5 Ways to support authors without spending a dime

Every single year thousands of trees breathe their last as they are hewed down to make books, many of which never sell beyond a few copies. Many authors resort to giving their books out for free.

According to TechCrunch, one new book is published on Amazon every 5 minutes. Another source I read said that in the US alone about 1 million books are published every year. Now, imagine we use that as a benchmark for other countries in the world.

The United Nations has 191 countries represented. Multiplying 191 by 1 million books gives us 191,000,000. That’s massive.

Only a tiny little fraction of that number, perhaps 0.00001, end up becoming best sellers on New York Times, Sunday Times, and other lists like these.

Books have changed people’s lives from the start of the printing press and even more recently the digital revolution.

Have you read a book that has changed your life or added so much value to you?

If you bought the book, great! But many times, we borrow these books and after reading, you simply praise the author in your mind and return the book to your shelf or to the person you borrowed the book from.

You can do more.

So, what can you do to support authors?

1. Review their books:

You don’t know how much authors are longing to have feedback on their books. It takes a quantum leap to write a book and put it out there for people to buy. So, when someone buys, reads and gives a comment, it releases dopamine (that feel-good hormone from the brain) that makes the author feel rewarded. Every time I receive positive feedback for my books, articles or the courses I offer, it brings smiles to my face and literally lightens up my day much more.

So, if you have a book in your library that has added much value to you, why not find the author’s email and send them a comment, feedback, or praise report on how the book has added value to you or helped you in your journey in life.

Books have changed people’s lives from the start of the printing press and even more recently the digital revolution.

2. Buy their next book:

Most authors are serial authors. They always have ideas up their sleeves. When that author releases another book, be the first to purchase. Recently, I ordered No Limits authored by John Maxwell (this is his latest book published in 2017). As at the time I ordered the book, it wasn’t in Nigeria yet. I ordered it fresh from Amazon and it was brought to Nigeria. I love and support the works of John C. Maxwell, and many other authors as well.

Buy their books. It is an investment for you. There is no amount of money that can measure up to the experience and wealth of wisdom that an author pours out in his/her book.

3. Follow them on Social Media:

Social media has connected us and made us more intimate than we could ever have imagined. Can you imagine having John Maxwell’s podcast land in my mail every single day? Or reading updates from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her Twitter handle?

It’s awesome.

I follow Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, John Maxwell, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and many other writers and authors on Twitter. I love and retweet some of their posts. They may not respond to your messages or retweets, and then, they may. But this shows your support for what they do.

For authors, like myself, who may not be as popular as these folks yet, perhaps those ones on your Facebook friend list or someone close to you, following them on Social Media, sharing their content will help them go far and even reach more people who may need the same message that has so helped you.

There is no amount of money that can measure up to the experience and wealth of wisdom that an author pours out in his/her book.

4. Post about the book online:

After you’ve devoured a book, you can tell the world about it. How about doing a thread on Twitter with a unique hashtag and the author’s handle? How about writing a Facebook note, or post and telling us how the book has helped you, then include links to how others can buy the book.

One post, tagging your friends with the image of the book and where to get it, goes a long way to support the author’s work.

5. Tell a friend or 50 of them about the book:

This is similar to what I said earlier. Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising. I can’t count how much I’ve spoken about some authors and books I’ve read. I’ve shared in my books on certain books that have had a profound impact on my life. I talk about Stephen Covey, John Maxwell, Mensa Otabil, Sam Adeyemi, Tony Robbins, Ben Carson, and many others too numerous to mention.

Now, these are big names. How about the others you know?

Tell your friends about that Ebook you bought online and tell them where to get it. Don’t share the intellectual work of these authors with your friend. If you bought it, tell them where they can get theirs too. Even if it was given for free, still lead them to where you got it from.

Typically, as a reader, you can only buy one copy of a book. These steps above do not cost money directly, you can do all of these (or some of these) to support the authors you read about.

Doing the steps outlined above can be your gift back to them.

Will you?

I was inspired to put up this post by Jandra Sutton

Posted in Uncategorized.

Oluwatobi has been a creative writer for over 8 years running. Over the years, he has tapped into the value chain in writing and now provides services as an editor, proofreader, and an online publishing consultant. He serves international clients through Upwork and local clients via his online publishing solutions firm.


  1. Hi Oluwatosin,
    This post is amazing.
    I couldn’t agree more with the fact that no amount of money can measure up to the wisdom shared by authors their books.

    I am a voracious reader, anytime I finished reading a good book. I would consider the impact of the book on me against the cost of the book. Most often, I ended up with the feeling that money can’t pay for the effect.

    You raised so many valid points here, and I need to start implementing them.

    I have read about two of your books and they are really great.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the comment, Taiwo.

      The worth of the books we read is greater than the price we pay for them. The least we can do as readers is to support the ongoing work of the authors.

      I’m glad you see value in this and are willing to start implementing.

      Keep up the great work.

      Thanks again for the comment.

  2. You are very correct. Buying a book, took much time to read through and then keep in in one’s shelf only is not enough to encourage an author of which I never like doing.
    I read, share, give feedback and order for another.

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