In the interests of transparency, I’ve got a book out!
It’s my debut novel at the age of 59 – which should give hope to all those ‘Am I too old?’ Bangers – and I’d love you to buy it. No, seriously: there is no substitute for getting readers to actually hand over their hard-earned cash for the thing you’ve slaved over.
But that’s also the point. In these increasingly tough times, getting anyone to part with £16.99 for a hardback (other formats are available) is a big ask. I get it.
So would it interest you to know that there are plenty of ways you can support an author WITHOUT buying their book?
Here are a few things you can do RIGHT NOW. They will cost you nothing but a little bit of time, and will give the author almost as much pleasure as if you’d actually bought their magnum opus. Almost, but not quite (see * below) …
1) Talk about them
As Oscar Wilde famously wrote in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
With the exception of social media trolls, of course, Wilde’s dictum remains true. Word of mouth is catnip to an author and essential, especially, for unknown writers. Like me.
Getting talked about, circulated, tagged or shared gives you that all-important thing: visibility. The more you get, the better your chances of reader recognition for your work. Without it, you’re toast.
DO IT NOW: Post a positive message about the author of your current fave book.
2) Borrow their book from a library
I’m constantly surprised at how few readers realise that authors can get paid when their books are borrowed from libraries.
UK and Irish authors get REAL MONEY every time their work is checked out. (As long as they’re signed up to the Public Lending Right service at the British Library and their books have an ISBN number). It’s not a fortune, granted, but as the supermarket says, every little helps.
DO IT NOW: Pop in to your local library and get a library card free. It’ll be the best investment you ever make.
3) Sign up for their newsletter
Many writers these days use a regular newsletter as a direct, personal and fun way of staying in touch with readers (mine is at www.mrgdavies.com). There’s no cost involved and as a reader you get to hear the latest news and views from someone whose work you actually care about. What’s not to like?
DO IT NOW: Seek out an author’s newsletter (probably on their website) and sign up.
4) Write a review for their book
Potentially tricky one, this. As an author, I don’t really want to encourage anyone to post one or two star reviews of my work. (Although item #1 on this list still holds true to an extent here).
However, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a completely impartial five-star rave about your book on Amazon or Goodreads. After all, if you liked it, why not let other people know that they might like it too? And maybe, for the sake of positivity and good karma, keep the crappy reviews to yourself.
DO IT NOW: Leave a completely impartial five star review of my (or someone else’s) book.
5) Engage with the author directly
Most authors love to hear from their readers, especially if it’s a word of praise or encouragement or thanks. And most of us these days are on social media somewhere and try to make ourselves as easy as possible to find.
Far from being an imposition or annoyance, you’re most likely to be received with welcoming arms and a genuinely interested response – as long as you’re not a dick about it.
DO IT NOW: Find me on Twitter @mrgdavies or Insta @mrgdavies64 and drop me a line. But remember: be nice.
BIO: Michael Davies’ thriller Outback is published by HarperCollins TODAY, May 11, 2023.
BUY IT HERE, visit his website or do any of the other tips in this blog post!