10 Totally Easy Ways for Readers to Support Indie Authors

September 6, 2014
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You see the request framed in one way or another all over reader-centered websites – “Support indie authors.”

And how, exactly, do you do that?

Here are 10 simple and effective ways – and only one costs any money!

  1. Buy the author’s book.
  2. Look for the "buy" button.

    Look for the “buy” button.

    Okay, that one’s obvious, but it’s also the most tangible show of support. Most indie authors don’t earn enough to make a living writing, so every sale is important. With e-books often priced at just a dollar or two, you can afford to show your support this way often.

  3. Add the book to your Goodreads list.
  4. Adding a book to your Goodreads list shows other readers it’s a book worth reading. (It must be, because you read it, right?)

    If you’re not sure how to do this, Goodreads has these simple directions.

    And did you know Amazon now helps you find and share books with Goodreads on your Kindle?

  5. Write an honest review of the book on Amazon.
  6. Amazon review link

    Look for the link to write your review of a book on Amazon.

    It doesn’t need to be a long, detailed Michiko Kakutani review. A couple of paragraphs offering your honest assessment of the book is something indie authors are very grateful for.

  7. Talk about the book to your peeps online.
  8. Do you have a blog? A brief mention of a good book you’ve read can “hand sell” that book many times over. Indie authors genuinely appreciate such organic buzz.

  9. Like the author’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
  10. Again, you’re helping spread the word to your own circles of fellow readers that you’ve found an author whose work is worth reading.

  11. Comment on author interviews online.
  12. Indie authors need to take scarce and precious time away from their writing to give interviews (which is why some decline interviews in the first place). If you find an interview you enjoy — such as those you hear on The Bookcast, right? — leave a comment. Authors enjoy seeing evidence that it was worth making the effort to speak with that interviewer.

  13. Nominate the book for an award.
  14. If the indie author you’re reading is exceptionally talented, you can nominate their book for one of several awards. A Google search will turn up hundreds of awards to choose from, or there’s a short list of some of the big ones here.

  15. Bring the book to the attention of your book club.
  16. Tell your book club about your favorite indie author.

    Tell your book club about your favorite indie author.

    Indie authors are delighted when book clubs choose their book to read and discuss. Some will even suggest innovative ways to interact with their book so it’s not just a dry Q and A.

    Many indie authors will also join your book club via Skype for a lively discussion. And if the author lives nearby, why not invite them to appear in person?

  17. Alert the media.
  18. If you know of an indie author who deserves the attention of book bloggers, interviewers, or traditional media, tell ‘em! A brief and simple email is all it takes to “put the bug in the ear” of a media professional who can give that indie author more widespread publicity.

    You can contact The Bookcast with your suggestions for indie authors we should interview.

  19. Write to the author.
  20. keyboard

    Writing is a lonely endeavor. Authors love to hear from their readers. Again, it need not be a long and flowery missive. Just a couple of lines, offering some feedback and encouragement. Be aware, authors are busy people, and they may not be able to reply quickly. But trust me, they will appreciate hearing from you.


Do you have other suggestions? Leave a comment below to offer more ways readers can Support Their Indie Authors!


Book club photo – “Creative Commons AIGA WI Sustainable Design Book Club 1” by AIGA Wisconsin, used under CC BY

Keyboard image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Responses to 10 Totally Easy Ways for Readers to Support Indie Authors

  1. Kevin McCormick
    September 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    “Write an honest review of the book on Amazon.”

    I would like to boldface, underline, all-caps the word ‘honest’ in this sentence. While seeing the rise in the raw number of reviews is certainly a positive, indie authors often find their honest reviews drowned out by a cacophony of single-line, five-star reviews written by friends and family. While the supportive intention behind these reviews is admirable, ultimately it just looks like the author himself has intentionally stacked the deck and it defeats the entire purpose of reviews – ascertaining at a glance the aggregate opinion of the work’s quality.

    Besides, no author is looking for a pat on the head. If you thought something sucked, we want you to tell us. We’re all working to get better here.

    • September 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Well said, Kevin. Not every book is a five-star, but I’ve read and enjoyed many, many 3- and 4-star books. Constructive criticism is much more helpful than a “polite” 5-star review.

      • Kevin McCormick
        September 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        “Constructive criticism is much more helpful than a “polite” 5-star review.”

        My thoughts exactly. If you’re reading a book by a friend or a family member – especially if it’s a small-press or indie release for which reviews might be difficult to come by – the absolute best way you can help them is to pretend you don’t know them when you review it.

        On the subject of reviews in general, I will almost never bother writing a review for a large-press book anymore. I try to be extremely thoughtful and detailed in reviews I write, and it seems that energy is better used and better appreciated when directed at smaller, under-the-radar releases. I also almost never designate something as five stars. Five stars to me is life changing, something genuinely considered “great.” Four stars is excellent, three stars is good, two stars is mostly bad with some redeeming elements, and one star is just plain bad. In fact I almost never use the one-star either. That’s generally reserved for something offensive or morally repugnant.

  2. September 7, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I absolutely love these – so simple, well written and mostly fee and cost effective for readers to do!

    Thanks for sharing, writing and reading,

    Sarah Butland
    author of Being Grateful, Being Thankful

  3. September 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    A perfect list!
    Posting reviews, RT-ing links, talking to friends etc. all seem like no-brainers, but somehow people neglect these important steps. James Patterson doesn’t need your online praise. Indies DO!

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