by Thomas Duffy – Author of Social Work

Five Ways To Support Independent Authors by Thomas Duffy

I’ve connected with Thomas, a fellow Duff(y) across the waters between Sydney and New York thanks to the wonders of social media. I love the topics he chooses for his books which not only get you thinking but sometimes stir a reaction. An emotional response is good, whatever form it takes. It spurs us on to think about others, trigger empathy, and focus for a minute on the not too distant future and what that holds for us all on this planet.

Being an independent author of many books, Thomas has a wealth of experience and tips when it comes to ways you can support independent authors, and here are his top five.

Thanks, Thomas!

Be honest

For example, if you take a copy of a book from an independent author to avoid being rude, you are in the wrong. Somewhat. Let me explain. When I wrote “To Never Know,” I offered free copies and over 25 people took me up on the offer. I never got feedback from many of them and very few, almost none of them, left a review on Amazon or anywhere else.

You may think it hurts the author’s feelings to not to take a copy but it hurt my bank account to pay to print 25 copies of my book to almost no feedback. I received good professional reviews, some of my best yet, so it wasn’t a bad book.

It just may not have been something that you, in particular, wanted to read. Just say “I am not an avid reader” or “I have very little free time.” It may be easier for everyone involved. Please don’t take a copy and “ghost” the author, it’s not respectful and you leave the author wondering what happened!

Do leave a review somewhere, ANYWHERE

Goodreads, Amazon, book blogs, anywhere as long as your opinion warrants three stars or better. Some people think if they don’t give five stars, their opinion will hurt the author. Not true. People want honest feedback on the book and if they see a book with no reviews, they are less likely to buy it. And, that’s the bottom line. Better to say what you need to say as long as it won’t put the writer in such a bad light that people would think the writer’s work was really bad. 

Offer suggestions

If the book wasn’t up to your standards! Don’t say, “this book is horrible,” but rather offer constructive criticism and advice. Remember this particular indie author probably wasn’t paid anything close to a Stephen King level advance to write the book and, in many probable cases, ask yourself: Was this author paid at all? Probably not. The independent author wants to be successful and will do what needs to be done to make their next book better. But, we need your help! 

Buy the book through traditional channels

Amazon is the best way to buy my book and the best way to ensure I will see the money from the sale which would be the royalty. eBay sells my book but I am not certain I’ve seen any money if anybody bought their copy there, for instance. Do the right thing and go through ta reputable marketplace to obtain your copy.

If you like the book, talk about it!

Talk to EVERYONE who likes books and let them know! It would make a world of difference in an indie author’s life. We just want to know the word is getting out and that our efforts are paying off even in small ways. It takes time to build readership. We know that and we respect that. Thank you for your consideration and happy reading! 

Follow and support independent authors where you can and you may discover some real hidden gem reads!

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