23 January 2019

How Readers Can Help Their Favourite Author(s)

We're all familiar with the quote "No Man is an Island" by English poet John Donne. This concept also applies to your favourite author(s). So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that even extremely successful writers depend on YOUR help to promote their books. It's true - they really do! And so many readers do such a fantastic job promoting the authors and books they love. Some readers formally promote by signing up with a book review program, establish their own book review blog, or become an influencer (a fancy term for a person who gets a free book in exchange for helping to spread the word) for specific authors. 

Most readers prefer to help authors more casually. I’ve met some wonderful people over the past few years who have book blogs or other social media outlets, who support authors simply for the love of books and the authors who write them. These readers are passionate about what they read and want to share their discoveries with others. But no matter how you help a writer, we all appreciate each of our readers and everything they do!  

On the other hand, many readers don’t realize just how much writers need their help. Or perhaps they do know but aren’t sure what will be most useful. So, how can readers help their favourite authors and their books? There are so many different ways! Here are some of the easiest but effective ways readers can help to spread the word:

- Write a review even if it's just two sentences, and post it to an online bookstore, such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. If you’re feeling generous, you can also copy and paste said review onto several of your favourite online shopping outlets.

- Add the book to your Goodreads shelf and when you write your online review, just copy and paste it onto Goodreads, too.

- Got a blog? Post your book review onto your blog and invite your followers from all your social media outlets to stop by and read all about it.

- Offer to host your favourite author on your blog, and ask him/her unique and interesting questions that you think your blog readers might enjoy. Be sure to invite your family members, friends and followers over to your blog to “meet” the author.

- While reading the book, post comments on your favourite social media outlets about it and what you like most about it. On Twitter, you can even use hashtags like #FridayReads, #MustReads, etc.

- When you finished reading a book, let your social media followers know your final thoughts said book. You could even include a link to the author’s website. 

- After reading the book, post a giveaway on your blog with the book as a prize. Everyone likes the chance to win a free prize.

- If appropriate, suggest your newest book discovery to your book club (online or in person group). Many books have discussion questions available, and plenty of writers are even willing to video chat with book clubs.

- Donate your copy of the book to a school or church library, or ask them if they would be willing to add a copy to their system by making a purchase.

- Start a discussion about your newest favourite book on Goodreads in one of your groups. You can also ask the author to join you for a short Q & A session.

- If the author is local, invite him or her to speak to your book club about the book and writing journey, and in exchange, offer the writer the opportunity to sign/sell books after the presentation.

- Pass the book along to a family member or friend and ask that person to pass it along when they’re done.

- Purchase the book as a gift for a birthday, holiday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. Books make great gifts that keep on giving! You can even ask the author for an autographed copy or personally addressed and signed label (also known as bookplate) that you can affix in the book.

- Take the book with you to public places such as appointments, meetings, coffee dates with friends, etc. and distribute bookmarks, postcards, or other promotional items the author might have available if someone asks about the book.

- Pin the cover of the book to Pinterest onto a board you’ve created for your favourite books, and don't forget to link back to the author’s website.

- Take a selfie with the book and post that picture onto your social media outlets.

- And my last suggestion, but certainly the most important one: Talk about your favourite new read! When you’re genuinely excited about what you read they’ll want to check out the book for themselves.

I'd like to take this opportunity to send out a heartfelt 'Thank You' to all those readers who have supported me in one way or another over the years! It means the world to me, and I appreciate every single effort you've made on my behalf!

What other ways can readers promote their favourite books and/or authors? What have you done or seen others do?  I’d love to hear your ideas! 

Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added three historical fiction novels to her ever-expanding collection of published writings, In the Shadow of Her Majesty , The Country Girl Empress., and A Life in the Shadow of the Crown. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.
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