20 Ways to Support an Indie Author

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Whether you know someone that has written a book or an aspiring self-published author, here are twenty ways to support an Indie author. 

As I approach the one year anniversary of the release of my best-healing book, Be Fine, it occurred to me that while there are several resources available on how to write and self publish a book, the same is not true when it comes ways to support self-published authors. 

Once you’ve lived longed enough, chances are that you know know a self-published author or have read several self-published works. You probably have a few favorite indie authors or heard whispers about that new indie author that sits at the back pew of your church. 

If you’ve stumbled across this article, chances are that you fit one of two profiles. 

Profile 1

You know someone that has self-published a book and you want to support them. This can be an aunt, friend, uncle, influencer, parent, acquaintance or that stranger you met on your last flight to Punta Cana. 

​Chances are, you are a good human.

You’re reading the right article filled with great ideas on how you can support that indie author’s book. 

Profile 2

You are an indie author yourself and want a resource to send to family and friends about how they can support your authorship journey after all the hard work you’ve put in.

Whether you fall into profile one or two, this article will really help.  

What Is an Indie Author?

Simply put, an indie author is a self published author. Indie authors write, publish and market their own books without the backing of a traditional publisher or publishing house at their own pace, at their own expense. 

Why Use the Term Indie Author?

I know what you’re thinking. If an indie author is a self-published author why use the term “indie author?”

Over the years, self publishing has become more accessible than ever before. This is great because it gives readers access to lots of new books to read. There is no middleman and dreamers can become authors in as little as a weekend. 

Unfortunately, the rise of self publishing and the ability to release one’s own work can also comes with some preconceived notions. One of these is that the author sought out independent publishing only because they were unable to secure a traditional publishing deal. 

While that may be the case for some, many authors choose indie publishing as their first choice and their reasons vary. Everything from a desire to own all rights to their work, to having a final say on all the decision making, are valid reasons why self publishing has become more and more attractive. 

I for one, did not pitch my book to traditional publishers. I wrote it, executed it and birthed my first book baby without the help of a traditional publishing company. 

Another assumption about self-published books is that the book is not well written, edited or formatted. This misconception is an unfair assumption as many indie writers seek out some of the same graphic designers, editors, formatters and other professionals that work in traditional publishing as freelancers to work on their book. 

Of course, not every one uses these professional resources, but I encourage you to consider each indie author individually and “never judge a book by it’s cover.” 

Now that you know a little of about what an indie author is and not, here are some easy ways on how you can support one. 

How to Support an Indie Author

1. Buy the Book

Seems simple right? 

If you want to support someone in their journey, start by buying their book. This is one of the easiest ways to show your support. While not a rule, the price point of most books are well under $30 and are easy to buy online.

By the way, if you consider yourself a friend of an indie author and have not purchased their book, I’m not judging you. I’m just looking at you with a side eye that just won’t quit. 

Well look at that, an opening….

You can purchase my book Be FINE from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

2. Preorder Their Book 

If an author has preorders available, take advantage. Preordering a book means that you purchase a book online or from a bookstore before the book is available to the public. You actually don’t get the book before the official launch date, but preorders are first in line. 

Here are some reasons that preordering books are important. 

  • Financial Support: Preorders provide a great financial boost before the book is officially released. Remember, there are many financial responsibilities when it comes to self publishing. Since an indie author takes on100% of the financial risk, there is a lot to consider. Preorders can help with everything from printing, to the ongoing marketing that’s required to bring a book to life. 
  • Rankings and Visibility: Have you ever seen those best sellers lists? It’s not an easy feat, but the good news is that preorders can help significantly. Preorders count toward a book’s first-week sales figures, which can impact its ranking on various online platforms like Amazon. A higher ranking can lead to increased visibility, making it more likely for potential readers to discover the book.
  • Building Anticipation: Preordering an author’s book helps to build anticipation and buzz around the book before its release date. This helps to boost marketing efforts and can generate excitement and encourage readers to reserve their copies in advance.

3. Recommend The Book To A Book Club

No one loves a good book recommendation more than Oprah and the members of a book club. Suggest the book as a new read if you’re a member of a book club or start your own. In-person and virtual book clubs are a hotspot for great books written by indie authors. 

4. Offer to Host a Book Signing

A great way to show your support of an indie author is to offer to host a book signing or event. This can be as simple as hosting a small event at your home, church or community space. It can also be as elaborate as renting a space at a restaurant or hosting a full-on book launch party. 

By the way, this can take place at any time from the launch of the book. Both old and new books need marketing. 

Sharing your space and your resources is one of the best signs of support you can give. 

5. Write A Review

Words have power and that power can convert into much needed book sales. Authors love getting good book reviews. Book reviews bring book titles credibility, attracts new readers and serves as a signal to computer algorithms that this is a book worth reading. 

Use the websites star rating at online retailers like Amazon, to select the desired number of stars, a headline, and a photo or video and write a few words. 

While a photo or video is not necessary, it surely helps to help those honest reviews stand out and stand apart. 

A good book review has a few sentences on what you like about the book, the author’s writing style and sets the book apart. 

To drive home the importance of book reviews let me ask you a question, when was the last time that you went to a restaurant or watched a movie without reading the reviews first? 

I’ll wait. 

Exactly. 

