Success is Simple

Success-1080x675I’ve spoken about this before, but I think it’s a topic that can never get enough attention. In the world of independent authors, when we think about success we generally think about being in the NY Times Top Ten, winning an award or money. Now, I’m not talking about Tom Clancy, Stephen King, or J.R. Ward kind of money. I’m talking about the kind of money that pays for writing. Maybe even pays for a bill or two.

Let me give you an example.

A couple of weeks ago I had a Mary Kay representative here for a facial party. One of the things she said, “When I joined Mary Kay, I just wanted to earn enough to pay my car note. Nothing else, just my car note.”

She was able to do that and more, but it didn’t happen overnight. It took time for her to build her business and make it profitable. impossibleAuthors have to set out to do the same thing, except we want to take it a step further. We don’t just want to earn the money, we want to be known or recognized authors.

Some new authors do everything right and they become what seems like instant overnight success stories. Look at E.L. James. We all know the writing is horrendous, yet this author has sold millions of books and all three have been turned into movies (which in my opinion were ten times better than the books.) Seeing something like that happen makes an independent author wonder, how do I compete? How can I be successful in this business with authors like that?

Then you have the new authors who do everything right AND still cannot find “success.”

Screen+Shot+2017-10-19+at+5.34.22+PMWhat if I told you “success” is NOT SIMPLE?

It’s a convoluted and complex idea that differs from author to author. Some authors want the fame and fortune, some just want the fame, some just want the fortune, and some don’t care for any of it. They write because they enjoy writing.

Overnight sensations are the one-offs and we cannot compare ourselves to them. As independent authors who do it all (writing, editing, marketing, socializing, building teams, reaching out to fans) it is impossible to become an overnight sensation. That doesn’t mean it is impossible to succeed.

First, start by defining what success means to you. Here are some questions to answer to figure that out.

  1. What is it that you get out of writing? Is it joy from great reviews? Is it satisfaction from completing a project?
  2. Why are you writing? Are you writing because you have a story to share that is just bursting to get out? Or are you writing because you want to make some money?
  3. What are your goals? Do you want to be well-renowned? Financially dependent on your writing? 
  4. How much time are you willing to put into it? Are you aware that it can be a thankless and time-consuming job? 
  5. Do you always plan to independently publish?
  6. How much money do you want to put into it?

Some of these questions may not make any sense, but I promise they are accurate. booker

Think about it like this. There are thousands of people who come up with what they call “get-rich-quick” schemes. And most people know there is no real way to “get-rich-quick.” However, there are those who would argue that you can “get-rich-quick” by winning the lottery or going onto a television game, like Family Feud or Jeopardy.

But how much money do you waste on lottery tickets before winning even a small fraction of that back? If you do happen to win big, how much of that is the government going to get in taxes? And how many tickets did you have to buy to get there? Those dollars add up. For example, the cheapest lottery ticket is $1.00. If you buy $10 worth every two weeks, by the end of the year you will have spent $260.00 in lottery tickets. If you won nothing, then you have nothing to show for it.

colinpowell1-2x
Courtesy of BrainyQuote.com

Let’s apply that same theory to a book. Say you took that $260.00 and invested it in publishing a book. At the end of the year if you have had no sales, would you consider yourself successful?

I would. Because publishing that book in the first place is no easy task. 

What if the following year you took that same $260.00 and applied it to marketing that book? Would you still consider yourself successful if you had no sales at the end of the year?

Your answer should be yes. Because you spent that year learning what worked and what didn’t work. So the next year you can improve.keeptrying

And THAT is what makes success simple.

Success is nothing more than working toward a new and better goal and meeting that goal day after day, month after month, and year after year.

Yes, the concept of success is complex, but we have the power to make it simple by continuously reaching small goals and setting new ones.

That Is the Question

file-20170818-7937-1mb0d7kIf you read the subject, you’re probably wondering what is the question. Here it is. To copyright? Or not to copyright? That is the question.

