Are you too broke to buy books right now? Do you, perhaps, have too many books already? I totally get it! For most of my adult life, I’ve been a library-using, trash-picking, borrowing-from-friend, secondhand book store-patronizing cheapskate book lover. It was only when I got a publishing deal myself that I started purchasing fresh new copies like a baller.
Your author friends love it when you buy their books. But — take it from me — what they really want is readers. There are real and significant ways to support them in this pursuit without spending any money at all. I’ve listed them below:
Tell the people you know!
Having a conversation about books? Recommend your friends’ work to people who seem like they might be interested. Readers and authors alike will benefit from your good taste.
Ask for books at your library.
Public and university libraries have budgets to buy new books! Look for a request form on your local library’s website, or ask a librarian for help. Or if you use the Overdrive app, check out this article for tips. When the book comes in, you’ll get to enjoy it for free — and so will dozens of other library patrons! And the author gets paid, too.
Boost their books on Goodreads.
Goodreads is a free tool that helps readers keep track of books they plan to read, rate them, and add them to thematic lists. Using it enables new readers learn about your author buddies’ books! (Here’s where you can add my book as “to-read” on Goodreads or upvote it on the lists it’s already on.)
Leave a review online.
Have you read the book already? Dash off a review and post it. Even if it’s just a sentence or two — even if the review isn’t positive — this is super helpful to authors! Online reviews help people shop, obviously. They also encourage automated algoriths to show the book more often and rank it higher. (Here’s my book on Amazon.)