All authors need the help of their readers to spread the word, and indie authors need all the grassroots help they can get. We don't have the large publishers to help us with marketing, and most of us are still working our 9 to 5 trying to make ends meet. If you like a book, and especially if you LOVE it, we deeply appreciate your help!
The greatest kindness you can pay an author is to tell others about their books. One way or another. Tell your family, your friends, your co-workers, the person on the bus, anybody.
One of the best and most far-reaching ways to tell others is to write a review.
If you bought the book on Amazon, rating the book and leaving a review there can be extremely helpful. The more reviews a book has, the more validation many readers perceive it to have. Leaving a thoughtful review on Amazon of what you liked (and/or didn't like) without spoilers (please!) can be very helpful to other readers looking for a book to love.
If you like the book enough and got it free through a giveaway or e-book promotion on Amazon or Smashwords, consider purchasing a copy, not because the author gets the money, but for visibility's sake. Books easily become buried on Amazon. The more a book is purchased, the higher it's ranked and more often it's used as a recommendation. It becomes more visible to potential readers. People don't buy books they don't know exist!
Add the book on Goodreads. Leave a review. Join in on discussions of the book or start one yourself. Recommend the book to appropriate groups you already belong to and participate in. Add the book to appropriate Goodreads lists and vote on the lists it's already listed to. The more votes, the higher it moves on the list and the more people see it. Goodreads activity is a HUGE help to authors.
Please don't download books off ANY unauthorized sites. This is NOT a victimless crime. Writers work very hard on their books (or they should) and often spend a great deal of time and money to produce and market a quality product. I certainly have. I have not yet come anywhere close to making a profit. No, writing is not all about money for me. But if anyone should benefit from my work, it's me. And it should be up to me if I want to give it away. Any site offering free downloads (or worse, charging for it) of books under current copyright, and not endorsed by the author, is stealing. And so are you. If you really want to read a book and can't afford to buy, there are other ways to read it. Which leads to:
Check the book out from your library. If they don't have it, request it. The more a book is checked out, the longer it will remain on their shelves and the more people will have access to it. Most libraries have their own websites where you can rate and leave a review for books too. I have my book in several libraries and apparently they are checked out quite regularly. That is SO awesome.
Click “LIKE” on book sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any others possible. Also, when possible, click on genre and content tags of the books. This helps them be more easily seen by search engines.
Join the book's or author's fanpages. Comment and let us get to know you. I LOVE receiving comments – even random ones. It lets me know I'm not alone! Join in on discussions of the book or start one yourself. Participate!
Do you belong to a book club? Suggest it for a group read.
If you haven't bought it yet and don't mind paying full price, order it from your local Indie bookseller. They will appreciate the business (they will still make a decent profit off my books) and you will introduce them to a book they might not have heard of before. It's win/win for them. Awesome things can happen.
Share links. Tell your friends. Get others involved. Everything you can do counts. Thanks so much!