This may not seem like an important question, but it truly is. That pretty little symbol © is more than just a symbol and if it doesn’t have the certificate the copyright.gov sends out, it pretty much means jack. Let me break this down a little.

You’ve labored weeks, months, maybe even years over your work. You slaved away at a computer writing that bad boy, editing it to perfection (as much as possible), and now you’re ready to publish. DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON YET.novel

For you to understand how important a copyright is, I’m going to give you two scenarios. One you’ve sent your baby to the copyright office and the other you haven’t.

Scenario A: Copyrighted

You’re reading a book in your genre trying to keep up with the latest trends. And you notice that part of it sounds familiar. Maybe immediately you can’t figure out why, but at some point you realize it’s familiar because YOU wrote it. The words in the book you’re reading written by some other author are YOUR words. 

What do you do?

First, check their publication date. Second, check to see if they have a copyright symbol in their book. Third, go to the copyright.gov website and search for said copyright. If either they have no copyright filed OR their copyright was filed after yours, you have options. 

  1. Politely point out the usage and send them a “cease and desist” letter forcing them to remove their work.
  2. Contact an Intellectual Property attorney who specializes in copyright. 

copyrightBy your copyright being filed first, it is proof that YOU are the original owner. You have the right to have that work removed or even sue that author if they did not get your permission to use your words in their work. This is called copyright infringement and is illegal.

This is only accurate if MORE than a few lines or words of yours are in their book. IF they have only used a word or line or two, this is called fair use. There is a limit to the amount of sentences and/or wording that may be used.

This does NOT apply to an idea. An idea or concept cannot be copyrighted.

Scenario B: Not copyrighted

Using the same scene as before, if your work is NOT copyrighted, and you come across another novel with your words, you can still politely ask that author to remove their work.

However, they do not have to comply. 

If they have a copyright and you ask them to remove their work because they infringed upon your work without your permission, they in turn can ask you to remove your work stating just the opposite. They could go a step further and obtain a lawyer to sue you or get your work removed.

protect-yourself-rubber-stamp-vector-13678614
Courtesy of VectorStock

Let’s explore this a step further and say that neither of you have your work copyrighted. IF you see that, then file for the copyright BEFORE reaching out to the author. While it takes months to get a copyright approved, the copyright is valid from the date your file is loaded and the fee is paid.

You can request a copyright to be expedited, but it does cost more money and does require a valid reason for the request.

A copyright is your protection. This is another step in the writing process that should NOT be skipped. It may be the best money you ever spend.

 

All About Covers

why-great-book-covers-are-so-important
Courtesy of BookMarketingTools.com

There are two things an author must focus on aside from the writing part. While writing is super important, so is a great editor and an amazing cover. Today is all about the cover. You may not think this is important, but trust me it is. A bad cover can ruin a potential sale. In fact, it can ruin a lot of potential sales.

Think about it. What is the first thing you see as a reader?

The cover, right?

Whether you’re scrolling through thousands of books on Amazon? Or walking down the aisle at Barnes & Noble, what you’re focused on are all those covers. You’re looking for the ONE or if you’re like me, the several, cover(s) that are going to absolutely grab your attention.

Don’t believe me? How about an example then?

If you came across the three covers below, which book would you pick up?

 

Did you answer Hush, Hush?

Believe me now? 

Now, if you’re an author reading this, you should know this. If you’re new to writing, take this as a lesson that a great cover is one thing you do not skimp on. This doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions.

Because here’s the thing. If you go the traditional route of publishing, you will have next to no say on your cover. You might get two options (at best) and the only difference will be the color. If you Indie (independently) or self-publish, then the only exception is IF you are a graphic artist/designer. Then you may design your own cover, BUT you have to, have to, have to GET a neutral third party opinion. 

Do NOT think you know better. And if you aren’t a graphic artist/designer, this ABSOLUTELY applies to you. 

Don’t believe me? How about some more show and tell then?

