Guest blog by Shay Stone
Help an Author Out: 11 Things You Can Do to Help an Author
It’s finally here! For months you’ve listened to your author friend talk about her book. You’ve seen posts about late nights spent writing, teasers about the plot, and snippets of her work. She’s talked about one man so much, you though it was her new boyfriend, only to find out it was a character in her book.
She’s gone home early because inspiration hit, broken plans because “she has to get this chapter done,” and arrived late to events because she was up all-night writing and overslept. You’ve noticed her house could use a good cleaning and the copious amount of coffee she drinks coupled with her failure to change out of bed clothes is starting to concern you. And seriously, what is going on with her hair? Did someone steal all the brushes in the house? Honestly, you’re surprised she has any hair left with how much she talks about tearing it out. I mean really? How hard can formatting be? At this point, you’re questioning her sanity and starting to think the book is a myth.
And then she announces its release.
Hurrah! You’re so happy for her, and even happier that she finally ran a comb through that hair. You hope her book sells a million copies. You wish you could do something to let her know how proud you are of her and help her book succeed. But what can you do?
Well, if you really want to help, there’s a few things you can do.
- Buy the book (obviously). Despite what many people think, authors do not get free copies of books. Don’t feel slighted when they don’t go around handing them out free. They are trying to make a living or very least, break even.
- Write a review. There is a plethora of authors and millions of books for readers to choose from out there. A testimonial that someone not only read the book but gives it a ton of stars and recommends it, can go a long way towards getting another person to purchase it. Think about it. If you’re trying to decide between two products at the exact same price, are you going to go for the one with no reviews or several? Reviews sell books.
- Share their posts. Research shows most people have to see something 3-10 times before they buy it. Maybe it slips their mind. Maybe they get busy and forget about it. Maybe they are waiting for pay day. Whatever the reason, repetition works.
- Tag your friends in the author’s posts. When someone is tagged in a post, they tend to pay more attention to it. If you have friends that read or know someone that reads the author’s genre tagging them could lead to potential sales. And tagging them in the author’s post could encourage them to follow the author as well resulting in future sales. If you don’t want to tag the author’s post, make a post of your own and tag people.
- Recommend the book to any reader groups you know. Whether you meet in person or belong to one on social media or have a friend that belongs to one, having someone the group knows and interacts with regularly goes further than having a new author pop in and recommend it themselves.
- Buy their books as gifts. If you know someone that likes to read the author’s genre, buy the books as birthday or Christmas gifts.
- Offer to be part of their street team. Street teams are volunteers that promote the author and the author’s work simply because they love the author’s books and believe in them. They are essential to an author’s success. They may hand out bookmarks or other swag provided by the author, leave comments about the books on blog sites, write honest reviews on large platforms like Amazon and Goodreads, and tweeting or post on social media about the author’s books and events.
- Share! Share! Share! Whatever the author shares about the book, share it. Teasers, guest blog posts they’ve done, book links. I can’t tell you how many times I have written “PLEASE SHARE” in big letters on a post, yet I still have people sending me a private message saying, “I saw your post. Would you mind if I shared it?” You don’t have to ask permission. We want these things shared. Please, for the love of everything holy, share them!
- Recommend their book. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or if you are standing in a line and you hear the person behind you is looking for a good book, recommend it.
- Ask your library or local book store to carry it. I know the library may seem a little strange since the author only gets paid once for that book but think about it like this: A patron reads the author’s book and likes it. They go out and buy it for a friend or two and maybe even buy the author’s next book for themselves. Some people won’t spend money on a chance. If they get to see the author’s work, they may become a fan in the future.
KNOW HOW MUCH WE APPRECIATE YOU!!!!! No one person can do it all. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an army to get an author noticed and make them successful. Every time you share a post or recommend us, you are telling us, “I believe in you.” We couldn’t do this with out you and we know it.