1. Independent bookshops - We're really lucky to have a terrific local bookshop in Steyning. The Steyning Bookshop had its 30th birthday last year and regular hosts author events. Sarah the owner is very friendly and knowledgeable. It's a wonderful place to browse and inhale books. They support local authors and stock Wendy Clarke's short story collection Room in Your Heart.
2. High street bookshops - I've recently discovered Waterstones has a Click and Collect service. You can reserve a book and later collect in store 2 hours later. I'm not sure why but it's cheaper to do this. I reserved and collected 3 books last week saving £8 on the in-store price.
3. Online - Yes, I do buy from Amazon. Having Student Prime means I can get books next day. I do occasionally buy second-hand from Amazon. I know this doesn't support the author but sometimes books for my MA course were simply too expensive new. However, if I love something I often then get a new copy later.
My workshop mates recommended Hive. You can buy books (and other goods) online to have home delivered (free for next 5 days) or collect from a local indie bookshop. With each sale they give a percentage to the local bookshop that you nominate. When I went to check them out for this blog post I ended up buying Mary Berry's Christmas Collection as it was £4.25 cheaper than anywhere else. I rather like this idea of buying online and some of the revenue still goes to an indie bookshop.
4. Library - OK, this is not buying books but it still supports the author via the PLR system. Again I'm very lucky to live close to 4 excellent libraries: Steyning, Horsham, Storrington and Worthing. To date these seem to be surviving but you never know ... I try to regularly borrow books from all of them as my thinking is use 'em or lose 'em.
5. Charity shops - Again, I know this doesn't directly support the author, but I like to feel I'm supporting a charity instead. Also it can get you into a new author you've not read before. I recently bought this stack of books all in excellent condition from local Lions bookshop.
6. Author events - if you can get the chance to hear a favourite author read or meet them at a signing then go for it. If I go to any event then I usually buy a book and get it signed. I've met some of my all-time heroes this way, such as Rose Tremain, Matt Haig and Edna O'Brien. My recent hot flush moment was chatting to David Mitchell when getting my copy of Slade House signed.
I'm sure there are plenty more ways to spread the book love and support an author. What other ways do you have?