5 Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators–Without Breaking the Bank

Of course, we all want our favorite authors and illustrators to write more books! Here are some great ways to support your favorite authors and illustrators without breaking the bank. (For 100% free methods, check out, “5 Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators–For Free.”)

  1. Buy their books–and preorder if you can. Unless your butler is doing your shopping, you likely can’t afford to buy every single book you see that looks interesting. BUT if you love the author or illustrator AND you can afford it, buying their books is the very best way to signal that. Publishing is a numbers game, and book sales are the currency. Whether at your local independent bookseller, big-box store, the Scholastic Book Fair, or even through Amazon, each copy of each book sold truly makes a difference.
  2. Buy from independent retailers. Having said that, when you buy a book from your independent local book retailer, you are NOT ONLY helping your favorite author and illustrator, you are helping ALL authors and illustrators–as well as the book industry as a whole. Truly. Outside of libraries, there are NO bigger advocates for books, literature, and connecting people to them than your local bookstore. The price difference is often minimal and many stores even offer customer rewards for repeat buyers. So please, when you buy, consider doing it at your local indie. Bonus: with many of them having online ordering now, it’s never been easier!
  3. Give books–or bookstore gift cards. One way to support authors and illustrators is to consider giving more books as gifts instead of your usual. Or, give gift cards to bookstores to those friends and family members with eclectic tastes or whose bookshelves are constantly evolving or whose tastes you’re less sure about.
  4. Donate books to those who actually need them. Another low-pain way to support creators is to consider how you shed books. While there’s nothing wrong with reselling your books, you may consider, instead, donating your books to places that put books directly in the hands of those who may not be able to afford them otherwise. While many people may understandably choose to donate where it’s easiest (like at a Goodwill or similar), also consider other options like Little Free Libraries located in economically disadvantaged areas, or even donating through prison book programs. Alternatively, consider giving books to your local Friends of the Library chapter to support book sales that raise much-needed library funds for supplies and programming (including author visits!). Books donated to Friends will be sold to the public for library fundraising–or sometimes even added to the library’s own catalog!
  5. For the price of a stamp, you can give a creator the will to continue. 😂 (This could even be free if they’ve got an online form on their website!) Okay, so it’s smarmy, maybe. But fans telling an author or illustrator that you, or your kids, love their work is a lot rarer than you might think. As much as we think of our favorite creators as stoic, mission-driven superheroes, writing and illustration is a solitary and often lonely business. So dropping them a quick email to tell them how you love their work, sending a piece of fan art, or waiting in line at a book signing: all these things can help buoy them during the rougher times–especially for creators who may be dealing with book bans or other negative pressures.