Authors who are household names become so because of word of mouth. It’s the most valuable form of advertising of all, and it’s something you can’t buy. Whether you’re a superfan, or just a reader who likes to share your love of books –what can you do to help your favorite authors?
Below are my personal 6 Reader Rs (which may become more as I think of them) that any reader can do to help me, or any author:
* If you enjoy an author’s books, recommend her,in person and online. Tell everyone you know who might enjoy them too. I have a reader who recommended me to her OB/GYN, who then became a fan. Hopefully, she now also recommends me to her patients. There is also a quick and easy RECOMMEND THIS BOOK link on Goodreads.
* Read it? Then RATE and REVIEW it, online at all the big sites like Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. DISCOVERABILITY is the key to sales, and also the biggest problem for authors. But the more ratings and honest reviews a book has, the better the placement it gets in searches and bestseller rankings. While you’re at it, share a snippet from your review and the buy page on Google+, FB and Twitter. ADD your favorite author’s books to your Amazon Wish List (Amazon has a Top 100 Wish List). Also SHELVE it on to your Goodreads shelves, mark it TBR or Read and add it or vote for it on Goodreads Lists. It really helps readers find new titles.
* Reorganize that book shelf, just a little when you find your favorite author’s book on the shelf at a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Turn it face out so other readers can discover it by the pretty cover. Though we know people judge a book by its cover, no one can judge anything when just that tiny spine is showing. You can also ask any bookseller or library to order your favorite authors’ books. All they need is the ISBN number, title and author name. If it’s available from a distributor they order from, they can get it.
* ReTweet. Or Facebook, or Blog, or Google +, or whatever your site of choice is. Follow your fav authors on Twitter. Like their FB Pages. When you see an important post, Like it, Comment on it, and Share it with your friends. FB shows page posts with more likes, comments and shares more, and hides less popular posts. Help spread the word about interviews, contests, new blog posts, new releases, sales, giveaways, etc.
*New releases rule! At least when it comes to certain best seller lists, and the sales that come in on preorder and during the first week of a new release drive that title higher (or lower, depending on how you look at it) in the best seller rankings, which means more people have a chance of discovering them. So word of mouth is always good and helpful and appreciated at any time, but know that when it comes to things like the NY Times Best-seller list, promo that drives sales before or around release day counts the most–we think, because it’s all kind of secret over there.
*Redistribute! Ask your fav author for promo items such as bookmarks and pass them out to interested readers. (That’s the key part–interested readers–since you never want to force items on people, or leave things on cars, or stick items in other authors’ books on store shelves. That may anger people.) A personal recommendation, along with a small item to jog the reader’s memory later is the best combination. Due to the high cost of postage, I can not ship promo outside the continental US. My apologies.