Some days I can’t imagine what to say in this space. Luckily I have resources for new ideas.
Almost two years ago I found this post about helping authors and thought the idea would be fun to use here someday. Jen Malone listed several things readers can do to help their favorite authors. I thought I’d share some of my own, inspired by some of hers, with you today. These are quick and easy, and most of them don’t involve opening your wallet.
You will notice I have chosen to use “her” as my favorite pronoun for this post. The reason should be transparent. So without further adieu. . .
Some surefire ways for helping authors, thereby encouraging them to write more books, more often, with more enthusiasm.
First: Buy her books. You knew that, right? You didn’t need to read my blog for that one, but the good news? Books are reasonably priced, at least most of the time. Let’s add buy her book as a gift for a special friend here. Books make great gifts, and unlike candy and flowers, don’t add pounds or trigger allergies.
Second: Buy her books the moment they arrive at bookstores. That’s a bit more esoteric, right? The reason is actually simple. Publishers are silly creatures who pay more attention to lists than to anything in the universe. (I am allowed to exaggerate because this is my blog.) Writers who make bestseller lists get new contracts. That, too, is simple. If you like a writer, you want to read more of her books. Unless she is publishing independently (more and more authors are) she will need a contract to write more books.
Third: Inspire your public library to buy her book. A sale is a sale, and this is a wonderful way to reach more new readers. How can you inspire librarians to love your favorite author?
- Request the book at your library. (Jen shows a request form from her own local library. Yours will have something similar.) Go in armed with title, author (spelled correctly–Emilie has an ie at the end, right?), publisher, and the ISBN # (you can find this online at bookstores or the author’s website). If you don’t have all of that, have as much as possible.
- Mention the author to librarians whenever you can. Librarians have the memories of elephants. This is a scientific fact.
- Suggest an author as a possible speaker if the librarian supports programming.
Fourth: Speak positively about the book online. Where?
- Goodreads (you can both review and vote for books here.)
- Instagram, Tumblr, Google Plus and so on.
Online book communities are blooming. If you’re part of one and you’re in your helping authors mode, mention the book and say why. Comment on book blogs, and don’t be afraid. Readers are hungry for new books they might enjoy.
Fifth: Review the book as close to its publication date as possible. Where?
- Barnes and Noble
- eBook stores like iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Draft2Digital
- Any other page or bookstore that takes reviews.
Good reviews make a difference when a reader is looking for a new read. If you didn’t like the book? Ignore this.
Sixth: Suggest the book as a selection for your favorite book club. Then see if the author will Skype, Face Time or even make a personal appearance during the discussion.
I know that you, too, have a million things to do every day. After all life’s best when you’re busy doing things you love. But if the opportunity presents itself, helping authors isn’t all that hard. You have the power to inspire more books you can cherish. I can say with assurance that your efforts will be much appreciated.