Okay, so let's be real. We want you to read our books. I have one coming out this month, even. It would be pretty great if somebody read it. But I get it -- books require some disposable income that we don't always have. So if you can't spend on book-buying but you still want to support authors, here are some pointers.
1. Support them on social media
At the risk of sounding like everyone else, social media and marketing are nearly synonymous these days. That being said, following an author on all forms of social media that you have can be not only helpful to the writer, but also really fun for you. You get to keep up with new developments, see giveaways before other people, and sneak a peek into a writer's life. And don't forget, sharing is caring!
This includes crowdfunding-esque sources like Thunderclap, Daycause, and more. For example, with a new release coming up, I have a Thunderclap that needs 100 supporters; in other words, 100 people need to support the cause by allowing the program to automatically share a message from their chosen social media. Things like this aren't always common knowledge to readers, but most authors know them intimately. Help us out, free of charge!
2. Leave a review
Let's say you've already read the book. It costs nothing at all for you to take five minutes and leave an honest review. Many people use reviews to help them decide to buy a book. Not to mention, sites like BookBub and others use reviews as an indicator of a book's worth. Right or wrong, we need reviews to survive.
3. Spread the word
Far and away, the best method of marketing is word of mouth. So if you want to support an author, recommend them to your friends. Talk them up to librarians and independent bookstores who may want to order something new. Suggest their books to anyone who asks for something new.
See? Easy! And not a penny spent.
One more thing...I know not everyone loves eBooks, but consider this: an eBook copy of one of my books is under five dollars. Less than a trip to the gas station. Less than a movie ticket. And you get to read it for hours and keep it forever.
Just think about it. Your independent and local authors are worth it.