Before I began to write historical romances, I devoured them veraciously. I used to read two to three books a week. Some I borrowed from the library, but many of them I owned so I could lend them to my friends and family. I had my favorite authors, but I was discovering new ones all the time.
It wasn't until I began to write that I realized I could have been a much better reader all those years. How's that, you might ask. I was an avid fan, but I wasn't doing everything I could to support my favorite writers. I didn't even know that I could support them, other than reading their books.
But there's a lot more I could have done. Here are some of the ways I've discovered to support my favorite authors. If you're a regular guest on Coffee Cups & Camisoles, then I suspect you're doing these already. :)
1. Read her books. This might be fairly obvious, but then again, maybe not. If you truly want to support your favorite author, this is where it's at. Because the rest of the suggestions below hinge on this first point. :) Before I became a writer, this was one of the only ways I was supporting my favorite authors--this one and #3.
2. Leave a review. This one is where I failed at being a good support to my favorite authors--but I contend it was out of ignorance. I didn't realize how important reviews were, nor did I even know where I would have shared my reviews, if I'd written them. Now, however, I know that reviews are vital for books sales, especially in this day in age. When you go to your favorite online retailer, are you like me? Do you look to see how many stars an item has? Everything from books to kitchen sinks (I'm not kidding, I bought my kitchen sink based on reviews)! Some great places to share reviews are on Amazon, Christianbooks.com, Barnes & Noble, your blog, your Facebook page, and pretty much anywhere people will see it. Another great option is Goodreads. I didn't even know Goodreads existed until I started to write, but it's one of my favorite places to share my love of books now.
3. Tell your friends. Word of mouth advertising is still one of the best ways to spread news, especially when it comes to something we love. If you've read a great book, and you're still glowing from the experience, your friends will get excited to read it, too. This doesn't have to be limited to face-to-face interactions. You can tell your friends via social media, as well. If your friend loves it, she'll help spread the word, too, and then more people will discover the authors you love.
4. Ask your library to carry her book. Again, I didn't even know I could do this until I became an author! This is a great way for lots of other people to discover the books you enjoy reading. If they like what they read, they'll probably go looking for other books by that same author. It's another great way to support your favorite author and get her books in the hands of potential readers.
5. Send her a message of encouragement. The very first author I ever messages was Julie Klassen. I read her debut novel, Lady of Milkweed Manor, and saw she lived close to me in Minnesota. She left her email address at the back of the book and invited readers to contact her. I couldn't resist! I'd read hundreds of books in my life, but never once told an author how much I loved her writing--until that day. When she wrote back, I almost fell off my chair. :) Now, I love to write to my favorite authors and encourage them all the time, because I know that writing is hard and authors often doubt their ability. Whenever I receive a note from a reader, it brightens my day and gives me the encouragement I need to keep going. Some awesome friendships have developed because I took the initiative to message an author, one of those friendships is with Julie.
There are lots of ways to support your favorite authors, but these were the five that came to my mind. I feel blessed by my readers and all the ways they've supported me over the past couple of years. Just reading this blog is a huge support to Jaime, Anne, Erica and myself.
I'd love to hear your ideas! What are some ways you support your favorite authors?
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