Tuesday, July 19, 2011

9 Ways to Help Your Favorite Indie Author

As an indie author, it can be tough getting publicity. People are more than happy to email you privately and tell you they love your book, but getting them to leave a review on a public site, or recommend it to friends is trickier. And asking outright can seem a bit rude (whether it is or not depends on how close you are to the person; asking your mother or your sister isn’t rude, asking someone you’ve met twice might be).

Readers often don’t really know what they can do to help their favorite authors (indie or otherwise) be more successful. So here are nine things readers can do to help their favorite authors be more successful:

1. Review their work.
Leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, or elsewhere is a great way to show your support. Other readers rely on reviews to make their purchasing decisions, and books with more reviews appear to be more popular. Take a few minutes to write a review. Remember, most sites don’t require you to purchase the book before leaving a review, so you can copy and paste your review into multiple sites.

2. Share a link.
If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, share a link to the author’s book with your friends and followers. If it’s a book you really love, then there’s a good chance at least some of your friends will love it, too.

3. Buy it as a gift.
Books make great gifts. And sharing the work of your favorite author with a friend or relative can gain them new fans.

4. Become a fan.
Whether it’s on Goodreads, Facebook, or elsewhere, becoming a fan of your favorite authors means you’ll get regular updates about their work. The more fans a page has, the more popular an author appears. Don’t forget to recommend them to your friends, too.

5. Recommend them to book review sites.
If you’re an active participant on a book review site, recommend that the site review their books. Indie authors sometimes have a hard time getting reviews due to the stigma still attached to self-publishing, but a recommendation from an active site participant can go a long way toward getting past that stigma.

6. Ask for it at your local library.
Libraries will often buy books based on what their patrons ask for. So if your local library doesn’t have books by your favorite authors, ask for them. Libraries can help writers get new fans, who will then go on to buy their work in the future.

7. Order through your local independent bookstore.
When you order a book through an independent bookstore, you increase the chance that the bookstore might order additional copies. If the person placing the orders is intrigued by the book, they might order an extra to see if it sells. Alternatively, they might leaf through the book when it comes in, and then decide to buy, or ask for your recommendation.

8. Share their other content.
If your favorite author is on Twitter, Facebook, or another social media site, following them and then occasionally re-sharing their updates can be a huge help.

9. Use #writerwednesday and #followfriday hashtags on Twitter.
If you and your favorite author are on Twitter, consider recommending them for #writerwednesday and #followfriday. Both are great ways to find new people to follow, and can result in a handful of new followers every week.

by Cameron Chapman

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