attention from Amazon. Amazon then promotes the book to targeted readers. Libraries and readers look to Goodreads reviews when making purchasing decisions too.

4) Tell people about the book on Facebook, Twitter, and in person. Word of Mouth is gold!

Readers are influenced by their friends. If you like a book, please sing its praises in person and on social media. 

5) If an author comes to your area, make an effort to attend their event.

Authors travel on their own dime. If they are traveling to your area and invite you to an event, do your best to attend. It helps to have a friendly face in the audience. 

6) If you have a book club or know a book club, suggest that they read the book.

Authors love book clubs and many will happily attend in person or Skype video chat with a book club. 

7) If you have an Amazon credit card, use your points to splurge on a paperback.

Books are my one indulgence.  I use my Amazon points from buying gas and food to get books by my favorite authors for free. 

8) If you have a blog, offer them a spot for their blog tour.

Blog tours are tough to put together. Offering your space is a godsend to an author. 

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74 Responses to 8 Ways to Support Author Buddies on a Budget

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's New (to me) Authors Blog and commented:
    Here are some great ideas 🙂

  2. davidprosser says:

    You could add that Interviewing an Author for your blog might help both of you. Your twitter followers will get to meet the author and the authors twitter followers get to red your blog.If you’re a writer too it means more people get to see your book.
    xxx Massive Hugs Kourtney xxx

    • Very true David. I think that fits nicely under the umbrella of #8 as another way of helping an author on their blog tour. Interviews are an important part it. And the Twitter aspect is a good tie in to mention too! 🙂

  3. Very nice, succinct list, Kourtney. I’ve been amazed at how some readers really don’t know the value of some of your suggestions to authors, such as passing word along and leaving reviews. Thank you for taking the time to compile and post this list.

    • Thanks Valerie. 🙂 Having lots of author friends and being one myself, I thought about our budgets as readers and tried to balance it with how we can support each other. Leaving reviews is so so important but it’s one of the hardest things to motivate readers to do. I think it’s because they don’t realize how important it is. Even just a few bullet points helps tremendously.

  4. Reblogged this on chrismcmullen and commented:
    Great advice, and the first tip is a cool idea. 🙂

  5. sknicholls says:

    Reblogged this on mybrandofgenius and commented:
    Kourtney has some cool ideas on supporting authors. Take a read. It’s a quick article.

  6. Great list, Kourtney. I love the idea of getting the local libraries involved.

  7. Elle Knowles says:

    One step at a time is what it takes to get your book out there – and diligence. Very good tips!

    • Very true Elle. I am building my readership and trying to support other author’s as they build theirs. Thank you so much! I tried to share inexpensive ways to help an author out because I think readers really do want to help authors but they can’t buy every book by every author they like.

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Great suggestions. Word of mouth and reviews are two of the things that I think can really help authors out. I love it when someone tells me they gave my book to someone at work or a family member when they were done reading it because they thought the person would like it. That can be tricky when one’s main source of books are e-books, but that word of mouth is still critical.

  9. Christi says:

    These are some really great points. I always forget about offering your blog as a blog tour stop; it’s a great reminder that there’s always more you can do to help!

    • Thanks. I tried to think of what helped me and what would help other authors. It helps the author get in front of a new audience. Plus it introduces the author’s followers to your blog. And that there are things that don’t cost money, just some time. 🙂

  10. Patti Hall says:

    Great post. I live on a tiny pension and try to buy 1 inexpensive writer/friend book a month. Here’s another way to get their book: get on Goodreads and sign up for the giveaways. I have been winning, reading and reviewing books that way.
    The other catch is I (hate to say this) don’t feel good about doing any promoting of something I haven’t read. I know, everyone does it, but I did it once and was so embarrassed after I finally read the book. It was full of errors and poorly written. This is very sad since almost everyone I know is promoting a book. Yikes.
    Thanks again for the helpful post.

    • Thanks Patti! Very true–Goodreads giveaways are great way for readers to get free books. And authors hope that readers are like you and leave reviews. 🙂

      I can understand that. If you haven’t read a book, you can’t sing its praises.

      I’m in a similar situation. Lots of writers read other writers’ blogs. There are dozens of amazing books coming out from people I know and it’s hard to stay on top of them. I try to offer the bookmark thing whenever I can or my blog space. 🙂

  11. Mae Clair says:

    Great ideas, Kourtney. I’m always looking for new ways to help support my fellow/sister authors. Bookmarks was one I hadn’t thought of before! Thanks for sharing.

    • Mae, you’ve been super supportive of me. Please know you are next on my TBR list. 🙂 I did that for authors I met at Killer Nashville. Took some of their extra bookmarks and brought them to CT Fiction Fest. A really easy thing to do and helpful to my southern writing friends.

  12. Thanks for reminding us of these great tips! Hope lots of readers and friends of authors take the advice and run with it.

    • Me too Sue. 🙂 Reviews can be really difficult to get. I think readers may not realize how important they are to the author getting promoted and making more sales. Hopefully this post helps a bit. 🙂

  13. Sheila says:

    Nice ideas and they’re all easy to do. I really like the first one and didn’t know that about Amazon and the number of reviews. I’ll have to make sure to do reviews there and on Goodreads.

    • Thanks. I don’t like imposing on people. These are things I’ve done for author buddies and they’ve done for me–so I figured I’d share the ideas.:) Yeah, the cost of buying a few dozen books a year can add up. Luckily between Kindle and requesting it at libraries, we can still get access to great reads. The Amazon thing is not well publicized. Their algorithms are very hard to understand. But these were numbers I heard at a conference from fellow authors and publicists. It doesn’t need to be lots even just bullet points help. The Goodreads reviews show up on World Cat which is what many libraries have.

