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15* things you can do to help authors you love who aren’t household names that won’t cost you a penny:

1. When you’re going to buy something on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, go to your selected author’s website. Click on one of their books to take you to the bookseller’s site. Then proceed with your shopping. Your selected author will get a small percent (usually around 4%) of what you spend without it costing you more. (You do not need to buy the selected author’s book for this to work, but of course it’s much appreciated.)

2. Ask your library to get your selected author’s books – ebook, print, paperback, audiobook. Almost all libraries seek suggestions from patrons.

3. If you are going to buy a book by your selected author and see both a listing labeled “Sponsored” on Amazon and a listing without that for the same book, click on the one that does NOT say “Sponsored.” Each time you click on a “Sponsored” listing – whether you buy or not – more of your money goes to Amazon, less to the author.

-4. If you see a Facebook ad by the author and click it, please like/love it and – ohhhh – a comment is especially helpful. This is “social proof” and encourages other folks to look at and interact with the ad.

5. Check out your selected authors’ books from the library. Libraries track checkouts and that helps them decide which future books to buy.

6. Tell your friends and family about your favorite authors’ books. Personal word of mouth is THE way most people find new-to-them authors.

7. Review each of the books you’ve read by your selected authors. Every single review serves as online word of mouth. Your reviews can be short, succinct. Share what your reader experience of this book was. And you can do this gradually over time!

8. Post reviews at multiple spots – retailer + BookBub + Goodreads, etc.

9. If you’re especially nurturing of your selected authors, review the books you’ve read that are deeper in their series/less well known. Those books often are overlooked by reviewers. Having reviews for them is particularly helpful.

10. Click “like” on positive reviews – if you do like the review. Negative reviews get scads of “helpful” votes from people who have never read the reviewed book. Amazon then puts those negative reviews first. Doesn’t matter how many positive reviews there are, a single negative with more “helpful” votes will go first.

11. Share your selected author’s FB posts/Tweets/IG posts about their books.

12. Sign up for the author’s newsletter … but only IF you want to receive it and will open and read it. If you don’t open it, it dings the author’s sending reputation and that can hurt the chances of other things the author sends reaching the people who want it. (“Opening” usually includes allowing the images to show.)

13. Follow your selected author at BookBub… or even Amazon. (But know that BookBub or Amazon then won’t let the author respond to you and they – not the author — control your email address. With the newsletter, the author controls the communication and protects your email address … and many of us are vigilant about protecting our readers’ email addys.)

14. Follow an author on Facebook, Twitter, IG, etc AND comment on their posts/Tweets.

15. Reply to the author’s newsletter now and then. This tells your email provider that you really want that newsletter, so it’s less likely to drop into spam – AND that helps everyone from your email provider who subscribes. (Adding the email address the newsletter’s sent from to your address book also helps the newsletter get through to you.)

*15 and counting? I might think of more. Better yet, you might think of more – let me know!