Below are the covers for my first book. (Yes, the title did change.) If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, then you know I’ve gone through some transitions. The first time, I put it out there, I did the cover myself with a little help from Createspace and it was a joke. The second time, I worked with a partnership publisher and just gave the cover artist my thoughts on what the cover should look like. Same thing the third time around. And the fourth, I hired a professional cover artist (thank you Molly!) and it came out perfect. All I did was tell her about something I liked that she had in a pre-made cover, a little about the story, and the main characters. The rest, she did.

So, I’ll ask again. Which book did you pick up?

You don’t have to tell me, I already know.

At this point, you may be asking yourself what makes a great cover? If you are, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Is it eye-grabbing?
  2. Is it appropriate for the genre?
  3. Is it legible? Is the font too big? Blurry? Can you read the title clearly? Is the color off? 
  4. Does it relate to your story?
  5. Does it stand out in the crowd? (Thousands upon thousands of books are released every day. What makes your story, your cover different?)
  6. Does it say when, where, why?

If you are confident that your cover screams all of the above, then do a poll. Don’t be afraid to ask the public (readers or even other authors) for their opinions.

I promise, you won’t be sorry that you did. 

 

Down and Dirty

newsletter-marketingNearly every author has a newsletter. Something that they send out when they have big news to share, like a cover reveal. Or that goes out monthly with updates about their lives, their writing, and information on signings and upcoming releases. No matter what they talk about, we sign up for these things because we like being in the know.

So, at my last signing, with a push from one of my friends (she shall remain nameless, she knows who she is), I got in line with the down and dirty. And I set one up. 

I cover all kinds of things from upcoming authors to books I recommend, writing tips, plus I talk about a little bit about my life, works, and what is going on in my two worlds. Plus, I mention any upcoming events that I’ll be participating in and any sales. goodbye-yellow-brick-road-meganne-peckAs a bonus, I’m giving away a free short story if you sign-up. Click here for more details.

With all the writing I’ll be doing and the books I’ll be working on over the next year, being a part of this newsletter will become super important. Like most authors, subscribers of the newsletter get things FIRST. Cover reveals, book blurbs, giveaways. It’s almost like being in the land of Oz. 

So, follow the yellow brick road if you dare, sign up for my newsletter and claim your free story here.

A Writer’s Space

stephenking_writingAccording to Stephen King, a writer’s space requires only one thing, “a door which you are willing to shut.” But as writers we all know that this isn’t always how it works out. Ideas strike at the most inconvenient of times—driving, taking a shower, going to bed, or even hanging out with friends. Yes, we all aren’t the hermits we pretend to be. Believe it or not we aren’t always glued to the computer/tablet/laptop focused on our current, next, and next to next project. Probably why ideas erupt in the manner in which they do.

This doesn’t mean we don’t have our own personal writing space. It just may not get used all the time. Though that is more likely due to the fact that it is often an organized mess.become-a-writer

Yes, I said that correctly. Our office space is typically in disarray, but we know exactly where everything, in that lump you call chaos, is. I know it may seem impossible, but trust me it isn’t. I know that there is an ongoing stack of business cards for other authors I have met over the last few years on my desk. And I can tell you exactly where it is. 

Okay, that isn’t always true. And that is why it our desks are chaotic. The fact is that our minds are constantly working at warp speed, so we focus more on the notes we need to jot down for that next to next to next project we want to work on. Yeah, it may be four books away, but those are notes we will absolutely need to refer back to later. So it’s more important that we get that information down now so we don’t forget it instead of fretting over where the pen should actually go.

Versatile-writerDespite all this, when we do use our “writing space” we follow one rule. 

No distractions.

This goes back to what Stephen King said about the door. A writer’s space should have a door. This allows the writer to shut the world out and give all their attention to writing. 

Here’s the thing. Back then it was important to have that physical space, however since then authors have learned to adapt. (Another reason our “desks” are cluttered.) Because ideas strike at will, it is a strategic move for a writer to perfect the art of “spacing out.” That is what it may look like to an outside audience when in actuality the author’s mind is simply working. 

