If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

How to Support Writers You Like Even When You Don’t Have Money to Buy Their Books




My third Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear, is available for pre-order, and I’ve put the links up on my website and blog and tweeted and facebooked them. (BSP: Here’s a link if you’re interested. http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com/)

I heard from a couple of people who were in financial straits/on fixed income and wanted me to know that they would buy my book as soon as they had the wherewithal. They felt bad about this, and I felt bad that they should feel bad. I know what it’s like to be in that situation. There’s a certain month of the year that’s always tight financially for us, and it happens to be the month when dozens of my friends and favorite writers launch books. There’s no way I can buy all of them at that time, though I do try to get them all later.

So I thought I would give a few guidelines for folks in this situation, temporarily or permanently. If you want to support your favorite authors but can’t buy their books, you can do these things, and those authors will love you forever because you’ll be truly helping to ensure that that favorite author can keep giving you the books you love.

Ask your library to order the book, and then check it out. Library sales are important to most authors, and we love libraries. If you check out our books, the libraries will keep buying them and won’t sell us off for pennies at the Friends of the Library book sale. (Many libraries get rid of books that haven’t been checked out in more than a year, so even if you own a book, checking out from your local library helps keep your author alive there.)

Post it in your WantToRead shelf on Goodreads when you know the book is coming. Publishers tell us that is important, that other readers look at those and often decide whether to buy the book based on how many other people have listed it as something they want.

Once you read the library book, write a short, simple review and post it to Goodreads and Amazon. Publishers tell us those are what really sell books.

Talk up your author and book on Facebook and Twitter. I know for a fact that people have bought my books because of wonderful things some of my fans have posted on those two platforms about them. Word of mouth is still the best advertising.

If you’re in a book club or book discussion group or anything like that, suggest your author’s book for the group to read and discuss.

If you take one or more of these actions for your author, you have given great support and taken steps to make sure that s/he will be able to continue writing and publishing the books you love. I learned about many of these possibilities after several authors whose books I love and who had awards and great reviews were summarily dropped for lackluster sales. Anything we can do to help others learn about the authors and books we love helps to keep them available to us, too.

So please don’t feel bad if you can’t buy all the books you want to. You can still do plenty to support the books you love without spending a dime if you’re willing to give a little time to spread the word about the wonderful experience you’ve had in reading them.

24 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

While Amazon and Goodreads are two important sites, don’t forget Barnes & Noble. Some people shop there because they want to support brick and mortar stores; some just so Amazon doesn’t control everything.

Another thing you can do is make sure to tell the author directly (usually via email) how much you enjoyed their book. Psychological encouragement doesn’t replace dollars from a sale, but it’s important as well.

~ Jim

Linda Rodriguez said...

Both excellent suggestions, Jim. And there's LibraryThing, which I don't deal with so don't know if they do reviews. In general, any way you can get out word that you loved the author's books and recommend them is great.

Warren Bull said...

I'm looking forward to your next book. I have pre-ordered it, which I know is another thing that helps authors. Jim's right. The more reviews an author gets, the more people may run across a book and read it.
Thanks for the good ideas.

Sarah Henning said...

Great blog, Linda! Fantastic demonstration of how every little thing can help an author!

Shari Randall said...

Great ideas, Linda. I'm going to make sure I check out a few favorites today! And congratulations on the new book!

Kelly Saderholm said...

This is a terrific post! Love these suggestions. Thanks so much.

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for laying out for us ways we can be supportive. Nobody I know can buy all the books they want to!

My husband spends a good hunk of our book budget on zombie books (go figure) and one of my daughters asks for books for Christmas and birthdays, but they tend to be unlikely GPO publications such as The History of the Federal Highway Administration, which cost a fortune.

cttiger said...

Great suggestions! I use my library a lot. Never thought about posting as Want to Read on GoodReads, though. Thanks.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, you are great!! And you're right that pre-orders have become more and more important to writers. Publishers often decide how big a print run and how much, if any, promotion they will give a book based on pre-orders. Bookstores base orders on that, too. So pre-orders can determine whether your book will be on the shelves in bookstores around the country or have to be special-ordered.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Sarah. I wanted folks to see that there are many different ways to support their favorite authors.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Shari, great! I was stunned to learn how many libraries get rid of books that haven't been checked out in a year or so. But of course, they have limited space and must use it for what their constituents want most.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Kelly! When I become a mystery writer and friends with a number of mystery writers that I admire, I also discovered how it was that a writer whose work I loved would just suddenly disappear in spite of awards and great reviews. If their sales weren't constantly increasing, their publishers would drop them, and they'd have to reinvent themselves, sometimes even under another name. That's when I started researching all the ways we readers can keep that from happening.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Yes, KM, I have books I love whose authors I don't know plus lots of books I love whose authors I do know well, and I want to support them all, but it's tough, especially when a whole bunch of them come out on the same day. It's nice to know there are things I can do to support them until I can afford to buy them.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Cttiger, I learned that from an interview with someone from a Big 5 publisher. They'd done the research and found that that helped trigger sales.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, I buy more books than I probably should, but I want to support the writers I know even if it's only slightly through the guppies. I'll especially buy the books in series I enjoy. I have individual shelves in my library devoted to one or two writers I enjoy. However, for my book clubs I try to get the book from the library first, If the waiting list is too long, I'll buy it from a local book store or order it through Amazon.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, yes, I think we all try to buy as many books as we can. But there are readers on limited incomes or who have suffered serious financial setbacks and are having trouble paying rent or buying food, and I never want them to feel bad if they can't buy my hardcovers when they come out. I appreciate the heck out of all my readers who pre-order and buy my books--without them, I couldn't keep publishing--but I also appreciate those who like my work but can't always afford to buy it. I never want them to feel bad about it.

Kara Cerise said...

Terrific ideas, Linda. I will update my WantToRead shelf on Goodreads and make an effort to write more reviews.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Yay, Kara! I need to hit Goodreads and do the same myself. I tend to do a bunch of books for my Want to Read shelf all at once.

E. B. Davis said...

Anyone can request that their public library buy specific titles. They don't always buy them, but I think they do try when they get requests.

I try to support authors by interviewing them. But, I made the decision a few years ago to read every author I interviewed. In recent months, I've been getting free copies from authors. I love books, and I buy them. But, if I bought every book for every interview, I'd be in debt. It sure helps when authors give me free copies. I really appreciate it.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Your blog is right on the money for those who don't have money to buy every book --- there definitely are ways we can help authors out. Another way is to blog or write about a book whenever one has the opportunity....facebook, twitter, etc.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Most libraries do try to order books that their constituents have asked for, Elaine. It always helps if more than one asks, though.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Yes, Debra, anyone who has a blog or is part of a group blog or on a group on Facebook can post a review or recommendation and that's a fabulous way to support that author or book. Word of mouth is still the absolute best generator of book sales.

Reine said...

Great blog, Linda. And lots of good suggestions here

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Reine!