Ways you can support your fave indie authors

If you’re here then you probably love reading, and I’m willing to bet you’re a fan of indie books. And wouldn’t you love it if your fave authors could write and publish more books for you to devour and adore?

Then you’re in luck, because I’m going to tell you some simple and easy ways that you can support independent authors, most of which won’t cost you a penny (although we do love it when you buy our books! And we enjoy paying for things with money that we’ve earned from our passion – it feels amazing!).

Ten ways to support an indie author

  1. Buy a book for yourself or a friend
    1. If you already own the ebook, why not buy the paperback or hardback as a gift for your bookish friend? Audio books are also becoming more popular with indies, and once you own the ebook the audio is usually only a few quid with Amazon!
  2. Write a review
    1. Reviews are the single most effective way of supporting your favourite authors – indie or otherwise. Amazon starts to promote books in their own newsletters once they have over 50 reviews, and that really helps authors to be discovered by new readers. Even a one line review and a star rating is enough to make a difference, so next time you finish a book just head over to your favourite place to find new book recs and leave a short review.
  3. Share on social media
    1. Post a photo of your copy on Bookstagram, share the author’s cover reveal post on Facebook, tweet the link to your review, make a YouTube or TikTok video of your top five indie books. Basically, wherever you spend time online, tell your friends and followers about your latest reads.
  4. Suggest a book to your book club
    1. Haven’t joined a book club yet? Why not start one and schedule the first three books to get you started, and then take suggestions from a different member each month. You could even have themes, like ‘indie book month’ and ‘debut author month’.
  5. Create fan art
    1. If you love to draw or paint, why not recreate some of the characters and scenes from your favourite books and share your creations online?
  6. Write fanfic
    1. Get on fanfiction.net or WattPad and write the happy ending (or steamy scenario) your fave characters deserve!
  7. Donate your copy to a charity or local free library
    1. Write on a post it note why you loved it and pop it in one of those free library boxes you find in some towns, or drop it into a charity bin so someone else can discover their new favourite author – and you can help to raise some much needed charity funds at the same time.
  8. Preorder new releases
    1. Preorders help authors to hit the bestsellers list on release day, which helps them to reach new readers and be promoted by Amazon. They also tell us what our readers want – 500 preorders on your new urban fantasy release? Make it a trilogy! Plot a spin-off series! Write novellas from the POV of side characters!
  9. Buy merch (and tell people what it’s from)
    1. If you love a mug or tote bag with a catchy slogan, check out your fave author’s website and see if they sell merchandise with quotes from their books. You could get all your Christmas shopping done in one place!
  10. Engage with them online
    1. Follow their social media accounts, like, comment and share their posts, join in with their giveaways and games, tell them you love their books! We love hearing from our readers and we really appreciate every message, every comment and share, and every post shouting about our books. Keep them coming!

So that’s ten pretty simple ways you can make your favourite authors happy and give them a reason to celebrate! And keep writing books you’ll love.

Tell me in the comments, who’s your favourite indie author? And what’s your favourite book by an indie author?

Lyndsey
x

Writing rituals to get you in the mood

Writer friends – do you have a writing routine?

I struggle with routines as my life is a touch chaotic at this moment in time. Working full time, raising a very willful and somewhat maniacal toddler, forging a self-published author career and surviving through a global pandemic do not make for an easy environment to form new routines.

So instead of creating a strict, or even flexible, writing routine, I’ve taken to creating writing rituals instead. Ways to trick my brain into switching from mum, or wife, or employee mode, into writer mode.

My writing rituals

Here’s a little list of steps I take to prepare for a writing session.

