Five Ways to Support Author Friends
by Melissa Face
I was chatting with a fellow writer and friend the other day about how my book collection has grown throughout recent years to include the works of many friends. I now have a whole section on my bookshelf I can point to and say things like, “I know her! We work together! She is my friend!”
Even though she shared my enthusiasm, my friend said, “But one of the tough things about having a lot of writer friends is that you often feel obligated to buy a lot of books.”
She’s right. Writers are usually not raking in the dough from our first (and sometimes second and third) published works, yet we are often the ones supporting one another, attending events, buying each other’s books, and generally being good literary citizens.
Even though all authors will agree that yes, we want you to buy our books, that is only one way to support your author friends. Here are a few more:
- Buy the Book – There’s no need to sugar coat it. We definitely want you to buy our book. And if our book isn’t your favorite genre but you still want to be supportive, buy it and save it for someone who will love it. Books make great gifts.
- Write a Review – If you read our book and have something nice to say, take a moment to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Positive reviews help with visibility and book sales, and they provide a little encouragement to the writer.
- Attend an Event – There are many ways to be supportive of someone, and showing up in person (or online) is huge. If it’s an in-person event, go and take a friend with you. Book events are typically festive and lively these days, and many are held in less conventional locations like coffee shops and breweries. Presently, many events are being held via Facebook or Instagram live. So even if you have a conflict, share the event link on your platform. Authors appreciate likes and shares so much!
- Share on Social Media – In addition to sharing events, take a moment to share your author friends’ social media posts. Tell your online friends what you liked about something, comment on a book photo, or share an article your friend wrote. In addition to writing, we often serve as our own marketing reps and publicists, so anything our friends can do is helpful. Plus, sharing a post is completely free.
- Talk About the Book – Word of mouth is still very influential when it comes to book sales. If you enjoyed a book, tell your church friends, Woman’s Club, Rotary Club, and by all means, your book club members. I have heard many stories about small conversations leading to larger speaking engagements. It happens, and it’s because of people like you!
As an author, I have found my network of friends to be invaluable.I am grateful to everyone who has shown up and said kind things about my work, both in person and online. If you have another idea for supporting friends in the literary world, type it in the comments section. I’d love to read it!
Melissa Face is the author of I Love You More Than Coffee, an essay collection for parents who love coffee a lot and their kids…a little more. Her essays and articles have appeared in Richmond Family Magazine, ScaryMommy, and twenty-one volumes of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Read more at melissaface.com.