Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How people who love to read can support indie authors

It is an exciting time for people who love to read! Now, more than ever before, there is an abundance of books available online-and not just from the same old, well known authors.  Kindle and NOOK opened up the floodgates for new, indie authors to write books and have them published for Kindle, NOOK, and other e-readers.

Readers know that they can find a lot of fantasic books by indies at great prices.  These authors are trying to make a name for themself.  They price their books at a very reasonable rate, hoping to gain large readerships.  Some get offered contracts by major publishers, most don't.  Of those that do, some accept and some would rather stay independent.

It no longer means you "aren't good enough" to be traditionally published, if you opt to go indie.  The people that do are responsible for writing, sometimes editing (yes, an editor is someone every writer should employ, but most indies can't afford it, at flirst.  Smart indies, though, hire an editor as soon as they can afford to.  If they depend on themselves and others for free editing, they better make sure they do the very best they can.  Anythinng less looks unprofessional.),formatting for e-publishing, formatting for paperback, marketing, advertising....in short, idies do the job of at least a half a dozen people.

There are a few ways that you, as a reader, can really help keep these fresh, new books coming out.  First, of course, you can buy the indie books-if you like the free sample usually provided on the ordering websites.  However, a couple of other things are really important; and can make a book move up quickly in the seearch pages.  Those things are reviews and tagging.

Review are, well, book reviews.  An effective review not only tells people that you like the book, but why.  Talk about how you felt the characters come alive, that the dialog was crisp, etc.  Mention what moved you or made you laugh...but don't use spoilers!  Spoilers are references that will give away the "surprises" in the book.  Please-don't do that.  It ruins the book for other readers. A good review is more than a couple of sentences.  Check online at Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com and read some reviews.  You will know right away when a review is well written.  It gives you a reason to buy the book.  Lastly, don't sign a review as "Anonymous".  You don't have to use your full name, or even your real name, but "anonymous" sounds like the author wrote it.  Not helpful.

If you have time, don't limit the review to just the site where you bought the book.  Review it on Goodreads,com, post about it( with purchasing links if possible) on Facebook, and tweet about it.  Get the word out about your favorite indie authors and their books.

Tags are words/phrases people might use to search for something to read that interests them. On Amazon.com, you will find tags, or a place for them, a little bit after the reeviews, usually after "More About the Author" and "What Other Items....".  Click on the tags you agree with, create new ones you think would be appropriate for the book.  Here is an example of the tags for my novel on Amazon.com:

See how they work?

If is also nice if you hit the "like" on the book page, if you either want the book or read it.

Until I became an author, I did not realize that reviews and tags helped the book in any way.  I just thought they sat there for people already on the page.  Now, I know these things help move the book up in rankings.  Now you know, too.  Because of that, you can help both authors and other readers by gettting the books you love higher up in the rankings, where more people will see them.

Happy reading...and happy reviewing/tagging!

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