I apologize to all who were disappointed that I didn’t post as usual last Saturday. It wasn’t because I was being lazy. I was in Healdsburg, California preparing for a reading I did at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, supporting Deception Island. Unfortunately, in California, I didn’t have access to my blog (even if I could have concentrated enough to write something worthwhile).
I was slightly stressed. Think of a combination job interview and first date.
But the reading went very well. Everyone was interested and gracious and friendly. I sold a few books and met some interesting and talented people. All-in-all it was a very good experience.
And I was able to introduce myself and my work to a new market. With some luck, my sales will begin to reflect the heightened interest.
Which brings us to the topic of today’s post: simple ways to make an author love you (by helping him/her out). This post was suggested by an email from the children’s writer and teacher Amber Keyser.
Pre-order the book. Early sales make a difference, sometimes encouraging stores to order more and publishers to increase print runs. After all, it is a business to them. They want sales.
Request the book from your local library. (Patron requests highly influence library purchases).
Request the book from your local bookstore. (Again, if people start special ordering the book, the owner will give serious consideration to stocking a few copies. She wants the sales.)
Buy the book. All authors understand that many people live in financial situations that make buying books impossible. It’s reality. We get it. However, if you can afford it, buy the book rather than borrowing it. It really isn’t that expensive and, like it or not, publishing is a business and success is measured in sales numbers. Nothing helps an author more than people buying her books.
Add the book to your “to-read” shelf on Goodreads. When someone looks at the book’s page, they are shown how many ratings (stars), reviews (text), and how many members have added it to their shelves. As in so much of our consumer economy, the more popular the item, the more readily it sells.
Rate the book on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. (See above). Ratings are quick and easy, a scale from one (worst) to five (best) stars. You don’t need to spend hours writing the perfect review, just click the number of stars. Not as powerful as a full review, but important in its own right.
Write a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. More detailed than a simple rating, they are also more powerful. However, they don’t need to be eloquent or profound. Even just a couple of sentences are incredibly helpful. All you are doing is recommending the book to a friend you haven’t met yet.
Mention it on social media. Post on Facebook how much you like it and recommend it to your FB friends. Do the same on twitter. Post a selfie holding the book. Everything helps. It’s called publicity.
Talk it up. Nothing is more effective (advertising-wise) than word-of-mouth. People buy books that are recommended by people they trust. If you like the book, spread the word. Tell everyone you know who may like it. Tell people who might not, but tell them anyway. The hardest job of every author is letting people know that the book is out there.
Finally, don’t worry. We authors love all readers, whether they help us, or not. (We just might love you a smidge more if you help us.)