I love my readers. They took a chance on a total unknown who was busy flicking ashes at the perimeter of her genre, and then came back for more. Indie readers are enthusiastic and supportive, but sometimes indie authors need just a little bit more help to succeed. There are many ways to support indie authors, and most of them are free and only require a click or two. Here are twenty of them, in no particular order.
1. Tag our books on Amazon. This helps us climb in rankings when someone searches for one of tagged words.
2. Participate in our contests. Sometimes we have free books to offer, and it usually only takes a click or a comment to win. Free!
3. Listen (or at least be polite and pretend to) when we ramble about our books, characters, or ideas. We are an easily excitable lot and we love what we do.
4. Like our Facebook pages.
5. Occasionally or frequently comment on our Facebook or blog posts. Don't be afraid to converse with us. Writers are people, too, and it gets lonely when people feel too intimidated to interact.
6. Follow us on Goodreads.
7. Follow us on Twitter.
8. Follow and read our blogs.
9. Read our books and leave ratings for them on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, or wherever else we have our books listed or for sale. It's easy, just write one review and copy and paste it everywhere else if you don't want to write new ones.
10. If you like our books, recommend them to others and click that little "Like" button next to the stars on Amazon.
11. Give our books as gifts. You can even do this with e-books now.
12. Bring us food. Or even well-written recipes. Writers need to eat, too, but sometimes we are too lost in the intricacies of Medieval dining etiquette to remember to make our own dinners. Remind us to feed our cats when you bring us food because we occasionally mistake feline hunger for scathing critique.
13. Recognize that we are not being rude by staring off into space during conversations and social gatherings. We are observing, brainstorming, and most likely mentally writing a bit of dialogue or a scene. We are not ignoring you, we are multitasking.
14. Provide constructive criticism and feedback if we trust you enough to ask you to beta read something. It's scary to entrust others with the contents of our psyches. If you don't like something, tell us why. If you love something, also tell us why so we can try to duplicate the effect in future projects. We want both the good and the bad so we aren't blindsided by some horrible and unexpected plot hole when our babies are booted out of the basement and into the world.
15. Be patient with us. It can take years to write a single book, especially since most of us can't devote as much time as we would like to writing. Some writers can put out multiple books per year, but many of us are slow and meticulous. We don't want to keep you waiting, but we also want to publish the best books we can and leave our readers both satiated and wanting more. Keep us on task and hold us accountable to our words, but don't rush us too much or you will be disappointed with the final book.
16. Mention us on Facebook, Twitter, or by word-of-mouth. It really makes our days when we come across a recommendation someone gives for one of our books. If you're the shy sort, send us a Facebook message or email. We love to hear from our readers. Sometimes it is the motivation we need to slog through a particularly vexing chapter.
17. Recommend your favorite indie books to us so we can help support other writers. Writers are also readers and we love a good book as much as you do.
18. Keep reading. Readers are much of the reason we strive to elevate our work from a hobby to an art.
19. Snag our books if we're running a free or cheap promo, and tell your friends. We run promos for exposure, but we need help generating interest.
20. Buy our books. Many e-books cost less than a cup of coffee, and offer far more hours of satisfaction. You can't re-drink a coffee, but you can reread a book as many times as you like. You don't even need a Kindle or Nook to read an e-book, since there are free apps for most devices out there. If you prefer paper, many of us have created paperbacks or even hardbacks, which can pretty up your shelves. After your read them, of course.
Thank you, readers! You are awesome!