We no longer need a space of our own. We can write practically anywhere. The corner of the couch. Coffee shop while absentmindedly staring at people. At the park while the dogs play. The car in the middle of traffic (yes, we are probably the idiot that caused that back-up to begin with). you-know-youre-a-writer-when-you-can-write-anywhere-with-any-writing-tool-including-a-crayon-and-a-colouring-book-if-you-have-to-45ca2At the bookstore while identifying at least ten books we need to add to our endless TBR list. During football practice with perfectly timed whoops and hollers of support. 

The list goes on and on. When authors like Stephen King wrote, it was necessary to shut that door. In the age of digital, we have figured out the door is more mental than it is physical. 

Book Reviews

book-adBook advertisements are everywhere. They flood your social media accounts all day long. And if the author is a big name, like James Patterson, you might even see a commercial for whatever new release that author has coming out.

Something about the book catches your attention. The cover, the blurb, or maybe it’s an author you’ve read before and you just enjoy their work. Whatever the reason, you go out and buy the book. (And we thank you for that!)

A day or so later, maybe a couple weeks later you sit down and read that book. Then you get to the end and the author asks for one more thing—a review. You LOVED the book, so sure, you’ll go out and post a review.book_reviews

But what if you HATED the book? Or it just wasn’t one of your favorites? Or maybe it was just okay?

Do you still leave a review?

The other day I was on Facebook and another author asked this very question. Except they were asking as one author to another.

To me, the short answer is yes. I don’t believe it should make a difference if you’re a reader or an author. No matter what—You. Leave. A. Review.

Bad-Book-Review2Sadly, there were a lot of authors that disagreed with me. Most of the responses I read stated that if they couldn’t leave a 5 star review, then they didn’t leave a review at all.

That’s more harmful than helpful.

We all know that reviews don’t just help with ranking for both the author and the book, but they also help readers. The problem is that there is an assumption that a bad review will turn readers away. This isn’t necessarily true.

Just look at E.L. James. The writing was atrocious. Not to mention all the negativity garnered from those who practice BDSM. If that doesn’t make you think, then take a look at the reviews. At least 27% of those who reviewed the first book rated it 3 stars or less. Yet the author still sold millions of books, plus got all three books turned into movies.

Still not convinced?Don't_Look_Now_Titlecard

Okay, then think about it like this. Traffic is moving slow on the highway. You have no idea why until about two miles later where you see a car pulled off to the side of the road. On the other side of that vehicle, everything is moving at normal speed. Why was it slow to begin with?

Because it is in our nature as humans to LOOK. We absolutely, positively must slow down to see what is going on.

my-life-imgThe same is true for a negative review. We stop and we read the review. Are you convinced by one bad review that a book isn’t good? Or do you check out another review? And maybe a third review? After all, can it be THAT bad when it looks so good?

If that ONE review is the only bad review you see, I guarantee you’re going to buy that book if everything else about the book appeals to you. Because you absolutely have to decide for yourself.

It’s just that simple.

Free Books

freebooksWe all love FREE books! Who wouldn’t? Okay, maybe a person who doesn’t read, but for those of us who do, a free book is the best gift we could ever get. Even a cheap book is awesome!

Here’s the thing, a free book isn’t always free.

Let me explain. Every author has the option to give away their books. Some opt to set a book as what we call permanently free or “permafree.” This means the author or the publisher has chosen to give that book away, but that is only IF it is on a verified site like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, I-Book, Kobo and so on.

IF you do not see on a verified site, then that book may not actually be free. In fact, it may be “pirated.” I’m sure this is not an unknown term. Nearly every DVD/Blue-ray features this commercial before the movie even begins.

Guess what? It can happen to books too.

And books take a lot of work, just like movies do. The idea for the story and the words begin with the author(s), but they aren’t the only one who works to put that final product together. That product that begins as words on a screen or paper and becomes a solid e-book, paperback, or hardback. It takes multiple people to put together the product that ends up in your hand.

