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1- bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.
2- give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.

I recently had a number of discussions with a number of people in the mystery community, authors, readers and other pros. Something that kept coming up was the topic of showing support for authors, bookstores and events.

There are a number of ways to show support but there also seems to be some confusion over what support actually is. In the book world it’s not voting or putting a sticker on your car. It involves a bit of spending. If a local author is having a signing at a local bookstore of course it’s nice to have a crowd. But truthfully a lot of people filling a bookstore isn’t supporting anyone if people aren’t buying books.

Knowing people wish you well is great but your publisher won’t publish the next books if copies of THIS book don’t sell. Showing up for the event and then going out for drinks is nice but buying a book will actually HELP. We’ve actually over the years had authors tell us they are huge supporters of Crimespree. But they never subscribe or advertise, they don’t link to our articles. I love that they like what we do, but it’s not really support. There are a lot of people, authors, publishers and readers who show their support by subscribing and advertising and they really do help keep us printing the magazine and running the website ans to all those people, WE LOVE YOU.

I’ve been to a lot of signing events at bookstores, in the hundreds. It makes me crazy when I see a huge crowd and the author really working it to entertain the crowd only to see most of the crowd get up and leave without a book afterwards. The reason to do these events is to support the author and bookstore FINANCIALLY. If you help keep the store open they can keep doing events. Buy an author’s book they can keep publishing books. While books and events are to entertain you they cost money. No money means no more books or signings. If someone blurbed your book and you go tho their signing and say thank you that’s a nice thing. A REALLY nice thing would be to buy their book and get it signed while you say thank you. Especially since they did you a favor and blurbed your book.

Believe it or not most authors are not rich and have full time jons to support themselves. Every sale helps.

“I already have the book” – The bookstore has other books, at least one which should interest you.
“I don’t have the money to buy books at every event” – I get it, at least thank the author and tell them you will be getting their books soon. If you go to a lot of signings try to buy something at least every second or third event you go to, and thank the store owners.

If there is a convention or conference that is helping your favorite genre showing up and just hanging out in the lobby isn’t really helping anyone but you. These things take a lot of planning and cost money. It’s actually slap in the face to the organizers if you just show up to hang out with out registering.

Money can be tight, believe me, I know. There are other ways to help support the genre and authors and stores and events. Share your love on social media. Spread the word about events and books you like. Write reviews. Word of mouth is still the best marketing tool out there and social media is ALL ABOUT word of mouth.

You can volunteer to help with events. They don’t always need it and it doesn’t mean you can get in free always, nut it helps a lot and there are perks for those who help.

There are many ways to show support, the one with the most impact is showing support with dollars.People work hard creating books and stores and events. Show your love buy spending a few bucks and help keep the stuff you love alive and flourishing.