What are the two best ways to support local authors?

Starving author

 

 

I know this isn’t rocket science.

But every now and then we need to come back to the essentials of the book business.

First, a word of clarification.

What does “local” mean?

Local as I am using it has two meanings.  One is old-fashioned.  Local authors are those who live close to you. You have probably come to know them by virtue of membership in a writers group that meets in your neck of the woods.

The other meaning of local  is those with whom you communicate regularly through social media, i.e., your virtual friends.

What are the two best ways to promote local authors?

You guessed it.

1. Buy their books.  Come on, Steve, you say.  I would spend an arm and a leg if I bought all those books.

Not really.  We are talking the digital world where the going price for almost any Indie book is around $2.99. Plus I’m not suggesting you buy the complete works of the local authors you know.  Just keep an eye out for any new releases and pick up a copy.

Which brings me to another clarification.

What does buy mean?

It means you pay money for it.

You don’t wait for the book to go on sale for free and download it.

“I got your book, Annie,” you email the author.

Annie winces, knowing the book is free the next four days.

If you want to support Annie, buy her book when it is at its regular price.

You say, “I love Annie, but her writing just isn’t my cup of tea.  I’m a thriller guy, and she writes romances.”

Get over it.

The purpose of this exercise is for you to support Annie.

You don’t have to read the damn book.

Just buy it.

2. Review their books.

Okay, so if you write a review you should read the book first (see my last comment in step 1 above).

Be that as it may, we are talking about Amazon customer reviews here.  Two or three sentences is all it takes.  Four or five stars would be nice.

“Oh,” you say. “I would never post anything but an honest review, even for a friend.”

God bless you.

Please remember this.  A bad review hurts more than a good review helps.  That sort of thing is built into the Amazon algorithms.

Here’s my suggestion.

If you don’t like Annie’s book, don’t review it.  If you like it well enough to give it four or five stars, or maybe a good three stars, then post away.

If Annie knows you have your book and doesn’t see a review from you after a few weeks pass, she’ll get the message.

Trust me on that.

Hug a local author today, buy her book and review it.

She’ll love you for it.

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    Stephen, you are so right. It’s about time authors believed that the best way to find success in the writing game is to help all authors be successful. The public buys more than one book. The public buys many. So there isn’t a competition among us. There needs to be a lot of cooperation.

  • I especially like supporting fellow bloggers – I get so much value out of their posts that it is like a tip, except in a place where it will do them some good in the rankings.

    And even if I don’t like a particular genre, other people will – and I can support some of the other qualities of the book (and mention those in the review). And not mention that red flag, ‘I do not like this genre,’ which seems to be de rigeur by some reviewers, unless I can follow it with ‘but this time I do.’

    The only thing I worry about – and I’ll stop worrying – is that I certainly don’t want a quid pro quo arrangement, or the appearance of one – readers don’t like to find out about those, and I don’t blame them, because those reviews are often not honest ones.

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