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Today's blog focuses on the ways in which friends and supporters of authors, especially indie authors such as myself, can play their part in uplifting an author and helping them to spread the word about their book. In an increasingly loud and crowded marketplace, where how many Facebook friends and Twitter followers you have can make the difference to your publicity, it can be difficult to get your modest voice heard above the humming throng. So, in this blog, I'm not talking about the ways in which publicity can be sought by an author through social media means or by taking out adverts or doing the more obvious publicity through vehicles such as newspapers, blogs or radio/vlog interviews. What I am talking about are the small but significant ways in which a friend or supporter or admirer of a book and/or its author can improve its visibility. Firstly, read the book. It may sound obvious, but for many authors, it is the thought of people reading their book which motivates and uplifts them. Of course, all authors would like a multi million pound publishing deal but the reality is that very few authors live off the proceeds of their books. But we authors write our books so they can be read. And hearing from your readers is always interesting. You, the audience, may take something unique from our writing due to your own background, interests or understanding. You may notice a nuance that nobody else has, or identify with a particular character. Or you may object to something we have written. In any case, we love to get that feedback from our readers. If you can't bring yourself to read the book (you don't read, you 'haven't time', you only read one author or genre, whatever) you can still show your support by recommending the book to people you know who might enjoy it, or by purchasing copies of the book as gifts to friends who would love the chance to read something new and interesting. Just think, if you got a copy for everyone on your Christmas present list how easy Christmas shopping that year might be! :-) You can share the details of your friend's listing on Amazon, or their website address with your friends and followers on social media too; even if you don't fancy the book, some of your friends might! If you do read and enjoy the book, please tell someone! Word of mouth and personal recommendation is the best way for people to get to know about indie books. Please consider writing a review on Amazon. If you can't be bothered to write a review, just give it stars. If you belong to a community which uses real noticeboards, ask your author friend if they have any flyers or publicity cards you can pin up for them. If you are a member of an online forum or you write a blog, mention that you enjoyed the book. If you are in charge of a cafe or a shop, leave out some flyers or cards. If you help out at a library see if you can get a copy for your library. Libraries are very individual in their approach; some are happy to stock copies of indie published books, others refuse to do so. Lend a friend your copy of the book if they can't or won't buy their own (but make sure you get it back!). Remember that an e-book often only costs as much as a drink on an evening out - and gives many more hours of pleasure! On behalf of independent authors everywhere, thank you to those people who do make a leap of faith and who read our books; you make such a difference and we really appreciate you!


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