I have a plan, and the plan is to get people talking about books more than Kardashians. The plan is broken down into five easy steps as they relate to authors and their books. Thank you for taking part in “Operation: Stop Giving This Talentless Family Attention”. I appreciate your patronage.
- Buy their books: Pretty obvious, I know, but this really is the best way to support an author. Of course, Amazon is always going to be the most cost-effective avenue for this…but if you really care about royalties and the like, consider buying directly from the publisher. You’re cutting out the middle man (Amazon), which means more money is going towards the author and the publishing house. The best thing you can though–and authors fucking love this–is request a signed copy. Seriously, don’t be shy. Chances are the author has a small stack of copies sitting around specifically for this reason.
- Read and review: Reading isn’t the problem. Reviewing, on the other hand, is about as impossible as Stephen Hawking trying to breakdance for some people. They just don’t (or can’t) do it, and that’s unfortunate because this is one of the biggest ways in which to support (or take down) an author. Second only to the author blurb, reviews serve as an endorsement…and we can never get enough of those. Honestly, I don’t base my book-buying decisions based on reviews, but some people do…and for that demographic, every review matters. So, please…pretty please…if you read a book, try to review. Doesn’t have to be fancy or particularly long. A paragraph or even a couple sentences can make all the difference. Having said that, the more places you post your review the better. I’m talking Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, etc. Spread that shit around.
- Connect online: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, tumblr, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Pinterest…all that shit. If you like an author, feel free to stalk their ass. Chances are if you dug their book you’ll dig their social media feeds.
- Sharing is caring: Authors–especially the independent ones–don’t just benefit from word of mouth…they depend on it. Not very many authors have an advertising budget. We can’t afford ad space on Goodreads and Amazon. And we typically don’t get big reviewers like Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly because they want some ungodly amount of money to review the thing. That means we end up leaning on the reader pretty hard to talk us up, and all things considered, it’s really not that difficult. Share an Amazon link, share quotes, share pictures of the book. Spread the word. This is how one sale becomes three…becomes twenty-six…becomes nine-hundred-and-eighty-four. The last nine out of ten books I picked up where all because I kept hearing about them, either through social media or writers’ forums or a friend. Word of mouth is actually more powerful than advertising, but it’s the readers that make it happen.
- Connect in real life: Sometimes authors have readings, and sometimes they just so happen to be in or around your location. In the event that that happens–fucking go. Show up, cheer, clap, drink, buy the author drinks, get your book(s) signed, take pictures. All that shit.