BY CHANEL DUBOFSKY
Capitalism is terrible, but here we are, trapped in its toxic embrace, at least for now. And since we're in a situation where trade and industry are controlled by private owners, being a good literary citizen means that when your friend's book comes out, you buy it. Except if you can't afford to, in which case, you probably feel terrible, but there's actually a lot you can do to support your friends who are making stuff, even if you don't have the financial means to buy what they make. Here are 6 ways to do that:
1. Social media the hell out of it
Social media runs our lives, so take advantage of its ubiquity to press and recommend your friend's work, their reading, tour, etc. Tweet about it, post pictures of the book on Instagram, update your Facebook status, and make sure you tag the writer in your posts.
2. Review it
If you're a writer, get a review copy of the book and write about it. You can also review the book on GoodReads and Amazon. After you post it, don't forget to tell people it exists, especially the person whose book you reviewed.
3. Show up
It can be awkward to go to your friend's reading and not buy their book, particularly if there was a small crowd at the event, but showing up (and bringing people with you) means a lot.
4. Be supportive beyond the initial excitement phase
It's relatively easy to be supportive of people at the beginning of an adventure, but when the initial excitement abates, your friends will still need you, even more than they did the night of their book party.
5. Host a reading
Do you have space in your house? Do you know people with access to space? Think about your resources; for example, you might not have money, but if you have a big living room, or even a small one, ask your friend to give a reading (tell them to bring copies of their book) and pack the house. Invite musicians and other performers for a well-rounded hullabaloo.
6. Ask IRL
Go into bookstores and ask if they have your friend's book, and encourage others who know your friend to do the same. The store is more likely to display the book prominently if people ask.
Chanel Dubofsky's work has been published at Previously.TV, Cosmopolitan, Rewire, Extra Crispy, and more. You can find her on Twitter at @chaneldubofsky.