It’s an encouraging question I’ve asked personally and have been asked more lately: How can I support an author I love? We’re asking for transparency, because life has taught us that sometimes just doing the most obvious thing isn’t always as supportive as we want it to be, right?
It’s like the first time I found out what musicians make when I stream their music… yikes. (In case you didn’t know, it’s not NEARLY enough to be considered fair.)
Fortunately, we’ve all learned to get way, way smarter about how we support artists! So, in the spirit of collaboration, teamwork, and heck, creativity, here are some ways you can show love to an author with your time, your money, your creativity, or your voice!
1. Pre-Order the Book
First and foremost, authors love when you pre-order books! Pre-orders matter WAY more than you think. Because pre-orders are a good indicator of how well a book might sell once it hits the shelves, retailers pay a ton of attention to them.
In fact, it’s a make-or-break number for some retailers! If a book sells well in the pre-order phase, you’ll probably see it right there, front and center, on the shelf of your favorite store. (Hey hey, Target! You betcha that’s a happy little hope I’m sendin’ straight out into the Universe.)
Also, this was total news to me, but pre-orders count toward your first week of sales! So if your favorite author has a dream of debuting on a bestseller list, your pre-order can help make that happen for them.
2. Gift an Extra Copy
If you’re like me, you get excited to dig into a book when you know a friend is joining you. Why not pick up an extra copy so you can gift it to a friend or family member who you know would want to read along with you?
This doesn’t just mean more books get purchased; it means the author has more readers, too. More people who are going to engage with their stories, follow them on socials, read their previous and future books. You’re inviting other people into a family with you, which is vital for the life of an author, since it’s not usually our goal to churn out books in quantity. We’re in this for the long haul, and it supports us greatly when more people can join us for that journey, too.
3. Join a Launch Team
Have you ever joined an author’s launch team? I know not every author offers this, but many do! (Honestly, if they don’t have an email list at the very least, I probably need to have a word with them.) But if they’ve got their ducks in a happy little row, then a launch team of sorts might exist for you to hop into! This might mean you get early access to the book, allowing you to leave an early review, plus you might receive other extra goodies and behind-the-book details everyone else might be missing.
There’s a lot of opportunities for support within a launch team, because you’re helping hoist this book into the world so it has a chance to shine right out of the gate, which is a huge deal for authors. This is how they make it on those bestselling lists! Early wins = recognition for their hard work AND opportunities for more down the road!
4. Share the Love
Share about the book with any audiences you have! Let your pals on social media know you’ve pre-ordered and why you’re excited to read the book. Show off the book when it arrives. Re-share a post from the author or tag them in your posts so they can share yours. And if you’re off social media, that doesn’t mean you can’t share the love! Send out a text to a few friends you know would be interested in this book; invite them to read with you!
It’s entirely possible that your favorite author shows up online in other ways. Maybe they have a blog, YouTube channel, or a podcast you enjoy? Show love there, too. Leave comments, reviews, like… whatever you’ve got to throw at ‘em!
5. Send Support
And last but not at all the least, cheer the author along on their journey to releasing their book! It’s been a much longer journey for them, so feeling the love and motivation and excitement as they push through the final stretch could give them the boost they need to finish well! Like at the end of a marathon, lining up to cheer at that finish line is a big way to support the runner.
Send that author an email (I bet they’ll see it!). Send a message, or record a video and tag them in it! If you want to go above and beyond, send them flowers, coffee, or just a “You Can Do It!” playlist. That personal level of support will absolutely rock their world.
As an author who feels like I am running on fuel made up entirely of the support from my team, my friends, my launch squad, my editors—my people—I can say that no matter how big or small you feel like your support is, it matters. A LOT! So, show up on that supportive side however you can. They’ll know you’re in their corner, and the sheer fact that you want to be there is everything-and-a-half.
Do you have any other ways you like to show support to your favorite authors? Let me know in a comment (because I’m a reader and supporter, too!).