9 Easy Ways You Can Support Authors You Love

Written by Michelle Watson

March 5, 2024

It’s m’duty to tell you that this article contains affiliate links, which earn me commission at no extra cost to you. Here’s my disclosure policy.

Writing a book is hard. But, for authors, the work doesn’t stop there. 

They have to get their book out into the world and noticed.

That’s an uphill battle for new authors who are competing with an estimated 3.8k self-published books added to Amazon every day*.

As a reader, how can you help your favorite authors?—besides, of course, buying multiple copies of all their books at full price. 😊

Here are nine easy ways you can support authors you love.

Just a small effort on your part can make a big difference to an emerging author’s career. 

1. Help them get to 50 reviews on Amazon

Here’s something that you can do in under five minutes that can make a huge difference for an author who has just launched a new book into the world.

“What’s so special about 50 reviews? Once a book hits that target, Amazon’s algorithms begin to feature it in keyword search results and recommendations, opening the door for new readers to discover it. Reviews are a GREAT way to help make sure that quality books get into readers’ hands!” says Emma C. Fox, author of the young-adult novel The Carver and the Queen (which I loved). 

Do you have to BUY the book on Amazon to leave a review on Amazon? Nope! 

Did another reviewer take the words right out of your mouth? Click the “Helpful” button to give that review some love—and prime positioning for others to see.

This is especially helpful for indie authors AND traditionally published authors who are doing pretty much ALL of their own marketing without the help of a publisher.

Even if the book has surpassed the 50-review mark, the more reviews the better, so be sure to leave one.

2. Preorder their next book

You may not want to spend money on a book that you won’t hold in your hands for months. BUT, preordering is one of the easiest and most powerful ways you can support authors you love. 

Here’s why. 

Preordering signals to Amazon and booksellers that this title is in demand—there’s excitement and buzz surrounding it. Amazon is more likely to show the book in search results, exposing the author to more readers. 

Lots of preorders may also translate to bigger orders from retailers and larger print runs and more marketing dollars from the publisher. It’s a clear sign that readers want more books from this author, helping pave the way for future book deals.

Plus, preorders count toward first-week sales, and the book can start to rank on Amazon before Day 1 and even land a spot on a bestseller list, which means even more exposure. 

Stephen King does not need your preorder to justify market demand or generate buzz around his newest release, but that new author with a sophomore novel in the works—you can make a difference for these amazing writers. Just by ordering earlier than you normally would. Easy! 

3. Subscribe to their email newsletter

Email is the ONLY way that authors can stay in touch with you directly (without a third-party platform calling the shots).

I subscribe to a slew of author newsletters, and I love when they hit my inbox! Some authors email weekly, while others check in every month or so.

Here are some of my favorite things about author newsletters:

  • I get a flavor for who this author is as a person. I love when they share real-life stories or insert something cute from their camera roll.
  • I stay up to date. I know when their new book is coming out, if they’re on a podcast, or if they’ve written any articles lately. 
  • They share book recommendations! Authors read a lot—no surprise there. And my taste often aligns nicely with theirs. Again, no surprise.

4. Ask your library to buy the book

You can do this?? Yes, you can.

“One of my favorite ways to support small authors is to request that their books be carried at my local library. It’s really easy to do and helps get their books in new hands!” says Kassidy, a Book Devotions subscriber.

Most library systems have a budget for patron requests. There’s likely a limit to the number of new purchases you can request per year, so save them for your favorite authors. 

Here’s the online form that my library system uses for this purpose:

If your library is slow to fulfill these requests—mine is!—then you can beat them to the punch, as Emma mentions: “I’ve also had readers purchase extra copies of my books and donate them directly to local libraries, as well as to school and church libraries.”

Don’t forget about Little Free Libraries, too. Leave a handwritten note on the inside front cover that’ll convince people to give it a try. 

5. Introduce them to your club

“A fantastic way to help an author whose book you love is to suggest it to an existing book club or even start your own. When I hear a kids’ book club is reading Beneath the Swirling Sky, I know that means 5–12 copies of my book have been purchased. Not only that, but I know those copies will definitely be read and talked about. And those readers will be more likely to tell a friend!” says Carolyn Leiloglou, author of middle-grade novel Beneath the Swirling Sky (which I loved). 

