You want to get something for that special someone whose book you bought from a local festival or convention. You loved this book (or even just kinda enjoyed it) and wish could give back to the person who put so much time, blood, and tears into telling a story. Good news: you can without spending money or even having to creepily stalk said author.
Write a review.
Reviews are how independent authors get traffic to websites, recognition from peers, and interest in their future work. You might not think that writing a review is really important if it was something you liked. Look at Yelp - most people just go on their to complain. But in a social media obsessed society, you need to record the good with the disappointing.
Below is a list of places for book reviews are that helpful because its where other people go to read about a book they are curious about. Even if you only liked a part of the book, say there was a character you loved, but a scene you thought was too slow, then write the truth. Help out the local authors in your community by giving them a voice online.
Amazon and Barnes and Noble - These 2 seem obvious, but indie author books are available on these platforms, but can get less notice without a community behind them. That’s where reviews come to the rescue.
Goodreads - This is the ultimate in book recommendation websites. You can write whole summaries, send book links to friends, and, of course, write reviews.
BookBub - If good reads is overwhelming with its massive database, this new website for primarily ebooks is not just good for reviews, but also if you are looking for new book samples to read.
Online sources of your local newspaper - Sometimes, the local news will want the opinions of the people posted on their message boards or in response to editorials. At times, especially in the midst of gift-giving holidays, this can include the work of independent authors and artists.
Your Own Personal Social Media - If you are comfortable, post on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog, or whatever social media outlet you are currently addicted to. A review or book recommendation doesn’t have to be long to help an independent author.