Here’s where you can leave a book review of my book, Be Fine…Leave a Book Review

6. Attend Book Events & Signings 

Any good book marketing effort will contain several arms of marketing over months to years of a book’s launch. Support an indie author by attending their author events whether in person or virtual. Well attended author events can really contribute a book’s early success. 

7. Give The Book

It goes without saying that buying a book can support an indie author’s work, but so can giving a book. Depending on the type book that has been written, some ideas of occasions to give books are on birthdays, milestone events like new babies, significant loss, holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas. 

One of my biggest supporters has gifted copies of my book numerous times. 

It’s a good thing to have real supporters in your corner. 

8. Be a Beta Reader

Before a author actually publishes a book, one o the important first steps is getting beta readers. Sure, an indie writer can have a book idea in mind and think it’s fabulous. But once the manuscript has been written, beta readers are needed to read the book and provide constructive feedback before the book is published. This is not the same thing as proofreaders. 

All authors need reliable people that can stick to deadlines, be thorough and help provide proof of concept during the authorship process. 

9. Share on Your Social Media Accounts

Social proof is an important no matter what your business is. Authors are no different. While authors often do talk about their own books and make social media posts. Good social proof means that other people are doing that too. 

To show your support of an indie author, create your own post along with a picture of the book. This can be as simple as a “What I’m reading” post. You can also write a book recommendation and post it on your personal profile. 

If you are unsure of what to post, just hit share on the author’s profile under any of the author’s posts that mention the book You can share it as a new post or in your stories on your most used social media platform.  

Need some inspiration, here’s an example of a video that is good for sharing. 

10. Request The Book At The Local Library 

Putting in a hold request at your local library may help librarians in their decision on how many books to purchase due to interest and demand. If the library does not carry the book, ask if they will consider carrying it. 

11. Seek Out The Title At A Local Indie Bookstore

Reportedly there are over 10,000 bookstores in the US. 

While most of these books stores represent large corporations, small bookstores that support independent authors are popping up more and more. If the book that you desire is not in stock, make a request for the bookstore to stock it. 

If enough people make these type of requests at their respective local bookstore, your favorite authors will get more visibility as a result. This is especially important for new or unknown authors. 

While everyone is familiar with authors like J.K Rowling, Stephen King and Michelle Obama, indie authors need a little more help getting their titles into bookstores. This small task can reap huge rewards and get author titles more visibility and distribution. 

12. Stock The Book In Your Vacation Rental Or VRBO

One of the last days of my vacation in a VRBO a few years ago, I came across an intriguing book which I had never read. The book was about 30 years old and I was hooked.  By the time I started to read the book, I realized that I would not have time to finish the task while on my trip. 

I quickly made the decision to order the book, not based on a recommendation of a friend, but proximity. That title is still highly visible in my personal home library today. 

13. Write a Blog Post

While not everyone doesn’t have an online platform like a blog, for those that do, this next idea is an absolute winner. Write an authentic blog post on your blog or as guest post on another site, to show your support. Make the post sincere. 

Don’t try to sell the book. That’s not your job. Your job is to write about what you learned, why you’re reading the book and how it changed your life. Even a casual mention can do wonders for an indie author. 

14. Create A Short Video

The saying goes that content is king. And when it comes to content online, video content reigns supreme. If you’re feeling particularly inspired, create a short form video and post it on social media. Platforms like Tik TokYouTube and Instagram are great for sharing videos. 

As a matter of fact, users on these platforms are primed for genuine book recommendations. 

15. Write A Testimonial

Testimonials are the currency of indie books and authorship businesses. Write a testimonial and give your permission for it to be used in print marketing, author newsletters or on the author’s website.

Take a look at my author website, to get an idea of how testimonials can be used.

16. Recommend The Book on Goodreads

Have you heard of Goodreads? Goodreads is one of the most popular book review apps. Acquired by Amazon in 2013, Goodreads sports over 150 million members. The app allows you to interact with authors and share your book recommendations with other users as well. 

17. Share Words of Encouragement

Like any other business, indie writers sometimes need a little encouragement. It can be rough out there. The road to becoming a self published indie author can be a long arduous process. Not everyone makes it out in one piece. 

For those that make it to the other side, once launch day is long gone, the real work begins. 

Sending words of encouragement in person, via text, or using cards can really help indie author to keep pushing and reconnect with why they write a book in the first place. 

18. Actually Read The Book

The truth is, most people don’t actually finish the books that they’ve started to read. If you haven’t read the book, how are you going to recommend it, be impacted by it and enthusiastically recommend it to others?

​So if you really want to show support to an indie author, you have to start by reading the book. 

19. Share Unique Marketing Opportunities

If you know of a podcast, conference, radio broadcast, print column or TV show where that indie author would be a good fit, then share the opportunity! Indie authors rely heavily on grassroots marketing and strategies as budgets can be limited and there is often no official publicity team. 

Word of mouth is still important t and very much alive. 

20. Pass it On

If you’re done reading the book, won’t be referring to it, re-reading or using it as a reference, then pass it on, Depending on the book title, you can consider donating it to a school, library or educational institution. 

You may even want to pass it on to a friend that hasn’t had chance to get their own copy. The point is, the more people that have awareness about the book, the better. 

​Speaking on passing it on, if you have found this post useful please share it with your family and friends. 

How to Purchase My Book

You can purchase Be FINE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Thanks to all that have supported my journey along the way.

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