As 2008 winds down and we look forward to 2009, I'm thinking about all the books I'm looking forward to in the coming year.
I'm sure you know there are a LOT of great books for kids and teens coming out in the coming months. A lot as in the 100's, easily. And many of them by debut authors who need all the help and support they can get. Unfortunately, most of us can't really buy 100+ books for ourselves each and every year. So I thought I'd post a list of ways we can support our fellow authors in other ways besides purchasing the book. When we can buy the book, wonderful! But when we can't, we can do other things that will help the author in the long run. I'm sure you know most of these, but I thought it might be a nice reminder for all of us, me included!
Lisa's Top 10 list of ways to support your author friends
1. Ask your public library to order a copy. There's a box at my library where you can request titles for purchase. Some libraries have it on-line. It really only takes a minute to do it. Usually you can request that the library reserve the title for you once they order it. That way you're first on the list to read it!
2. After you read a book you like, blog about it. If you're like me and don't have the time or talent to do a really thorough review, put the cover up and give it two thumbs-up, or whatever. robinellen does a monthly blog post about books she read with a rating system, and she's honest! Not everyone is comfortable with that, I know, so you can be what Laini Taylor calls a "book recommender." That is, only blog about a book when you like it. Just do whatever you're comfortable with.
3. If you see an interesting interview or a great review about an author you know, put the link in your blog and point people there. Stuff like this is much more interesting when it comes from someone besides the author herself.
4. E-mail the author and ask if he/she has any bookmarks or postcards you could pass out to teachers, librarians, friends, etc.
5. Have a few book lists ready in your purse or wallet, in case a conversation comes up where you have a chance to give some recommendations. This happened to me just the other night, when a girl said she was done with BREAKING DAWN and didn't know what to read next. Word of mouth is HUGE, especially for authors that aren't well known, so be ready when the opportunity strikes!
6. Post a review on Powells.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and/or Amazon.com. Good reviews are helpful to an author, especially when a book first comes out. I know I've slacked off on this lately, and I need to get back to doing it. The other thing you can do is find areas on message boards to talk about books, like Verla Kay's board has a "Book Talk" section where you can comment about books you've read.
7. If you go to a fellow author's event, take a picture and talk about the event on your blog, and if it's a really good picture, maybe try submitting it to the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf on-line newsletter.
8. Make a list on Amazon, and put your favorite books in a certain genre, or favorite books of the year, or ten books you're really excited about in the coming year, whatever. People DO read those lists!
9. If you have a kid's birthday party to go to, give a book! Combine it with something else, if you'd like, to make it more fun and interesting, but buying books as gifts is really a win-win situation, right? Good for the kid, ultimately, if he/she ends up reading it, and good for the author and publishing industry.
10. Respond to questions on Goodreads, Amazon, LJ groups, etc. and recommend new titles. I often see the same titles being recommended over and over again, and while I know that's because they are GOOD books, there are other books, not well known, that could be getting some well-deserved air time too.
Are there any other good ones you can think of?