So, you’re a fan (or a friend, or both) of a writer, and you’d like to help her. You already read her book–either a gifted copy or a purchased one (and a purchase is already a great gesture). But you really like the book and the person, and you’d love to help. Don’t fret. There are many other ways to support your favorite writer.
Those tips can be used for both indie (self-published) and traditionally-published writers. Their marketing budgets are minuscule. If you didn’t see an ad for her book on Entertainment Weekly, the writer certainly needs (and appreciates) your support.
This is a non-encompassing list of quick, zero-cost activities that can help:
- “Like” her author page on Amazon
- “Like” her books on Amazon (the “like” button besides the title)
- “Tag” her books on Amazon (this means going to her book page, scrolling down to the tags section, and checking the categories listed)
- “Like” her author page on Facebook
- Befriend and become a fan of the author on Goodreads (like books but don’t know about Goodreads? Sign up now!)
- Add her books to your TBR (to-read) list on Goodreads
- On Facebook and Twitter: RT/share news about her books on Facebook; congratulate her; tell others if you liked the book; let your friends know about opportunities (free or discounted books, giveaways)
- On Goodreads: discuss the book, recommend it, suggest it to your reader’s group as book of the month, share the events and giveaways.
- On Email: Sign up and forward her newsletter.
Don’t know exactly how to share? The prepared author should have pre-written tweets, facebook posts, emails, even press-releases! If she doesn’t have, ask for it: her job is writing after all : )
- Like to review books? Write a review and post to your blog or timeline. Post it also on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, iBook store. Don’t like to write? Just use the star-rating to give your opinion. Do not compromise! Write an honest review and don’t let your friendship or admiration sway your judgment. The author is used to critique groups and will gallantly handle constructive criticism. If your budget doesn’t allow for a purchase, request a copy for review from the author (no strings attached—ever).
- Authors are gregarious—the hermit stereotype is just a myth. Mention a writer to a book cover designer, a designer to an editor, an editor to a reviewer, a reviewer to a reader, a reader to a writer. Introduce them to your online reading groups. Use #ff and #ww hashtags or just wing it. Social media is nothing but an everlasting cocktail party
- There’s also this new thing called offline world: standing in lines before and after school or sport activities are perfect occasions for cleverly letting others know that you’ve just “discovered” a new author! Let your neighbors and colleagues know how trendy you are.
That’s it! Just remember to do it naturally. You’re not a salesperson (well, unless you are); you’re a supporter. It’s not about advertisement; it’s about word-of-mouth. It’s not a sales pitch; it’s you sharing your opinion. Next time you’re chatting, instead of mentioning how much you liked The Avengers movie, just give the spot to your favorite book (the Avengers franchise will not suffer). It should be organic, water-coolly—nothing artificial ever goes viral.
Most important of all: enjoy it. Don’t let it become a chore, or soon you’ll resent the very person you’re trying to help. If it doesn’t feel natural to you, it’s fine. Remember, you already did the most helpful thing for the author: you read the book!
I hope it helps. Well, that’s a lot of theory. Maybe a workbook would be helpful. If you need practice, you can always go to the Wicked Sense page and test your recently learned skills. Links and examples are provided
Can you think of any other cost-effective and fast ways to help a writer? I’m certain I missed some. Please share!
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