Bookshop thief helping himself to 'How To Help Your Self' book.
Courtesy of Cartoonstock.com

This can include editors, proofreaders, cover artists, and publicists. And that’s only to name a few. These funds to pay those involved in the final production depends on the publisher. For a self-published author, like me, I have two people that I pay for their services—editor and cover artist. A big name or even a small publisher is likely to have all of what I’ve named and more. Which means it could take 4 or more people plus the author(s) to produce one book.

What does all that have to do with a free or discounted book that is not offered by the author or publisher?

If the book is being offered on a pirated website and you purchase it at a discounted rate, the author or publisher do not see any of that money. And if you get it for free, then they see nothing. That means you, as the reader, are taking money out of their pocket.

For the big name publishers this may not seem like a big deal. They have lots of money. But what if the book was produced by a small publisher or independently-published by the author?

bookproductionLet me break it down this way. If you’ve read my prior post on the cost to publish one book as an independently published author then you know where I’m going. If not, we’re going to go through this quickly. One book can cost an author anywhere from $1100 – $4100 to produce. If you want to understand that more, you can read my prior blog here.

Say I got the book out on the lower end of that spectrum. I then publish this as an e-book and set it at a fair price of $3.99. I don’t get all of that. Depending on how I release the book, I get anywhere from 15% to 70% of that price. We’re going to say I opted to put this out on Amazon only, in which case I make 70% of that price. That means I make $2.79 for every e-book that sells. So if I spent $1100 to put this book out, that means I have to sell roughly 394 e-books to break even.

Yes, that’s right. I would have to sell nearly 400 e-books to earn what was spent to produce that one book. It doesn’t seem like a lot when it’s thought of as less than $3 that is being taken from an author. But that increases every time one book is downloaded from a website that pirated the book.

I’m not going to say that every author agrees with me on this. To some, they consider it exposure. To others, it’s inevitable and not worth addressing. To most, it’s a disgrace. piracy-is-theft-typewriter

The next time you see a book being offered for free or seriously discounted, check the website. Does it look sketchy? Can you validate the site? Or the offer? No? Go to the author’s website, check Bookbub, Goodreads, Amazon, or another trusted site. If the same offer isn’t in one of those places, then the book has been pirated and the “so-called deal” is fake.

Fountain of Knowledge

howtochange_750xx2714-1527-0-142It’s well known that the publishing industry is ever-changing. It has come a long way since its inception hundreds of years ago, which means there is always something new to learn. And if you’ve been following my blog over the last several weeks, I have had a lot of guest authors sharing their experiences and their knowledge. Let’s face it, no one person can know it all.

That has been one of my primary reasons for hosting various guest authors. They each had something different to contribute. One person spoke about how social media gave her support, all because it allowed her to find other authors. Another person offered advice from her own experience as a foreign author. Someone else spoke about what it took for him to accept himself as an author. And another talked about what it took for her to get back to writing after a tragic accident.faq

We all come from different walks of life and we’ve all had different experiences. That doesn’t mean we all can’t learn from each other. I read each and every article before I shared it with you all. With every article I learned something. Something that I hadn’t come across before or maybe that I’d only heard about, but never really dug into. At the same time, I managed to meet some great people.

With that in mind, I wanted to keep going along those same lines and share what I have learned over the last few years of my writing career.

