Friday, June 4, 2010

More Ways to Support Authors

Okay, so, yesterday we talked about leaving reviews--specificially GOOD reviews--on places like Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads, and how they're surprisingly important to published Authors. (If you missed it you can read the post here)

But there are two other ways I've found to support authors that I hadn't thought of before, so I thought I'd pass them on.

The first I found thanks to a tweet from Cassandra Clare, linking me to this awesome initiative at Sharon Loves Books and Cats to get people to report any ARCs for unreleased books they see for sale on ebay.  I'd never thought to check ebay for an ARC, given the fact that they say "Not for sale" all over them in very clear lettering. But apparently it happens. A lot. Sometimes resulting in books selling for an exorbitant amount. And of course the author doesn't get to see a penny of that.

But it's not just about the money. ARC's say "Uncorrected Proof" on them for a reason. They have errors. Typos. I've seen ones with extra pages or missing pages. It's really not the way the author wants their work presented to the general public--and I think all of us as writers can understand why. So check out Sharon's post and see how you can help report this abuse if you see it.

And the other way to support writers seems obvious enough, yet its something I only recently started doing: you can go to their signings!

I've heard so many writers tell stories of signings where no one shows. It happens. But it seems wrong to let it happen at my local bookstores--not when I could so easily show my support, and meet some cool writers as a bonus. So I try to go to as many signings as I can, and I don't just mean the signings of my favorite authors--though they need people too. I even go to signings where I don't know the writer. And you know what? I've found some awesome books that way.

Now, I know, books cost money. And usually when you go to a signing you kinda feel like you should buy a book. So if buying a book isn't really in your budget, you might shy away from attending the signing. But you know what? I see people go to signings all the time without buying books.

It depends on the venue, of course. But most writers do some sort of presentation--often times a reading and some Q&A--and then follow it with a signing.  I've seen plenty of people come for the reading only, and not buy a book to have it signed. No one minds. And I guarantee you, while I'm sure the writer would of course love to sell another book--they're also pretty darn grateful that they got to speak to a bigger crowd. Wouldn't you be?

Not to mention, a lot of them have swag. I've seen people wait in line at a signing to get some signed bookmarks (usually best to be polite and wait at the end of the line for this). It's up to the author of course, but if you tell them you'd love to post about their books and their author presentation on your blog and give the signed bookmark away to your followers, they usually hand you a stack of those signed bookmarks and thank you for the thought. After all, you're doing them a favor: helping them spread the word about their books, which is why they're on tour in the first place.  :)

So these are two more ways that I'm personally applying to support other authors. Can you think of any more? Did I miss something crucial? If I did, I'd love to learn more about it in the comments.

Happy Friday everyone!

27 comments:

  1. Thank you, Shannon--I've now added a widget to my blog urging people to support our authors by reporting ARCs for sale and to post reviews at GR, B&N, and Amazon. :)

    I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this.

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  2. Never considered that possibility, thanks for pointing it out Shannon!

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  3. I saw another post this morning on the selling of ARCs - so wrong!

    And after doing over 300 signings, I can attest - we are happy to have people show up! If you can't afford a book, take a couple bookmarks and recommend the books to your friends. You're not just supporting the author by attending a sign, either - you are supporting the bookstore. Considering how fast they are vanishing - 2/3 of the Waldenbooks were closed this past season - they need our support to survive.

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  4. Unfortunately, I live in the boonies and attending a local book signing isn't really an option for me...although I would willingly do it to be supportive.

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  5. I'm guilty of avoiding book signings when I'm not sure I want to buy the book. But now I'll think of how sad it would be if no one but the author's mother and cleaning lady showed up. Signings really are a great way to meet people and find fantastic new books.

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  6. Unfortunately, we don't have any of those options where I live. Or at least not for YA books. I support authors by buying their books. Okay, not all the books. I can't afford that. But I do try to support new writers . . . if I'm interested in their book.

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  7. I was not aware of the selling of ARCs. It reminds me of similar probs that were happening in the music industry (when they had albums and CDs more) with selling advance copies.

    I think you covered suggestions well. Building relationships is imperative--so that readers who enjoy works can recommend them to others.

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  8. Ugh. Those ARC sellers have such bad karma coming their way.

    Great tips for supporting the cause! :)

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  9. Wow, Shannon, thanks so much for these posts. I had NO IDEA about the reviews or ARCs being sold on ebay. Like you, I'm now going to go to those sites and write up some reviews for as many as I can think of. Thanks again for paying the knowledge forward. :)

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  10. Thanks for the info Shannon. Happy Friday and a super weekend too!

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  11. I actually am attending a book signing on Sunday with a very well known author. I am soooo excited!!! Going to post about it Monday on my blog, hopefully with pictures.

    I can't believe people would actually sell ARCs on ebay. That's just wrong.

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  12. Great ideas! I've never thought about the reviews on the "big" book buyers websites being helpful for the authors themselves. Usually, I run into people needing an excuse to be negative, so I try to steer clear of reading the reviews. However, after this post, I'll be reveiwing from now on :)

    Happy weekend!
    Jen

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  13. Yeah, I see people trying to bring ARC's into my local used bookstore all the time.

    What part of Not For Sale do people not get?

    Another great post, Shannon!

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  14. I have amazing guilt just reading this. I have SO many amazon reviews to get in. I'm so bad about doing those. But the good news is, they always get done. =)

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  15. I seldom attend signings, both because I cannot get there and because, like you say, I often can't afford to buy books I don't know. However, I can just imagine how sad I'd be if nobody comes to my signing: I'll definitely try to go in the future. Thanks for this post!

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  16. I would love to go to an author signing - sadly we don't get many in small city Canada :)

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  17. I had no idea you could report the ARCs that were for sale. So good to know!

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  18. I would love to support authors at their signings, but Arizona gets left out on so many author tours. *sigh*

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  19. I've started making a point to leave amazon reviews any time I read a book. I just hadn't realised before becoming an author myself how much of a difference it would make to the author!

    We don't get many book signings up here in the Highlands, but I would go to them if I could!

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  20. Oh, I would SO hate the thought of any of my ARCs on sale on eBay! There have been loads and loads of typos in them and some very embarrassing errors! What a great way to support authors.

    I too think Amazon reviews are so important, along with Goodread, and I've been making an effort to post my reviews.

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  21. Thanks for posting another way we can support each other. I'm going to try to get to more signings.

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  22. Shannon, thank you! I have started going to all the signings I can (not that many in my neck of the woods) both as a show of support and research to see what works and what doesn't so I'm more informed when it's my turn!

    (I'm supposed to unplug today shhhh I wasn't here and you haven't seen me)

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  23. I really need to work on this. I'm lousy at writing reviews so I usually shy away from it, but I should try harder. One thing I do is I try to buy only new books when I shop for recent releases. The used ones are cheaper but the author doesn't get anything from a used book sale. I do buy used books sometimes, but usually only if they are by an author who is insanely popular or long dead. :)

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  24. Great idea about attending author signings to show our support! I've never attended one as I worried I'd feel obligated to buy the book, but how horrible if they held a signing and no one came! Will definitely keep an eye out for local signings and start going. Thanks for the great suggestion!

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  25. Another fabulous idea for supporting each other. I may have to start making some trips to Boston!

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  26. I don't know why I didn't think of leaving Amazon reviews! That's just craziness on my part. And I need to make a point of going to more author signings - as you say, just because they're not in your genre doesn't mean they wouldn't be great people to meet! :)

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