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12:04 pm: How To Support Authors You Like

Mindy Klasky posted a great entry on how to support authors, which I am reposting here. I particularly urge people to look at her first entry. Asking your local library to get books does not cost anything, but is a great boon for us authors!

 

Her original post can be found here:

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about whether authors have the right to ask readers to support authors.  Some (very vocal!) readers feel that all authorial requests are out of bounds, that authors unfairly exploit their position to dominate readers by suggesting any form of support.

If you’re one of those people, please don’t read any further.  You’ll only be angry and frustrated with me.

If, on the other hand, you are intrigued by the possibility of helping authors that you like to read, here are some ways (two free, two with some cost attached) that you can do that:

  • Ask your public library to purchase one or more copies. Most libraries are thrilled to have their patrons request books.  Libraries *want* to have their collections read widely.
  • If you read the book, post reviews online. If you keep your own blog, post it there.  If you want your review to be read widely, re-post it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and other online sites.  Of course, if you don’t want to “dilute” a personal blog by posting at third party sites, then don’t (but many reviewers enjoy far greater readership by harnessing the online behemoths.)  And I shouldn’t have to say this, but your reviews should always be your honest opinion of the work, untempered by who might come across them once they’re released in the wild. 
  • If you can, buy the author’s book, preferably soon after the release date. Publishers and booksellers  pay attention to how fast a new book “moves” – sort of like motion picture studios watch the opening weekend for their films.  Of course, if you can’t buy early in a book’s release, buy (if and) when you can.
  • When possible, patronize bricks-and-mortar stores (as opposed to online vendors). When bricks-and-mortar stores sell stock, they usually reorder, to refill their physical shelves and reach out to brand new customers.  Of course, online sales are far better than none, so if you don’t have a physical store to support, go virtual!

Thousands of books will be released from now till the end of the year.  If you find one (or many, many more!) from an author you want to see write more, then consider these options.
 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon.

Comments

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From:juliet_winters
Date:September 28th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
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Note here from a librarian.
We're on budget cuts so if you want us to buy the book, it would be helpful to reference positive (preferably professional) reviews. Although we are indeed thrilled by patron requests, we have a lot of them and can't fill them all so we have to be able to justify the expenditure. Help the balance by giving those reviews and if you can't find one, by all means expound yourself on why you want to read it.
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From:bojojoti
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
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I try to add any awards or accolades the book or author have received, too.
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From:kokorognosis
Date:September 28th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Would that I could patronize brick and mortar stores... But the sad fact is that, especially in regard to spec fiction, they don't carry much in the store besides tie-in stuff and vampire stuff. There are shelves and shelves of Laura Hamilton at the local Barnes and Nobles-- Gene Wolfe, John, William Gibson, Peter Hamilton, Scalzi.... Between the five of them, they might take up a shelf at my local B&N.

So it's pretty much Amazon or nothing. Local bookstores pretty much don't exist here, either.
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From:arhyalon
Date:September 29th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
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Oh, that's fine with me. I love Amazon. I just reprinted her comments as she wrote 'em.
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From:kokorognosis
Date:September 29th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
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Lol, it's not fine with me. I hate finishing a book and realizing that my only choice for more reading material without a three day wait is to actually sit down and read something educational or to hope B&N has something remotely interesting that I haven't read.
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From:kokorognosis
Date:September 29th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
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I save Raymond Chandler books for this purpose. Guaranteed good read and B&N carries them. Sadly, I think I only have two that I haven't read yet.
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From:arhyalon
Date:September 29th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
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That's a shame...maybe you can find another prolific popular writer that you like. Some of them are actually good. ;-)
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From:bojojoti
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
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Frankly, I can't imagine the reading public being offended at the thought of supporting authors. If we don't support those whose work we enjoy, they will be less able to deliver more of those works.

I'll go check to see if our library has your second Miranda book. I know they got the first.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:bojojoti
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
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They didn't, so request made.
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From:arhyalon
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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