Ways You Can Help Your Favorite Author
1. Buy the book to read or buy it for a friend or a gift. Books are a great gift that aren't often thought of.
2. Face the book out at bookstores. Simply rearrange a bookstore shelf so that your friend's book faces out to make it much more noticable.
3. When you actually read the book, read it where people can see it. Read it in public. Read it on the subway. Read it in the aisle seat of a plane. Read it on the deck of a cruise ship. After all, don't you find yourself looking at what others are reading when you pass by? I do!
4. Ask a bookstore employee where the book is located. When entering a bookstore, do not look for the book. Go to the bookstore customer service clerk and ask them about the book. They will find it in their system and lead you to the book. My hope is that if several people do this at the same bookstore, then the employee(s) will take notice of the title.
5. Leave a review on Amazon or BN.com or Goodreads or all. Reviews are still very important. Think about it. If you come by a new book and see it has a 2.0 stars on Amazon, would you buy it? On some level, that silly rating does affect me and my decision - and my guess is that it affects you, too. So it's crucial that, when you read a book and enjoy it, you leave a review on Amazon or BN.com or Goodreads or all. Those first 10-20 reviews really matter and can set a book on the right path. (Note: You can leave the same review on all the sites to save time.)
6. "Like" the book on Amazon, or "Like" the author's facebook fan page. I head from a literary agent once that more "Likes" a book had on its Amazon page, the more frequent it turned up in Amazon's comparable titles elsewhere. Getting your personal friends to "Like" another friends page is an easy favor to ask, as it requires no money.
7. Reserve a copy at the library. An employee here at Writer's Digest Books once told me that if all copies of a book are reserved from our county library before the title comes out, the system has a way of noticing popularity and marking the book as one for "more orders."
8. Attend the book release party if there is one, and bring a warm body or two. It is to help the author's self-esteem. It's lonely to have a book release party or a local signing with low attendance. If you already bought a copy, bring that book to be signed.
9. Spread news of the book through your social media channels. When the author mentions it on Facebook, share the news with your soical circles and include a small note about what the book is and why they should buy it. In other words, spreading the word by saying "My friend got published!" is nice - but it's better to say, "This new book by my hilarious friend is a great gift for dads who are raising daughters. Laugh-out-loud-funny stuff for all fathers to enjoy!" See how the second one targets people in a simple-yet-specific way? Do this kind of targeting when you spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, or blogs.
10. If you have media contacts or know people of influence, arrange a connection. This is the best thing you can do and probably the biggest way you can truly influence the life of the book and the success of the author. If you're married to the cousin of a local news personality, it's exactly that kind of connection that serves as a great introduction between author and TV host. If you know a book reviewer at a newspaper in Boston, say so. If your old college buddy now runs the biggest reading club of all of Central California, try and help your author friend's book be a future choice in that club. Utilize your network!
Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writer she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction.