It is #IndieApril again. Where members of the writing community try to support independent authors by purchasing their books. (I’m offering my books for free during #IndieApril since everyone affected by the stay home requirements right now mean that many people probably don’t have spare money to spend on books.)
Do you know what an independent author is? Independent authors, also called indie authors, are authors who have self-published their book. Either with the help of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or some other company that helps authors make their dreams come true. Have you ever read a book by an independent author you didn’t know? Or how about a book by any independent author? Many readers that are not actively involved with the writing world are unaware of the vast majority of spellbinding books published by independent authors every year.
It’s possible that you have read an independently published book and just don’t know it. Independent authors with the skill, resources, and connections can put together a book that looks like it was published by a big publishing house and promote and advertise it in similar ways. But we are going to talk about how to support independent authors because most of them don’t have the resources to get their book out there in front of customers and it just sits on bookstore (real or virtual) shelves unnoticed and unloved.
When I first started writing professionally from home over a decade ago as a freelance copywriter, I any time when I wasn’t actively “working” or looking for “work”, I was writing my books. Being discouraged with my ability to market myself as a freelance writer (I am cripplingly shy when it comes to putting myself forward to strangers) I considered publishing my books. (Boy do I wish I had just gone ahead and done that way back then.) Uncomfortable with the idea of putting myself forward and submitting my manuscripts to publishing houses, I instead sought ways to publish that didn’t involved me actively engaging with any other people. So, I started to research independent publishing as an option but discarded it as unrealistic for me.
However, I started reading books by independent authors. Some of the best books I’ve ever read in my life are by independent authors. And I’m not just talking about those authors who could afford beta readers, an editor, a book cover designer, and an agent to advertise their book for them. No, these are the nobody ever bother to review their book authors. There were so many books I adored that no one had ever bothered to express their opinion about. At the same time there were so many independent authors who were making a good and steady income just on Amazon Kindle Unlimited and not any other platform. The really successful independent authors are the exception. Most independent authors need a little help getting the word out about their awesome books.
Which brings me back around to my topic.
10 Ways to Support Independent Authors For FREEeeeee!!!
- Follow independent authors on social media so that you can keep updated of their new releases and current activities. You can see all my social media presence on my Contact Page.
2. Like/love/heart, and share advertising posts for books by independent authors. Many independent authors manage their own advertising campaigns. Sharing their posts will help spread their work to more potential customers. The more people who are aware of a book, the more likely that book is to get purchased. If you’d like to help support my work, you can share this article with this Tweet.
10 No-Brainer Ways to Support Independent Authors For FREE!!! – Learn how to support your favorite independent authors without having to spend a time. #IndieAuthor #IndependentAuthor #Books #WriterLife #WritingCommunity #AmReadingTweet
Or you can share my books.
An assassin kills the wrong heirs sparking a conflict between four nations. https://books2read.com/b/mBPlgM #fantasy #Greatread #bookish #AmReading #fantasybookTweet
Or you can share my business Authors4Bloggers where I help authors get reviews and customers for their books.
Follow @Authors4B to get book tweets from great authors. #BookBoost #WritersLife #Readers #AmReading #BookBlogger #Bookish #BookTweets #GreatReadsTweet
3. Join the mailing lists of independent authors. Did their work or personality seem interesting to you? Would you like to be notified when their next book comes out? Why not join their email list and get notified of new releases, freebies, book signings, and other occasions to interact with an author? Join my mailing list here to get notified of new book releases.
4. Write a review. The most impactful thing you can do to help an independent author (and some consider this even more important than buying their book because there are plenty of services for paid reviews) is for you to write a review. Nearly every eBook distributor has a feature allowing readers to write reviews. If you’ve purchased an eBook or gotten a free copy of a book you loved reading, please consider leaving a review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Bookbub, Apple Books, Google Books, Kobo, Google Play, 24Sympols, or anywhere else you get your books from.