  14. Great advice! I’d love to see my own book in the local library.

    • Thanks. If your an author on Goodreads, you can see which libraries in World Cat carry your book. It’s pretty cool. Mine is in Chicago, Philadelphia, Madison, and a few smaller towns and cities. 🙂

  15. jmmcdowell says:

    I’m glad to say I’ve covered a few of these! 🙂 I still have the flyer for Six Train posted on my office cube and gladly tell people about it when they stop by.

    If someone does have the paper copy, carrying it around is another way to generate interest. On one trip to the dentist, I happened to have another blogger’s book with me. My dentist asked me about it and wanted to check it out. That visible presence and word of mouth really do make a difference!

    Great to see the reblogs for thist post!

    • JM, I believe you’ve covered all of the most important ones. Seriously, you went so far above! I can’t thank you enough. Aw, that is an awesome flyer. Thank you!

      Oh that’s another great idea–just carrying it around can be advertising for the book. Definitely have to ask friends to read it at their doctor’s offices. 😉

      I was really happy that there were a few reblogs. I hope it helps other authors too!

  16. Geratd says:

    What a great set of suggestions. The one about the library is brilliant. Thanks so much for these ideas…I definately will use them.

  17. What a friendly thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing.

  18. These are great tips, and I realize now I can do more to support my author friends — you included! I need to get caught up on my reviews and post them! My Goodreads is linked to my Facebook account, so every time I finish a book or write a review in Goodreads, it posts automatically as a status update in FB. I remember the first time I posted a review on Goodreads for one of my indie author friends, a couple of my Goodreads pals added the book to their “want to read” lists. Made me feel good that I was supporting her! When you say offer to put out bookmarks in your area, where does one do that?

    • Thanks Gwen. Before I started promoting, I had no idea how much other people could help out with things like this. 🙂 The reviews are really really important. Especially for indie authors because they don’t have big publishing houses behind them to do marketing. 🙂 Very cool that you linked your Goodreads to FB–that’s a great way to spread the word.

      Even adding a book to your to read shelves helps on Goodreads. It gives the book more visibility. Little things but they can all add up.

      I would ask the author what her target audience is and where she would recommend. For Six Train, I ask people to put them out in their local library, local indie bookstore, nice hair salons or spas, coffee shops–places I think my readers would stumble on it. I’ve also taken to pinning them to the bulletin board at a grocery store or restaurant. So far people keep taking them so I keep pinning them up. If I’m going to a writing conference or a fantasy convention, I offer to put them on the freebie table for my author buddies.

  19. EllaDee says:

    I’ve never heard of an Amazon credit card. Indeed yes, all my points would be directed towards books 🙂
    All your suggestions are great. Writers, esepcially Indies, are really a small business and we all need to support small business.

    • Maybe it’s something only available in the US? I’ve had mine for years. Forget about airline points, I want books. 🙂
      Thanks. That is 100% true about indie authors being small businesses. We don’t have big publishers to help with anything. We are truly mom and pop shops. Great perspective!

  20. 4amWriter says:

    I think these are great ideas–some of which I never have done for an author. The reviews and word-of-mouth seem obvious, but I never thought of asking libraries to carry a book or to even put out bookmarks, etc. in my local area for an author. Some things to consider…!

    • Thanks Kathryn. LOL. It’s a great way to support an author. Libraries give an author more visibility and one library sale could result in tens of new readers. The bookmarks are a nice way of helping the author promote in different locations without them having to shell out lots of money to go there. It was part of my marketing plan to ask my street team and my oldest friends to put them out in their cities. 🙂

  21. Papi Z says:

    Reblogged this on The Literary Syndicate and commented:
    Excellent points and thoughts here. Check it out my friends!

  22. C.S.J says:

    Reblogged this on C.S. Janey, Author and commented:
    Some good ideas here 🙂

  23. Mayumi-H says:

    Thanks for these helpful and gracious tips, Kourtney. I’ve read folks asking for blog tour space, but I’ve always thought, “Why would I do that? Nobody comes to my blog, anyway.” But, I never considered that it’s a chance to give the author a bit of a break and – just maybe – help them out at the same time. Because you’re right – even one more sale or helpful review can be gold.

    • Aw, happy to share some things I’ve learned from being on both sides of it. 🙂 LOL. That’s not true. Even if you have a few dozen followers, they are a few dozen more people hearing about the author and the book.
      Authors need places to meet new readers and every single reader counts. Especially for indie authors. 🙂

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  25. Great tips, Kourtney! I especially love the word of mouth bit. It’s amazing how much one voice/share, etc., can do!

  26. One of the great things I’ve found about blogging is some wonderful new authors, including yourself Kourtney – and being able to make a connection with them and keep up with their journey. In most cases, I’ve made a connection with the blog first (though I was originally referred to you through JM) and gone on to read what they’ve written – then gone on to write the reviews or pass on the information to others. It’s great to know that I can help them out in some small way, while also giving me the satisfaction of having that connection with someone whose book I’ve enjoyed. It also shows that blogging does work as a promotional tool for your other writing.

    • Exactly, the relationship building has to come long before the book. 🙂 I feel the same way. I was so so surprised and grateful for the support of my blog buddies when my book did come out–they were the first to buy it and review it. And it helps a lot. One review and one reader singing an author’s praises to another reader is how an author following is built. 🙂

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  30. Pete Denton says:

    Great advice. The more help you can get the better the chance of people hearing about your book.

    • Thanks. There’s so much I’ve learned as an author that I try to do as a reader too. I’ve had sales made just from a friend saying to a waitress buy her book. It’s amazing how word of mouth can trigger a sale. 🙂

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