Even if you don’t have a book club, you can get a group of friends (or students) together for a pop-up book club that’s devoted to reading this one book.

You can make your book talk even more exciting with Carolyn’s suggestion:

“Depending on where an author is in her career, she may even be willing to video call with your book club. It never hurts to ask!”

Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts from NetGalley if you’re thinking of inviting an author to your book club.

6. Back their latest project

These days, authors are expected to do a lot of their own marketing and outreach. Does your favorite author have a Patreon community, a podcast, a paid Substack, or a crowdfunding project

If they do, check it out, and consider backing them.

When Sarah MacKenzie announced a Kickstarter campaign for her first children’s picture book, I didn’t have to think twice about backing it. I’d been listening to her podcast for years, and I’d read both of her previous nonfiction books. 

I was interested in her picture book, but I was MORE interested in simply supporting her new venture.

Here’s one of fantasy novelist Brandon Sanderson’s famous Kickstarter campaigns. And, yes, that dollar figure is real. 😯

And here’s another example. Sarah Eden raised enough money to turn her Regency romance novel into a feature film. So cool!

7. Attend their events

Imagine your favorite author sweating bullets before a live event wondering, “Is anyone going to show up?!” You can be there to swell the crowd.

Keep an eye out for book signings, readings, or author panels in your area. If you live in the boonies (like I do) then watch for virtual events. Even if you have to cook dinner while you listen to the Zoom chat, you’re bolstering attendance numbers, which is always a good thing for the author. 

How can you find out about these? Remember the newsletter you subscribed to? Many authors share their schedule of events via email and on social media.

Plus, there’s something about hearing directly from the author—it forms a bond.

8. Send fan mail

Not like the good ol’ days, with postage stamps. Reach out electronically.

Drop them a line and say how much you love their books. I can’t imagine any author getting a fan letter and saying, “Oh, this person likes me. How annoying.”

Don’t ask for anything. Just thank them for sharing their creativity with the world.

Be courteous and check the author’s website for their preferred contact method!

Some authors have a website contact form. Others list their email address. 

Be careful with social media. There’s something about getting a direct message from a stranger that feels weird. I’m not exactly sure since I’m on social media about as often as Bigfoot gets his photo taken. Your message will either get lost with the rest of the spam, or it’ll feel pushy. So, don’t DM unless the author says it’s OK in their bio or profile or whatnot.

9. Text a friend a pic of the cover

I cannot tell you how often I get texts from dear friends that start with “Have you read this?? I think you will love it.” I adore these texts.

One of the quickest ways you can support authors you love is to simply text a picture of the book to a friend who needs it in their life.

Or, if you’re one for social media, post that beautiful book cover to your feed, and let the world see it. 

“One thing that readers can do to help authors is to simply spread the word about their books!” says Anna Rose Johnson, author of middle-grade novel The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry (which I loved). 

“When readers tell their friends about a book and post about it on social media, it truly does help so much. Word-of-mouth book marketing is an incredible tool!” says Anna.

So, don’t discount a simple recommendation. 

Do you know the Marketing Rule of 7? It says a customer needs to be exposed to a product at least seven times before he or she makes a purchase decision. Your pic = one impression. It’s small but significant—because it all adds up.

As readers, we have the power to support emerging authors on their journey to literary success. 

You now have nine easy ideas for how you can make a meaningful impact. 

👉 Which one are you going to do first? 👈

*According to WordsRated.com, “Amazon releases over 1.4 million self-published books through its Kindle Direct Publishing every year. This doesn’t even take into account self-published ebooks with no registered ISBN number, so the extent of Amazon’s self-publishing figures is much higher.”

Special thanks to the published authors who contributed ideas to this article!

Emma C. Fox

Carolyn Leiloglou

Available for preorder

Anna Rose Johnson

What are some other ways you can support authors you love?

I’m sure we didn’t cover all the ways readers can help authors. Leave me a comment with your idea!

More along these lines…

1 Comment

  1. temp mail

    I just wanted to take a moment to say how much I appreciate your blog posts. They’re always well-written, informative, and keep me coming back for more. Keep up the great work!


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