  • Make a cup of tea (or coffee, or another beverage of your choice).
  • Fill a small bowl with snacks (nuts, pretzels, chocolate, whatever you fancy) and either eat throughout my session or check emails and do prep until the bowl is empty, and then the writing MUST start.
  • Light a scented candle (the scent doesn’t matter, but if you have one that reminds you of your current WIP, then all the better).
  • Play music that creates a mood without being distracting (for me it’s folklore and evermore by Taylor Swift, every time)
  • Mute my phone (set your In Case of Emergency contacts and make sure they can still reach you when in mute mode)
  • Choose a word count or time goal and try to focus until I’ve reached it
  • Allow breaks, allow my mind to wander, allow a drink and snack refill if required
  • Be kind to myself if writing isn’t going well today, and be proud of myself if I hit my goal

That’s it. I don’t have a set time that I write, some days I’m a morning person, others (most others) I’m decidedly not. Some days I want to hit 1k words, other days 500 will absolutely do. Some days I can’t face writing at all, so I watch TV with my husband or read a short story and don’t beat myself up for needing a break after a long, stressful day.


What little writing rituals do you observe? Do you have a strict writing routine or more of a set of rituals to get you in the writing mood, like me?

Are you taking part in Camp Nano this April? I’m trying, as I always find NaNoWriMo gives me a motivation boost and I come out with more words than I usually would, but I’m being kind to myself and not making myself write every single day.

Good luck with your current WIP! Tell me about it in the comments.

Lyndsey

x

Why changing your mind doesn’t make you a hypocrite

You’ve probably seen the “I was today years old when I learned” meme floating around the internet. It’s usually followed by some little-known or obscure fact of life, such as the best-before dates on beauty products (the little icon of a tub with a number on it represents how many months shelf-life the product has – I know, right! Mind = blown).

But when it comes to our opinions and beliefs – often founded on our parents’ and teachers’ own opinions and beliefs, as well as sometimes out-dated societal norms – it’s incredibly rare to hear an adult admit “I learned something new today and it changed my mind”.

It’s cool to be clever (and kind)

Is there an age at which the vast majority of our opinions have already been formed and we just stop taking in new information that could shape them? When does it stop being cool and start being embarrassing to completely change our viewpoint based on newly-learned info?

Stay open-minded and curious

Society loves putting us in boxes, forcing us into a grouping of people with similar thoughts and beliefs. Facebook is one of the worst places for it. If you’ve seen The Social Dilemma on Netflix you’ll know what I mean.

The social network listens to what we like, it absorbs the posts we comment on and share, the people we friend and follow, and the pages and groups we join. And then it creates an echo chamber especially for us, a hall of mirrors reflecting back what we already believe – distorting it slightly until we don’t know what’s fact and what’s fiction. But it’s too late, because we’re surrounded now, and nowhere is a challenging voice or a neutral commentator to be found.

Let’s normalise changing our minds when presented with new information.

A change could do some good

In the last twelve months, we’ve been through a lot. From George Floyd’s murder and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, to the Coronavirus pandemic and the rising abuse of the AAPI community, and the murder of Sarah Everard and the resulting #reclaimthenight protests. We’re tired of the systemic racism and misogyny that we’ve witnessed and experienced our entire lives. And it’s time to make a change.

Let’s face facts

It’s natural to feel defensive and push back when we hear something we don’t like or that shocks us, like the fact that 71% of women have been sexually harrassed, or that black women are 4 times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth, or that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. But instead of digging our heels in and insisting it’s all fake news, let’s dig deeper. Let’s find out the facts, read up on the story behind the statistic and educate ourselves before forming an opinion.

Changing your mind doesn’t make you a hypocrite. It actually makes you a pretty awesome human. So don’t worry about being called ‘inconsistent’ or ‘gullible’ or ‘lacking conviction’. As they say, ‘the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter won’t mind’.

What’s the last thing you changed your mind on? I think mine was Caroline Flack after watching the documentary on her life and death. It’s a moving watch if you’re interested. I also highly recommend watching Roman Kemp’s docu on male suicide, it really opened my eyes to the mental health crisis among men and young boys in the UK. Heartbreaking but really important viewing.

Lyndsey

x