“I think the greatest support is just recommending the book to others—whether by word of mouth, leaving a review, or giving it as a gift.” — Ellen Smith, Indie Author
I’m an indie author.
So it’s only natural that I want to support other indie authors.
Maybe you’d also like to support those of us who are taking the nontraditional path to authorship. If so, then here’s how.
1. Buy indie books.
Super simple, right? It is.
As long as I have the funds to do so, I make sure to buy a copy of my indie author friends’ books. It’s best to purchase the book the day of its launch or during the pre-sale, of course, because that helps their book to reach essential sales benchmarks on Amazon that can land them on fun lists (such as the list of the top-selling books in a specific genre) which can lead to others finding their work.
Generally, the ebook is super cheap during launch. So check it out.
How do you find indie authors to support? Ask your literary friends (hint, hint, *points at self*). You can also find indie authors through Goodreads’ Listopia. Those lists are maintained by readers, though, so they’re not always the most up-to-date. But it’s a good place to start.
2. Write reviews.
No, I don’t mean the long blog-post reviews like I write on my website here. I’m talking about reviewing a book on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews are vital because they’re in front of other readers.
By reviewing an indie author’s book, you’re offering them a helping hand in recruiting other readers.
Does that mean your reviews need to be 100% positive? No, be honest. Your honest review will help that indie author also. If you loved the plot but noticed there were too many typos, make sure the author knows that. Chances are they’ve paid an editor and a proofreader to prevent just such a thing. If those efforts failed, then they need to know that. If you went in thinking one thing because of the cover only to discover the story had nothing to do with the cover, then you might mention that too. Because again, they’ve most likely paid someone to produce a cover for their book. If that cover is misleading potential readers, then it’s imperative they know that as well.
And if the story itself needs improvement, they should know.
Because it’s crucial for authors to receive honest feedback to become better authors. Now, remember, authors have feelings too. So don’t be a meanie about it.
3. Give indie books as gifts.
Books for Children
Children especially need books in their lives. There are two books for children by indie authors I always recommend. Those books are Nonni’s Moon by Julia Inserro (a book my four-year-old son loves to read again and again) and Fish Out of Water by Carole Holliday.
Carole has had a hand in animating all of my favorite films from my childhood, and she made a limited animation video for Fish Out of Water you should check out.
Books for Adults
For the adults in your life, giving a book can get a little trickier. But think about that person carefully, and you’ll most likely realize you know what type of book they’d most enjoy.
For the professional who is trying to become a well-known authority in their industry, I always purchase Aurora Gregory and David Pitlik’s Get Picked: Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Creating Irresistible Speaker Proposals. Whether they read it or not, your gift lets them know you are supporting their endeavors. But hopefully, they read it because it’s a great resource.
For fantasy lovers (think gamers, those who loved Game of Thrones before it was a TV show or those who thoroughly enjoyed Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit), then check out Angela J. Ford’s books and EPOCH Studios’ books.
If you’re looking for something else, let me know. I’ll try my best to guide you to an indie author to meet that need.
4. Tell your friends.
When you do buy an indie book and you love it, tell your friends about it. Tell them on social media, talk to them about it in person. Share your review you’ve written.
Shayla Raquel, an indie author, had a great response for how people can tell their friends about a book they loved:
“…taking a photo of my book and posting it on [Instagram] and tagging me” is helpful in spreading the word.
What happens when you do all of these things? Amazing things! Other people learn about these indie authors you love, and, in some cases, feel a connection to their stories. Those connections can be what helps a person through a bad day, an exceptionally turbulent experience, and more.
From the Indie Authors…
Do you know what motivates most indie authors? Generally, these authors can’t help but write, of course, but that isn’t what keeps them going. It’s hearing from readers who love their stories!
I asked a group of indie authors to share the most touching thing that has happened to them as a result of becoming an indie author. Here’s what they said:
“…a woman’s husband was dying and she wanted to find a book to help her grandchildren cope with it. She found my book online but at the time it was out of stock. She posted about it on [Facebook] and a friend of hers did some digging and reached out to me directly. So we corresponded quickly back and forth and I got the woman’s address. I then reached out to my friends to see who might have an extra copy and could mail her one. Within 24 hours, we had a copy in the mail to her. She then wrote about it later on [Facebook] and shared that the book arrived the day her husband passed. And she was so grateful for wonderful freinds from all over stepping in to help. Angels are everywhere.” — Julia Inserro, Author of Nonni’s Moon
Julia’s story is all about a young girl that can’t be near her grandmother—they live very far apart. Her grandmother comes up with a plan for them to still feel near to one another in spite of the distance.
“One of the most touching things is hearing how much a story means to readers. My novella, Myran, is a heart-wrenching, emotional tale and I’ve had multiple readers share how much the story meant to them.” — Angela J. Ford, International Bestselling Indie Author
Angela’s a prolific fantasy writer who also helps other indie authors to brand and market themselves and their books.
“My first book deals with some heavy themes, and having someone who’s been through something like that tell me that my book helped them move closer to being free of the past was an incredible feeling. It was like if no one else ever really cares for the book, it’s made a positive difference in this person’s life, and that’s enough.” — Savannah Goins, Indie Author of The Gwythienian
Savannah writes young adult fantasy novels with strong female protagonists who need to find their self-confidence while overcoming difficult circumstances.
“My newphews took my novel, The Suicide Tree, to school with them and read it. Proudly, they proclaim, ‘My aunt wrote this book!’ When I went to pick them up one day, the principal told me, ‘Your nephews wear out your novel. They read it all the time, just toting it around.’ I will never forget the impact that had on me.” — Shayla Raquel, Author, Editor, Speaker, Publicist
Shayla is the organizer of the Yukon Writers’ Society in Yukon, Oklahoma, and a seasoned editor, to name only two of the very many things I could say about Shayla. Her award-winning blog at ShaylaRaquel.com is a go-to resource for indie authors, and her novel The Suicide Tree is a sci-fi thriller. She’s currently working on another stand-alone thriller as well as a nonfiction book to guide indie authors through marketing.
How do you support this indie author on her journey to publishing? Reading and sharing my blog posts you enjoy is helpful. You can also sign up for my newsletter so you’ll know when it’s time to purchase your copy of my upcoming book. If you want to purchase it, that is. I’m a no-pressure kind of author.