Authors don’t earn a lot of money for their work. Only the very few and the very famous are rich. (Can we say J.K. Rowling and Nora Roberts?) While some are able to earn a comfortable living, many keep a “regular” job in order to truly make a living.
What would we do without our favorite authors? How can we make sure books we enjoy reading not only continue to get published, but continue to get written? I’ve read a few articles from authors themselves and I’d like to share the information with you.
How can we readers help authors?
The first way is the most obvious-buy their books! Buy books for you. Buy books for gifts. Paperbacks are still under $10 (mass market paperbacks, at any rate); the perfect price for that office gift exchange! While you're shopping be sure to keep in mind, when you buy used books the authors get nothing. While it may be nice to score a great deal on a book, you’re supporting the bookstore or seller, not the author.
Here’s an interesting fact, of which I was unaware until recently, if a book does well on its release day and its first week the publisher is more likely to contract for more books. If the book doesn’t take off right away, the publisher may cancel the series! Therefore, it’s very important to buy books as soon as they’re published. Personally, I think this stinks! There are so many wonderful books out there, with new series coming out all the time. Sadly, I don’t have the money, or the time, to buy them all, let alone read them all. I can’t keep up! How disappointing to discover an author late, only to discover there will be no future books as release day sales weren’t high enough.
If you’re a voracious reader like me, you simply can’t afford to buy all the books you read. That’s OK. Go to the library and check out books there. Libraries buy books and thus support authors. If they don’t have a book you’re looking for, request it. More requests increase the likelihood of the library buying the book in question and perhaps they’ll be more likely to buy books by the same author, or similar books.
Another tip I didn’t realize is to simply “like” books on Amazon.com. Simply search for the book you’d like to support. On that books page, right under the title and author you’ll see “reviews” and a little “like” button. Click on the “like” and you’re done. Easy Peasy! Amazon, and sites like it, has rankings which authors and publishers study. The more you like, the better! If you want to put a tad more effort you could actually write a review of the books, hopefully positive, and post it on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or similar sites.
Social media can be a powerful tool-use it! Talk up authors and their works on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy a book? Recommend it on your page. Follow your favorite authors on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. Check out the blogs and websites of authors you like. Read book blogs (like this one). Perhaps you’d like to start your own.
Spread the word. Invite reading into your home as well as the homes of friends and family. The more we share the more likely authors will be able to continue to write the books we love.