Tuesday 21 July 2020

How to support your writer friend

So your friend has written a book. That’s amazing! But maybe you’re not sure how best to support them, especially if you’re not a writer (or even a big reader) yourself. In this TOTALLY-NOT-SELF-SERVING blog post, two weeks before the publication of my own debut novel, Bronte’s Mistress, I’m sharing a list of ways you can show your friend you care.

This post assumes that your friend is published traditionally (not self-published or aspiring to publish), but let me know if you want additional posts talking about these scenarios too.

Buy their book

Writers need to sell books, so there’s no better way to support your friend’s career than by purchasing a copy. However, everyone has different financial situations, and, especially mid-pandemic, you might not be in a position to spend much on non-essential items. Here are some helpful things to note. If your friend is traditionally published, it doesn’t matter to them financially which format you buy their book in. Royalty percentages vary, so the dollar amount that goes to the writer is going to be similar whether you go for that glossy hardcover or the cheaper e-book. Similarly, if your friend’s book is on offer somewhere (maybe Amazon has reduced the price or another book retailer is doing a sale), this means savings for you, without hurting them. Their royalties are going to be calculated based on recommended retail price.

Borrow their book

If money is still an issue though, or if you want to read a physical book while embracing extreme minimalism in your home, consider borrowing the book from your local library. If they don’t seem to have the book, request it! This could mean a sale for your friend without you having to spend a dime.

Gift their book

Maybe you know your friend’s book just isn’t for you. It’s horror and you’re easily horrified. It’s a romance and you’ve never enjoyed the genre. That’s okay! Consider buying the book instead for someone else you know who might genuinely love it. It’s better that than nuking your friendship by leaving a one-star review. Speaking of which…

Write a (good) review

Sure, you may be a little biased, but if you loved your friend’s book and are comfortable doing so, shout it the world! Amazon and Goodreads are the two most important places for book reviews. Leaving a five-star review will take you less than five minutes, but will be a gift that keeps giving to the author.

Post on social media

Is your Instagram feed your pride and joy? Do you post to Facebook ten times a week? Now is your moment to shine. Book covers are writers’ number one marketing tool, so that pic of your friend’s book beside your morning latte is marketing gold for the writer. Just remember to tag them, as long as you’re not saying anything negative!

Attend their events

Writers with books coming out in 2020 are having to forego the typical book launch party, but this does mean their events are a much smaller time commitment and so easier for you to attend. Watch Facebook Live in your PJs or wave at your friend on Zoom. They’ll love you for it. (Speaking of which, you’re all invited to my launch event—all the info here!).

Invite them to your book club

Are you in a book club that would love to read your friend’s book? A lot of writers would be flattered and delighted to be asked to join a book club meeting for a Q&A. And you’ll get kudos for knowing a real life writer. ;)

Just be a friend

Launching a book can be stressful, so sometimes support can be simple as checking in. Maybe your friend would love to escape for a day or evening and talk about anything but their book? You know them best, so whether the foundation of your friendship is gaming, fishing, complaining, laughing, or drinking copious amounts of wine, you’ll understand instinctually what will matter most to them.

Do you want to support the launch of Bronte’s Mistress? Now you know how to…

Pre-order the book!

Attend the launch event (virtually)!

Message me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, if you want me to join your book club for a Q&A. J


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  1. Egads! Bronte was a lesbian???
    Never HERD of such a thing...
    following the HERD of the
    whorizontalism ..???

    1. The novel is about the affair between Branwell Bronte and Lydia Robinson, his boss's wife.