That's me, second from the left, at booQfest in Northampton. Also in the photo are authors Morgen Bailey, Adrian Magson, Paul Magrs and Jane Lovering (with our friend Col hiding in the centre). It was at this event that I met my good friend Will Davis and got to meet Alan Moore.
Authors need a lot of love to keep producing new work. Writing is rarely ever easy, and a little bit of support goes a really long way. Here's some tips on how to show love for an author.
1. Buy a copy of their work, obvs.
2. If you love their book and find yourself recommending it to friends, consider buying your friend a copy rather than lending them yours (they probably won't give it back anyway).
3. If you're happy and you know it - leave a review. Not just on Amazon (though, that's the most helpful), but also on Goodreads, which is a site that influences a lot of purchases, and on any other website you have bought it through.
4. Tell the world about it. If you're on social media, then Tweet, Facebook and Instagram about it. If you have a blog, then write a review. You can even do a video review, like this kind gentleman. Please also include a cover picture and tag the author in where possible, so they can share the post. I promise you, authors love being tagged, it isn't a weird thing to do.
5. Interact with their online content. Retweet on Twitter, and leave comments on their Facebook, YouTube and blog posts. You can also ask them a question about their work on Goodreads.
6. If you have a book/writing-related blog, ask the author if they want to do an interview , a Q&A or a guest post - 90% of the time they really, really do. Ditto for podcasts. If you run a writing group, ask them to come along virtually or in person.
7. If you really liked a book, buy a spare copy and Bookcross it, leave it in a public place, or donate a copy to your local library.
8. If you didn't enjoy the book - that's fine. We all have different tastes and there's never been a book written that everybody loved. I'm a reader as well as a writer, and I sometimes write book reviews too, not all of them glowing. But, if you're going to write a duff review, try and keep it constructive. Many authors do read reviews, and hearing 'it was shit' after a year of work is somewhat soul destroying. It's important to be honest, but you can soften the blow a little.
9. If you've obtained a pirated copy of a book, borrowed a copy from a friend or read a story by an author that was free online, consider giving something back. Either buy a copy of something else they've written, sign up to their Patreon page if they have one, or send a donation. (Not all authors provide a way to do that, but, just saying - there's a PayPal button below).
10. Finally, pick up a book by an unknown author now and then. You might just enjoy it, and a review or a mention would mean the world to them.