Congratulations, you’re friends with a writer! How brave of you. You’ve befriended someone who spends a LOT of time talking to/thinking about/complaining about people who exist only in her* mind.
Your second question** is how can I best support my friend in her writing career? Wow. You are amazing. Want to be friends? Best friends? Here, I made you a bracelet.
Listed below are some of the many ways you can support your friend when her book launches.
Buying is buying right? Nope. How you buy your friend’s book matters.
Pre-sales help your friend, because they show the publisher that people are interested in the book. For more on that topic please read Josh’s blog entry: Why Pre-Sales Matter. Josh works at Porter Square Books and has a book coming out soon. So he knows what he’s talking about.
Buy the book at your friend’s reading. This shows the bookstore that inviting your friend was a worthwhile investment and keeps your money local, which makes you a hero.
Buy more than one copy of the book. Give it to a friend who likes to talk about books. Start a word of mouth campaign!
Give your friend’s book 5 star ratings on Goodreads and Amazon.
Review the book on Goodreads, Amazon, or your blog. You’ll be adding your voice to the supporters and detracting from the haters (who are, as ever, gonna hate.)
Social Media your love. Blog, Tweet, FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram the novel and how much you love it.
Many libraries have online forms you can fill out to request they purchase a copy of the book. If not, ask your librarian to order a copy.
Check the book out of your library. If it’s seen to be in high demand, they might order more than one copy!
If you know authors/publicists or other people in the writing field who are good matches for your author friend, volunteer to make introductions.
Know someone at a review site or book site who might like to interview your friend and/or review her book? Introduce away!
Listen to your friend practice her reading. Offer helpful advice and/or booze.
Help your friend by setting up or breaking down after an event. Bring food or water or booze.
Take pictures at the event she can later use in publicity efforts.
The book debut period is wonderful/scary/fraught. Maybe your friend had a reading at which only two people showed up. Or her book just got savaged in a review. Maybe she won a prize! Whatever the situation, be prepared to commiserate/celebrate.
Even if you do just one of the above listed things, you’re a great friend. You deserve a brownie! So go bake some and let me know when they’re done. I’m hungry. And then I want to tell you all about my new book idea. Hey, new friend! Bestie? Where are you going?
* I know more women writers. And I refuse to use the pronoun “their” when I’m referring to a single person. But feel free to mentally use the word “his.”
**Your first question: Should I be worried about my friend spending so much time with imaginary characters? Nah.