Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Cost-Free Ways for You to Support Your Favorite Small Press Author (Perhaps Me?)

(Did you all know I have a story coming out in Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages? It's pretty long and in good company, and you can pre-order it now for roughly $12 through Amazon!)

People often tell me they wish I would write more, which is an awesome thing for someone to wish of you. The truth is, I have written a lot more, and some of those things are ready for publication and some of them are not. The reason you are not reading these things is because I have not found the right publisher/agent for them yet. And helping me find a publisher for my work is something YOU can play a huge role in - simply by being an active fan. Here's how:

1. Pimp my work on social networking sites. Post links to on Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads. Pin a book of mine on Pinterest, share it on your blog or Tumblr, do something with it on Reddit (I'm not actually sure what Reddit is/does, but I'm sure it can be of use). Spread it like mouth herpes on the lips and tongues of the vasty interwebs!

2. Write a review. (Or give a simple star rating if you're not the verbose type.) A review is the most generous gift you can give to an author (I always ask for them on my birthday). Even if you didn't wholly enjoy the title, a thoughtful critique is always useful to the writer AND to potential discerning readers. Because of its insanely large customer base, Amazon is the most crucial site on which to post a review, but other good ones include Goodreads, Library Thing, Shelfari, and even your own personal blog or a retailer site like Also, if you want to really make an author's day, email or tweet them (when possible) to let them know how much you liked their work, so they can pee themselves with happiness (maybe it's just me who does this?) and retweet or blog your link, driving traffic to your various webspaces in return. Everybody wins (and pees)!

3. Good ol' fashioned larynx-based word-of-mouth. At a loss for words around your new coworkers or at that slightly awkward family BBQ? Got nothing interesting to say at your high school reunion, on a first date, during your driver's test, or while getting a breast exam? Books are a great way to get the conversation flowing! Eat Your Heart Out, for example, has many topics you could focus on: queer culture, celebrity, relationship issues, motorcycles, furniture outlet stores, zombies. It has so many topics that some people (Lambda Literary and Queered Science of Oakland, CA) find it extremely fun to read for their book clubs! I even wrote up a handy Discussion Guide for just this specific purpose. Share, share, share!

4. Ask your local bookstore, chain store, or library to order a copy. Even if you don't intend to purchase it from them, ask them to order it in anyway, so that the title is floating around, and the name is in their heads.

5. Buy the book! (This one costs money.) Buying the book not only provides you with hours of entertainment, it shows potential publishers that the author has selling power (and possibly allows her to break even on all of her out-of-pocket expenses for promoting the book herself). An author with a proven audience has a greater chance of selling more manuscripts or acquiring an agent so that they can continue to put out books for you to enjoy for hours and hours and hours to come! EBooks are especially affordable - why, you can snag a copy of Sleep Like This for a paltry .99 cents! Eat Your Heart Out is now only $3.99, and the preorder for Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages is currently discounted at $12 (physical copy).

Thank you to everyone who has done any or all of these things for me (there are too many of you to list!), and to anyone and everyone who will do them for me in the future. I couldn't chase my silly dreams without you.