So you’ve been following an author who has a new book coming out (like me!). The obvious way to support them is to pre-order their book… but what if funds are tight, or perhaps you like the author and want to support them, but this particular book doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. What can you do?
Fortunately there are several ways you can support authors without actually buying their book.
1. Add their book to your Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ list
If you use Goodreads, adding books to your ‘Want to Read’ list can help a book get in front of more potential readers. If you go to a book’s page on Goodreads, under the book’s description there is a section titled ‘Readers also enjoyed’ that suggests similar books.
How are these books chosen? One factor is readers’ lists. Simply, if a lot of readers have both Book A and Book B on their Goodreads list, Book B is more likely to be recommended to someone who is visiting the page for Book A.
Plus, if you have friends on Goodreads, you might have noticed that you get emails about their activity. So when you add something to your ‘Want to Read’ list, this will be included in your friends’ activity digests, which helps them discover new books!
2. Rate and review the book on Goodreads
An interesting feature about Goodreads is that readers can rate and review books before reading them. They can even do it before a book is released!
I’m not recommending writing fake reviews about a book that you haven’t read – that doesn’t help anyone. However, you can give it a rating to indicate how much you’re looking forward to the upcoming release – five stars plus a comment like, ‘can’t wait to read this!’.
These ratings help interest potential readers in a book (like on Amazon, we judge books by the number of ratings they have and the average rating), and it also helps the book get shared among the Goodreads community via the updates about your friends’ activity.
The best part is that these reviews and ratings aren’t set in stone – when you read the book, you can update both based on your experience.
3. Rate and review the book on Amazon
Unlike Goodreads, on Amazon you can’t rate and review a book until it’s released. But once it is published, adding a review is one of the most meaningful ways you can help an author.
Amazon reviews have two key benefits – increasing trustworthiness and boosting visibility.
On the trustworthiness side of the equation, reviews help tell users whether a book is of a high quality, and whether it will be a good fit for them. A large number of mostly positive reviews means you feel safer in making a purchase – it feels like you’re making a good decision. And even negative reviews are helpful – this is a sign that the reviews are genuine, rather than bought, and can let certain users know if a book isn’t right for them.
On the visibility side of things, products with more reviews are ranked higher in Amazon’s search results, which means new readers are more likely to discover new books.
If you’ve read an advance copy of Powerless or a sample, I would love it if you reviewed it on Amazon! Simply set a reminder in your calendar for June 13th, and follow the link below to leave your review.
4. Share the book with your friends
Have a friend who loves YA science-fiction and fantasy? How about superheroes? Then let them know about Powerless!
Word of mouth is one of the most common ways readers discover new books. Goodreads has a good approach for automating this, but nothing works as well as a personalised recommendation from a friend.
This could be as simple as bringing a book up in conversation or sharing it in a message to your friend, or you could even post about an author’s new book on your social media profiles.
5. Share the author’s social media posts
Being an author doesn’t just involve writing books – marketing those books is essential if anyone’s going to read them. Because of this, your favourite authors are probably talking about their upcoming books on their social platforms.
Sharing their posts is a great way to spread the word about their new books. The best part? The hard work is already done – you don’t need to think of something to say, because they’ve already done it for you!
Here’s where you can find me on the socials:
6. Ask book influencers to review their book
If you’re a bookish person, I’m guessing you like bookish content. So you are probably already following a bunch of bookstagrammers, booktokkers, booktubers and book bloggers.
These influencers are always looking for new books to read (it’s part of their job description), and one of the ways they find books is through word of mouth. If enough people start talking about a book, it’s going to get their attention.
7. Ask your local library for the book
Libraries are a great way for authors to reach readers, especially if they’re writing for a young adult audience, like me. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge for self-published authors to get into libraries, due to lacking the connections of a traditional publisher.
However, readers can ask local libraries to order books in. If enough people request a book, a library will put it on their shelves, giving new readers the opportunity to discover your favourite authors.
8. Order their book!
I know, I know – this one isn’t free. But it would be remiss of me not to mention the importance of buying an author’s books.
Authors make their incomes from book sales, so buying their books is the most straightforward way to give them the support they need to write more books. It also means you have a shiny new book on your shelf!
Buying books can even help with some of the earlier items – if you buy on Amazon, your review will have the ‘verified purchase’ tag, which is more credible than a review without this. If you want to share the book on social media, you can pose with a copy of it or create a gorgeous bookstagram post featuring the cover. You can also help spread the word about the book (and the author) by sharing your copy with friends who might like it.
So if you like the sound of Powerless, I’d love it if you ordered it by clicking on one of the images below.