I have received great feedback and a lot of hits on my blog post 5 Ways to Help Authors without Spending a Dime so I thought I'd run a part two, taking into account some of the suggestions left by readers in the comments section. I hope you enjoy these suggestions and put them into practice!
1. Jennifer wrote: "And also don't forget that at the end of the day, a short note to the author letting him/her know how much you enjoy that author's writing can be just the right amount of encouragement at just the right time." She is absolutely right! A few kind words can make all the difference to a writer if sales have been down or s/he's received a negative review. If you enjoy something you read, let the author know!
2. Rachel wrote: "Also how about hitting Yes if you find a review helpful or No if you don't." This is not something I had thought about until recently, when I received my first (and so far only) negative review. Several of my fans and friends rallied around me to click "unhelpful" on that review and reassure me that the reviewer was completely off-base. The fact that the review was so nasty and vindictive made this support particularly welcome.
3. Jeff wrote: "For Twitter, I try to get the most value out of those 140 characters that I can, so whenever possible for thank you's or welcomes, replies, retweets, etc., etc., it helps to add the authors book title, link, whatever you can get your hands on." A great idea! If your followers see a unique tweet coming from you--someone they know and trust--rather than an RT, which a lot of people tend to ignore, it might make them look at it a bit more closely. For authors who have been really supportive of me, I've even made up a file of tweets about their books, which I try to send out once a day.
4. Jeff also wrote: "Don't forget to join an author's blog site (which I just now did btw)." Authors blog. A lot. It's part of that whole attention whore thing I mentioned in the first 5 Ways to Help Authors... post. Now, following a blog helps you because if you like that author and the content s/he provides, you won't miss anything. But it can help the author as well. Here's how: say a prospective reader happens across the blog and sees that many people are following it. This will let him or her know that this author has something worthwhile to say and they may be more likely to stick around and see what it's all about and, perhaps, buy a book or two.
5. Tell Your Friends! This one is so basic that I overlooked it the first time around. If you enjoy a book, write a review, of course. But people you know from work, the PTA, old school friends, etc. may never get around to trolling Amazon for your reviews. Tell them about books that you love and, most importantly, tell them how to get a copy! Send them emails or DMs with the link so they don't forget!
Keep the suggestions coming in the comments section!