We’ve all seen this meme on social media at some point or another right? For most of us, it’s an automatic share with fairly little thought behind it. At best we nod and hit that share button with a sense of purpose, hoping that others will sense the strength of our feelings about this matter. Let’s take a look at this meme. First of all, I would suggest that while this is focused on Indie Authors, it holds true for any author.
First of all, the issue of paying for books. I’m an honest woman and I confess, I like a good pirate… sigh… but unless that pirate happens to be the ever delicious Johnny Depp, there really isn’t any place for them in the real world. There certainly isn’t any place for pirates in the world of publishing. Sadly though, no-one has yet started a petition to hang them high and dry and so we suffer with them still!
So when I commit to paying for the books I read, this is an important issue for me. Have I ever wanted to read a book or series that I couldn’t afford? Of course. Have I ever been tempted to hunt down pdf copies online? Never. I believe in having respect for the author and the hours of hard work that they put into creating that book. Additionally, I was raised by a police officer, so perhaps that plays a role in it too? I have long believed that anyone who supports or defends the piracy of books (music, photography, etc) was raised badly, but that’s neither here nor there.
An author has worked really hard on their book, the least you can do is pay for it.
Next, let’s look at the issue of writing reviews. This one shouldn’t need much explaining. If you’ve read a book that you really enjoyed, then saying so is a great way to thank the author. Taking the time to acknowledge that their words moved you or entertained you or educated you is such a simple thing, but it can mean the world to an author. You have no idea! There is some basic review etiquette that I’ll cover in another post, but basically, if you don’t have anything nice to say… it really is better to keep your mouth shut.
Reviewing ties in nicely to the last item in the meme… Spreading the word. Reviewing a book will tell other potential readers and buyers something about the book, will encourage them to take the chance on a title that has already caught their eye. By sharing your review on your own social media channels, you help to bring attention to that book… you help the author to reach new people that they could otherwise never have reached. Naturally you can spread the word whether you review or not. Every little bit helps to support authors.
As I said at the beginning, while this meme is specific to Indie Authors, I would say that it’s the same for every author. Being published by a mainstream or “big” publisher doesn’t make that person any less in need of honest readers, good reviews and spreading the word.
Now… go forth and support the creative endeavours of authors everywhere!
Until next time…