I wanted to write one of these as I’m doing my own research and gearing up for the release of my first book. I have a lot of friends and family who are excited about the book and want to help see it do well. But, they don’t always know what “help” looks like.
Here are 5 ways that you can help your author friends get their (first) book off the ground:
1) Pre-Order and/or buy the book in the first few days it’s out
Bestseller lists are calculated based off of the volume of sales in the first few days. Pre-Orders and initial sales are SO important to have the first big push. If you think you may want the book in multiple formats – paperback and eBook, for example – then save the extra $5-$10 if you can and buy both versions on the same day right after it’s out.
2) Review the book everywhere you can
So you bought the book off Amazon. Do you know that it’s likely also listed on Barnes & Noble? Kobo? GoodReads? These are all places that you can spend five minutes if your time and copy and paste that review. Reviews are critical to getting new people to try the book which goes back to number one.
If you’re lucky enough to have an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) you can leave the review in some of these places early – part of why you were sent the ARC – and are encouraged to do so. Just don’t forget the other places to review when the book is out!
3) Talk about the book often and in different places
Chances are if you love books, even a certain type of book, you’re not hanging out with people who think reading is pointless. Birds of a feather flock together and if you enjoyed a book or movie there’s a good chance your friends may too. Word of mouth is so important to driving sales and it’s something only you can do.
Don’t forget also that your word of mouth and influence extends digitally. Talk about the book on your social channels and link to places people can find out more information about it.
If you’re really active with promotion see if the author has a street team that you can join. This gives you a direct line to how the Author may want their work promoted and can give you ways to get special promotional goods like bookmarks or post cards that regular readers may not get.
4) Remember the book ten months from now
Ten months is arbitrary, but the point is that the book lives on. Chances are the author has had other releases by then and maybe more in the same series. You never know when you’ll be sitting next to someone on an airplane or in a coffee shop and reading comes up. If you loved the book recommend it like you would any story you’re passionate about. This will help the author bring in new fans and interest long after the release.
5) Be honest
I had to put 5 on here because it’s what a lot of authors want and often times friends and family can be nervous about it since they know how much work goes into a book. You are our first line of defense against the world. If you think the book is 4/5 stars than don’t give it 5/5 stars on a review. People can tell when someone is reviewing a book, or promoting a book, just because they feel like they should or are friends with the author. You have to be sincere to your friends (in all things) and yourself.
By doing so, it’ll help the relationship last for many books to come.