With my book release coming up in a couple weeks, I’ve had several people ask me the best, most awesome question in the world: “How can I help?” (Wow. Thank you for asking!) Buying a book isn’t the only way to support an author, and these days, you don’t even have to do that. Here are five easy ways to give an author some love:
1) CHOOSE THE BOOKSTORE. If you choose to buy the book, get it at the bookstore. Why? Well, of course there’s nothing wrong with buying books or eBooks on Amazon and other online sites. A sale is a sale, and the author usually makes a higher percentage off of eBook sales than hard copy ones. So yes, online are great. But if a book doesn’t do well at a bookstore, the publisher won’t have any reason to keep printing it–which means the author is suddenly thrown into a dark state of book limbo.
2) ASK FOR IT. If you do go to the bookstore to buy the book, and they don’t have it, ask the manager when the book will come in. If he or she gets enough requests, they will give in and purchase it. (And if they do have it, turn one of the books so that customers can see the cover and not just the spine. Thank you.) If you don’t want to shell out the cash, ask for it at your local library.
3) REVIEW THE BOOK ONLINE. This is a biggie! It’s not hard, it only takes a couple minutes, and it has a HUGE impact on sales. Give the book a positive four or five-star rating on Amazon, then copy your review onto Goodreads and Barnesandnoble.com. Many readers make their buying decisions based off those reviews, so if a book isn’t rated, it gets passed over.
If you want to go the extra mile and you have a popular blog or website, offer to interview the author or review the book on your site. (Believe me, she will love you FOREVER.)
4) SHARE THE WORD. The book business is a cutthroat one–50-60% or more of a publisher’s books don’t even make a profit. if a book doesn’t do well right out of the gate, the publisher may write it off as a loss and turn their attention and resources elsewhere.
That’s why social networking and word of mouth are so important in the publishing business. Repost the author’s book giveaway on your Facebook page, or retweet links to their book reviews. It only takes a second, but that action can expose the book to hundreds of fresh eyes. If you’re not an internet person, tell friends and neighbors about it, or let them see you reading it. Be creative.
5) Subscribe to the author’s social networking sites: blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or whatever they are using to promote their book. It only takes a second, but every little boost in their numbers shows future publishers that they are building a following, which makes future books possible. Yes, it really is that important to publishers. (And you can always unsubscribe if the promotions get too annoying. That’s the great thing about the internet, right?)
In a world where bookstores are closing their doors and anyone with a few thousands dollars in spare change can publish a book, it’s really really REALLY hard to get a manuscript accepted by a publisher. I thought my work was done at that point. Boy, was I wrong. More is expected of today’s authors than ever before.
Luckily, my fellow authors and I have our fantastic friends and family members to help us out. Thanks again for your awesomeness, and happy reading!
Can you think of another way to support an author? Post it here, and don’t forget to follow my blog. 🙂