15 Dec 2020

12 Easy Ways To Help A Writer Out



Would you like to help a writer?

Writers Get Constantly Criticized

Make a Living as a Professional Self-Published AuthorIs there an author whose works you enjoy? Do you rush to purchase a book by that author as soon as it is released?

Do you have a friend who is an author? Perhaps your friend is struggling to get their book (or books) known so they can sell.

Writers are artists, and like any artist, they pour their heart and soul into their creations.They have something they want and need, to tell the world, and their chosen method is the written word.

Every author, again like all artists, receives countless criticisms, sometimes from friends, family, and perfect strangers. Virtually all of these people will claim they are “just trying to help”, and most of them are actually just being malicious. This is NOT the way to help a writer.

Help A Writer

Do you have a friend who is a writer? Are you interested in helping them in some way, even some small favor? You can do any of the following, and you will have the writers eternal gratitude:

  1. Like their Facebook page. This is an easy and no-cost way to help them out.
  2. Leave a comment on their blog and Facebook page..If the writer has a blog, leave a comment or two on some articles This helps immensely because search engines recognize comments as engagements. Pages that have engagement will rank higher, and that helps the author. Facebook does the same thing with Facebook pages.
  3. Share posts from their blog on your social media. Whenever your writer friend writes a new article, share it on your wall on Facebook, the newsfeed on LinkedIn and anywhere else appropriate. This also helps the writer’s blog rise higher in the search engines.
  4. Share their book on your wall on Facebook and other social media. This is a big one. Share the link to their book on your wall, with a short, to the point positive comment. This helps to promote the book, and also gives a little positive reinforcement. So you get two for the price of one!
  5. Buy their book. One of the very best gifts you can give to your author friend is to purchase their book. Authors often don’t sell very many copies (the average self-published book sells less than a hundred copies) and one additional purchase can mean more than you can imagine.
  6. Read, or at least skim, their book. Once you’ve read their book, tell your writing friend about how much you enjoyed it. Better still, write a quick post on their Facebook wall telling everyone what you found good about their book.
  7. Refrain from any, and I mean any, negative comments. An author gets more negative comments about their writing than you can imagine. Amazon reviews can be terrorizing (but not as bad a YouTube reviews) and comments from friends and family can cause immense emotional pain. Sometimes a malicious comment, even a small one, can stop a writer from writing for days, weeks, months or even years.
  8. Write a great review of their book. In order for a book to sell on Amazon (or any other book storefront), it needs reviews, lots of them. Yet to get a lot of reviews a book needs to be selling lots of copies. It’s a catch-22 that’s difficult to escape from. So, whenever your friend publishes a book, buy it and give them a good review (but only if you can honestly do so – never lie about it.)
  9. Write positive, reinforcing comments on social media. How come everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to leave “happy birthday” comments, but no one seems to write “congratulations” when an author publishes a book? When your friend publishes their book, congratulate them. After you’ve read the book, write a comment on their wall telling them how much you enjoyed the book (if you didn’t like it, find something good to say.)
  10. DO NOT give them a report on every frigging spelling and grammar error. Don’t worry, there are plenty of others who will not hesitate to point out every missing comma and every single misspelled word. Don’t be one of those people (unless you were asked to proofread.)
  11. If you REALLY want to help your author friend, volunteer to proofread their book or even just a chapter. Be cautious with this one, as you must be willing to give positive critique. If you don’t know how to do that, don’t volunteer. The art of giving critique that actually helps instead of harms is not something known to the average person.
  12. Ask them to let you know when their next book is being released. Ask by posting the question on their Facebook page.

Most important of all, do one or more of these things without being asked. As soon as you see they’ve published something, share the Amazon (or other) link on your Facebook page, saying something like “My friend just published a book!” You have no idea how much it will mean to your author friend.

You see, it doesn’t take much time to help a writer out.

Write a Positive Review

How to help a writerBy far the best things you can do to help a writer, if you do nothing else, is to write a positive review on Amazon (remember, you can ask the author for a free copy if you can’t afford to buy it) and to share the book on social media. Just by doing these two things, you will be giving your author friend a tremendous boost.

Do you have other ideas for helping writing friends? Leave them in the comments below.

Note: Bjørn Larssen wrote a nice article about writing while depressed that’s definitely worth a read.

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Elyes Salpeter

What a fabulous article. I just posted to my FB page how friends and family can ask their local libraries to buy the book so people can read it, too! It’s amazing how one little thing can help an author out, you know?


I agree with these points, but would add ‘be honest’. If they write in a genre which doesn’t interest you then say so – you can still be supportive without posting fake reviews or praise (which are usually spotted as such). If there are errors, and you’re asked for your opinion, then say so. A gentle suggestion that it’s given another proofread or edit will be more helpful than saying it’s brilliant and letting their reputation as a writer be destroyed by something which could be fixed. Carol’s suggestion to buy their books as gifts is excellent. This will bring… Read more »

Carol Cooper

Thank you, Richard. What a useful batch of suggestions. With Christmas so near, I would also add “Give books written by your author friends as presents.” Then watch the book love snowball!

Brenda Haire

I would add, connect them with your contacts for speaking, or hosting author events!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x