The short answer to this is simple : Buy their books & recommend them to other people, post reviews and contact them in some way to tell them you enjoyed their work, spread the word about them in general any way you can. But, I have a more in-depth question in mind.
I have recently bought a few books written by Authors that i have gotten to know on Twitter. Because, I like them as people and would like to support them in their creative efforts (who says a social media presence doesn’t sell books) and their books looked interesting to me. I do this because I am first and foremost, a reader. I am also a writer working towards becoming published myself and as such I want to support the industry that i am trying to become a part of. I saw that sentiment in a quote somewhere a while ago, but cannot recall for the life of me who it was.
While I was engaging in this process I started thinking about which way of buying their book would actually result in the most amount of money making its way to the author and I confess that I have no idea of the answer. There are so many different avenues now. Aside from e-books vs physical books from a bookstore there are also many online discount book retailers that you can buy a new copy of a book for a lower price than most bricks and mortar stores.
The only similar experience that I have is from the world of music where I am aware that if you buy a CD directly from a musician (either from their website or their merchandise stand at a show) then they will receive a greater portion of the profits than if you bought it from a retailer of some sort.
I am making the assumption that there is an equivalent process somewhere in the publishing world. I don’t know what it is at this point, but I would like to find out.
With no actual evidence to speak of, the basic assumptions i have to begin are these:
- Ordering either an e-book copy or physical copy from someone like amazon would possibly be the same net result for the Author. I assume the price difference for a physical book is basically the production cost added onto the e-book price. Though i may well be wrong, it occurs to me that in general people are less comfortable paying as much for an electronic copy as they are for something solid so the price difference may be higher.
- Buying from a discount retailer of physical books like the Book Depository is possibly less for the author than buying from a standard retailer.
- Buying from a bookstore may not get more back to the Author than buying online despite the higher sticker price as there are more people between the sale and the Author to take their cut on the way through.
None of these of course covers the fact that there are also things like individual contracts for Authors who are traditionally published and other variables. But I am looking for a general kind of answer to how I can best ensure that the most amount of my money actually gets to the person who wrote the damn book.
I am at a point with my writing where I am about to start looking into the various ways that one can become published and get your material out there, so hopefully in my research I will discover at least some kind of answer to this. If I do, I will share it in a new post at some point.
In the meantime, maybe some helpful soul that has already done the research will reach out to me and provide them.