How YOU Can Help Your Favorite New Author
When you love a book, you’re overwhelmed with the need to tell all your friends about it. When you see someone inspecting it at the bookstore or library, you feel compelled to tell them how great it is. Who cares if they’re a stranger, right? After all, if they’re considering something you can’t get enough of, they can’t be too bad anyway.
We authors love this, especially the new ones, who don’t get the marketing budget from the publishers like the big-name authors do. We don’t get front-of-store placement, if we get any shelf-space at all. Our books don’t get picked up simply because our name is on the cover. There’s little advertising and publicity, unless we do it ourselves.
We all know that books become popular because readers love them. And readers are the ones who can spread the word best. So what can you do to help your favorite new author? Telling everyone you know – and even those you don’t – is a great start. But here are some other ideas that can make a huge difference and ensure that your new fave can continue writing more books for your enjoyment:
Write reviews on all the big sites – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc. This is one of the most important things you can do as a reader. The more activity and buzz a book gets, the higher the rankings and the more focus the sites put on those books. Also indie and small-press authors aren’t automatically given shelf space at the brick-and-mortar stores. But when the buyers see all the reviews on the sites (they do pay attention!), they take interest and start stocking the book. They read it themselves and make recommendations to their customers.
Ask your local bookstore and library to order the book. This helps to raise awareness by the decision-makers. Again, awareness leads to books on the shelves and makes it easier for the author’s next book to be on the shelves sooner. If you can afford it, buy a book to donate to the library or even to the owner of a local independent bookstore (they’ll read it and then buy new books for the store and personally recommend it).
Pre-order the book, if possible. If you’ve already heard from reviewers that a book is great or you’ve met the author online, pre-order it. Pre-sales indicate interest to booksellers, so they’ll stock more.
Spread the word on social media sites and blogs. If you have your own blog, write a review post. If you see it reviewed on another blog, share a comment with your own thoughts.
If you know any book reviewers – online or for local media – suggest that they read and review it. Or offer to write your own guest review for them. Newspapers, feeling the pain of the economy like any other company, are short-staffed. They want to include this kind of content, but can’t give up the resources for any of their staff writers to do it. If you’re willing to write just for the experience and credit, volunteer.
Host a book club. If you let the author know, they’ll likely provide incentives and may even be able to participate. If they’re not local, they can join in via Skype.
Attend readings and signings. If the author is coming to a store near you, try your best to attend. The bigger the crowd, the happier the bookseller is and the more likely they’ll stock the author’s books (current and future) and invite the author back.
Follow the author’s blog, if they have one. Stay up to date on the author’s next project and if you see an opportunity to help, let the author know.
There are so many ways readers can help. And I’m not just saying this to boost up my own sales and put money in my pocket. These all benefit any author, specifically debuts. And the new ones, especially, aren’t making a ton of money. The average writer can barely make a living writing full time, which means they’re writing on nights and weekends…which means their next books are even further in the future. And if they’re not making enough sales, their publishers may drop them. Which means no future books at all.
Writing novels is a tough, terribly under-paid job (at least until you make it to the status of Rowling, Meyer, King or Patterson). We do it because we love it. We love our characters and our stories and want to share them with the world. We hope you love them just as much as we do. So when you do, you now know how you can help ensure there’s a next book…and a next one…
Thanks so much Kristie!
She is so right too. So if you’ve had any interest in her book Promise, head out right now and order it! :)
I’ve read a good portion of it already, but I haven’t finished it yet, I will soon, but it’s pretty good. I can’t wait to see how it progresses from where I left off. Look for my review within the next few weeks. (I just got an eARC of ALPHA by Rachel Vincent so, um, yeah. I’ll be back after I’ve consumed that book! OMG!)
| Promise by Kristie Cook366 pages
Ang’dora Productions, LLC, (2010-05-26)