5. Download the eBook when you purchase a physical copy of an independently published book from Amazon. This option assumes that you have already purchased the physical copy, however it is “free” in that… Amazon has a feature that allows authors to offer their eBooks for free to people who have ordered a physical copy of a book. Why is it important that you do this? It counts as two book sales toward their sale count. It’s also a great way to buy a gift of a physical book for a friend but to get a free copy for yourself. (I don’t know if this works when you use the “This is a gift” option on Amazon or have the book shipped to an address other than your own. But I’ve used it to buy my son, nephew, and mother physical books for themselves and to keep the eBooks for myself when the physical book was mailed to my home.) This can be done with The Queens’ Beezness, I’m not the primary author on that book but it is enrolled in the free ebook with purchase of a physical copy option.
“6. Buy” free eBooks from independent authors even if you don’t intend to read them. “Purchases” of books on sale for $0.00 (Not to be confused with Kindle Unlimited which is a different thing altogether) still count towards book and author ranking. While ranking may not matter much to us readers, it will affect how visible certain online retailers will make that author’s books. (Please note: This only works when you purchase these books from retailers. Giveaways and free downloads from the author directly do not count.)
7. If you have Kindle Unlimited, Kobo, 24Symbols, or some other book subscription service that allows you to read books for monthly subscriptions instead of paying for them individually, consider downloading AND flipping through books by indie authors even if you don’t intend on reading them. Many of these services pay authors by “pages read”. That means indie authors don’t get paid unless the service thinks you actually read the book. So, all those Kindle Unlimited books you download because they are free and then return before reading them because you changed your mind? The author never got paid for that. Authors only get paid for the first time a customer reads through their Kindle Unlimited book. Also, were you aware that Amazon tracked how far through the book you were as part of their book metrics and that they weren’t just syncing between devices?
8. Watch their YouTube (or other video) channels. Yes, many independent authors have YouTube channels and offer things like book reviews of books they’ve been reading, or themselves reading excerpts of their own books. Like and share videos to spread awareness of their books.
9. Go to their public events. Not right now, of course, because of social distancing and COVID-19. Eventually though, when the epidemic has passed and book signings and author readings at local books stores for book releases and promotions are safe to attend and become the norm again. Until then, attend their online events. Show your support for indie authors with a physical or electronic presence even if you can’t afford a financial one.
10. Subscribe to their blog. Many independent authors have a blog on their website. Blogs, when they are properly search engine optimized, primarily exist to lure potential customers from internet searches. But, they are also a way for authors to interact with fans and are an excellent place to get tidbits about your favorite author’s life, sneak peaks into upcoming books, and first notifications of events (sometimes before they send out their email notifications).
11. AND…now I have one more bonus way to show appreciation independent authors. This one isn’t free but it is a good tip. Many independent authors have affiliate accounts with the sellers who distribute their books. When you purchase one of their books through an affiliate link, you are supporting the author once with royalties from your purchase, and again with the affiliate income from that retailer. There’s the possibility that they have affiliate accounts with lots of retailers so if you have a favorite writer, whether it be an author or a blogger, take a trip to their website before making a big online purchase related to their work to see if what you are looking for has a purchase link there.
All right. Now that you know how to show your love for independent authors, get on out there and start showing the love. What indie author are you going to support? Where are you going to review them? Who is your favorite independent author? Hint: It doesn’t have to be me.
Own or manage a restaurant/event or service you want reviewed? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you an author/agent/PR Rep for a book you want me to review/advertise? Take a look at my Author Services page and Etsy Shop. Curious what else I’m up to? Visit me on my Facebook page. Want to read about places you might find fun or interesting along my travels? Subscribe to my blog. Want to see my photographs and art? Check out my Instagram and YouTube. For information about my books find me on Goodreads and Amazon, or subscribe to find out when my next book is available for purchase. Or if you love my writing style and want to see how it translates to fiction, check out my books.