  1. Join a writers group. This isn’t just so you can get exposed to other genres and meet other authors, but because it’s a great way to improve your own writing. It also helps teach you how to give proper feedback. And who knows, you may even find another author to work with later on down the line.
  2. Make it habit to go to at least one writers conference every year. Writers who teach the workshops or seminars in these conferences haven’t just made it a career, they have succeeded in making money. Social media conceptThese are also excellent opportunities to network. And some offer more than just workshops. Some conferences have literary agents and/or publishers who schedule interviews.
  3. Share your knowledge. Help other authors by sharing what you’ve learned. It doesn’t just give them a helping hand, but it also helps you network. In the business, networking is crucial. And sharing your knowledge is a great way to build it.
  4. Read, read, read. This probably sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised at the number of authors who don’t read. That is no way to learn anything. This includes keeping up with what is current, not only in this industry, but in your own genre.
  5. Do your research! I cannot stress this enough. And this is SUPER important if you plan to get traditionally published. You don’t want to query a romance agent if you write Science Fiction.
  6. Start building an audience first. Okay, yes, you need to write the book, but that doesn’t have to come first to build an audience. build-audienceYou could blog about a hot topic that you know about, do book reviews, or talk about something that people can relate to. No matter the direction you go, this builds an audience so that when you finally have that book in your hand, you have people who already enjoy your work and are likely to buy it.
  7. Social Media is a must. I get it if you are one of those people who absolutely abhor social media, but we are in the age of digital. If you’re not on social media and interacting on social media, then you’re only hurting yourself. It isn’t just a place to find an audience, it’s a place to network with other authors, publishers, agents and bloggers. And if you want to be traditionally published, both agents and publishers look to see what kind of presence you have online.

This may not seem like a lot, but I promise it’s a great starting point. And if you’d like to learn more, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter which includes writing tips, book recommendations, upcoming events and more.

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Writer Envy

Guest Blog by Maggie Grinnell

MaggieGI did not know I wanted to be a writer until college. I wanted to be a vet and work with animals. I applied for a vet assistant job. When I was told I would have to assist the vet in putting animals down, I decided that was not the profession for me.  Therefore, I decided it was time to find another passion. I had a passion for reading but could not find a job where I would be paid to read full time. Therefore, I decided to write fiction. I have a wild imagination already (as I have been told by my friends). I started writing about my high school adventures. In addition, before I knew it, I came up with great ideas for some new fiction stories that were suspenseful. I looked up to suspense writers like Dean Koontz and Mary Higgins Clark whom I both met. So writing suspense fiction became my new passion. envyNow I do not write novels because as a reader, I want to get to the end of the story without many details. So my stories were about 2,000-5,000 words which is considered short stories in the writing world.

I wrote a short story in college that after reading it, I tossed it away. I did not think it was good enough to submit and be published. I remembered that story 10 years later and completely rewrote it. I submitted it and it was my first published story. Therefore, I stuck with short suspense fiction for a while. Then I turned to writing for children, which I think, is my ‘writing voice.’ I have read articles where it is good to find your ‘writer voice’. I connected with a self-publisher and have published three children’s picture books to date. Now these books are only on Amazon but in my dreams that are in Barnes and Noble.

PirateAdventure
Purchase Here

After I got my first children’s book published, that is when the writer’s envy came out. I compared my book with not only other children’s authors but other authors as well. I did not think my book was good enough. That writing envy did not leave until I wrote my next children’s book. Of course, when the second book came out, the green-eyed monster rose repeatedly I compared my book to other authors. My envy deepened when I read a book that I loved and that author has had much success and recognition. I wanted that too. I know I would have to work for success but I felt my stories could do just as well.

Therefore, I tried promoting my books in other venues that I normally would never try. Those venues kind of work. I am still trying to promote myself to get my books out for the world to read.

After my third book came out, I tried to not be envious but envy came back. This time, I told myself that I am a writer and love words and that is all that matters.believe

Therefore, for those writers/authors who get envious, just remember your love of writing and believe in your work. It may take time as in my case but that envy will go away and you will be happy with what you wrote.

If you’d like to learn more and follow Maggie Grinnell, you can find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Help an Author Out

Guest blog by Shay Stone

ShayStoneHelp 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.beawriter

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. review-an-authorIf 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. hand-holding-book-gift-woman-s-31446233They 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.Share
  • 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.

Thank-You-PNG-800x500_cKNOW 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.

If you’d like to learn more and follow Shay Stone, you can find her on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her website.