For authors, promoting our books is the hardest task, particularly for newbie authors who are self-published or with a small publisher, but also for those with large houses, since so much of the marketing is being shoved onto the author’s shoulders.
Ever think of helping us out? Here are a few ways you can:
- Hit the “Share” button. Most blogs now have a share button. Mine shows up at the bottom of each post, but I also have one in the sidebar. Twitter, Facebook, Stumble, LinkedIn, Delicious, among many others are on these buttons, and you can instantly tell all your friends in whatever forum you belong to about your favorite writer.
- Write a review. It doesn’t matter where you bought the book, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Goodreads, and a variety of other places allow you to rate and post a review of whatever book you’ve read. Do you own a blog? Even better. Write a review of the book, and post the cover, the author’s photo, a link to the author’s site. Of course, to get permission to use the author’s image on your blog, you’ll have to contact her. While you’re at it:
- Interview the author or request a guest post. Never hurts to ask! Usually you can contact the author through a website. In a short note, tell him you’ve read his book, and you’d like to interview him on your blog. If you have a good following, tell him how many hits you get a week. If the author says yes to an interview, have your questions ready. If the author politely declines, go ahead and request permission to use his cover and photo on your blog for a review. Even if he doesn’t have time to answer interview questions or write a guest post, he will probably take the time to visit and respond to comments.
- Join the author’s fan page on Facebook, and be sure to invite your friends. A show of popularity always helps.
- Write an article. Most genres have e-zines devoted to them, and many of these e-zines accept well-written articles. This idea is double-edged. The book gets publicity, and you get some writing credits. Until Give the Lady a Ride debuted, the only writing credit I had was with Christian Romance Magazine, an e-zine dedicated to . . . well, that’s obvious.
- Do you belong to a reader’s or writers’ organization? Make an announcement on your page or on the loop, and tell the other members of the hot new author you’ve found.
- Word of mouth is huge. Any time you have opportunity to discuss the book or the author, jump at it.
- Ask for the book at your favorite bookstore or in the library. Yes, even the library is a good place because, though the author doesn’t make a profit off the book shelved there, he can gain name recognition.
These are just a few ideas of what you, the reader, can do. I’m certain there are many others (if you think of any, list them in the comments). But don’t just list them, do them–then let the author know you’ve helped to promote her. I am appreciative whenever I discover someone has left a review on one of the sites I belong to, and I enjoy reading the comments when someone reviews me on their blog. Authors, particularly new authors, deeply appreciate what our fans do to help us get “out there.”
Peppermint hugs to everyone who has helped promote me and my book. God bless!