Indie authors – 5 ways you can help them

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Since e-publishing and print on demand have become available, indie authors and boutique publishing houses have blossomed. There’s a wealth of choice and diversity that simply wouldn’t be possible with traditional publishing. But how can independent authors and publishers ever hope to compete with the big five publishers? They need your help. Yes, reader, you.
Perhaps the author is a friend or family member. Perhaps they write books with that resonate with your interests or identity. Perhaps you just really like their book. Well here’s five simple things you can do to help them succeed.

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5) Buy books from indie authors

Obvious, I know. But each time someone buys a book (whether physical or e-book) not only does the author get paid, but the book gets pushed slowly up the rankings. On Amazon in some categories the difference between the front page of the bestsellers list and not being in the top 100 can be a handful of sales. Most people only browse the bestsellers so anything that helps your favourite author get up there is a help.

4) Be social

Most authors (including me) now have a Facebook page and twitter. Follow them and share or retweet their updates. Chat to them. Comment on their blog. Not only will this cheer the up (it’s nice to know people are listening), but it will help others to find them.

3) Leave reviews

If you enjoyed a book, review it on Amazon and Goodreads. You don’t have to enter into serious literary analysis, just put a few words about what the book is about and what you liked about it. People are far more likely to buy books with several reviews than with none.

2) Request the book from your library

Although the amount an author gets when a book is borrowed from the library is tiny, it gives thousands of people access to that book. And using your local library helps to keep your local library open. Win-win! As the Manic Street Preachers say: Libraries gave us Power!

1) Tell your friends!

If you’ve read something you think a friend will enjoy, tell them! Post about it on Facebook and Twitter! Indie authors don’t have a big advertising budget but a sincere recommendation from a reader is worth much more than a Facebook ad campaign.