Supporting Your Author Friend

This post could have been written by my family and friends. It’s all about how to support your authorly friends out there, and since my friends and family have been awesome enough to support me through the publication of two books I wanted to let others in on their tips for supporting an author friend. (I bet most of them didn’t even know they had such tips!) Through the years my friends and family have come up with some ingenious ways to put the word about my books “out there.” I thought I would share these with everyone else out there who would like to know ways to support a certain author but are a bit uncertain about how to do that. Believe me there are plenty of ways, and my friends have done a super, stupendous job.

1. Buy the book-— A lot of my friends bought the book for the simple reason that they knew me, and while most of them have read it, I know a few who haven’t yet read it but still chose to support me as their friend and that’s an awesome way to think. For them, the words, “I’m not a reader,” just don’t exist. And, sure, you might not read, either, but you can always have the bragging rights that your friend is a published author as you show off your personally signed copy of their book to others. It’ll look great on your shelf. Everyone will be impressed that you know an author!
2. Attend readings and signings whenever possible. I can’t stress enough the importance of seeing a friendly face when an author is out their doing authorly duty. Don’t assume that throngs of people will show up and no one will miss you. These things are notorious for not being well attended unless you’re so famous that people come running the moment your name is mentioned. Even if you’ve previously purchased a certain author’s book and you’re in the vicinity when they’re doing a signing or reading, pop in and have a chat. It won’t cost a thing but it will mean SO much to your friend. The worse thing in the world is sitting for hours and having no one stop by to even chat. It can make you feel insignificant and maybe even invisible. I’m big on the chatty thing. Whenever I’m at an event I can count on some of the good people of E. Dalhousie to stop by and say hello. Remember, you don’t need to buy a book every time your author friend is signing books. Taking the time to acknowledge an author makes us feel loved.
3. This is also a great time to mention book launches. Try, at all possible, to come out for launches to show your support. I’ve been tremendously fortunate to have such a strong support from family, friends, and the community in general. Every author should be so lucky!
4. Give books as gifts. Wow! My friends are constantly giving out my books to people on their gift list. I mean you’re buying a gift anyway, and a signed copy is such an awesome thing to give and receive. I just had a call the other day by someone wanting a few more copies for Christmas gifts. Cool!
5. Put a request in at the library for your friend’s book. Library sales make up a healthy portion of books sales— seriously. Right after both of my books were published friends told me they put in a request to the library in their area to get in copies. Awesome, I know!
6. Talk about the book to others. Word of mouth is the best way to spread the word about any book. My friends are constantly on the look-out for opportunities to tell others about my books. One friend said she keeps a copy of my book on her coffee table to show people who come to visit! It’s simple thing but it can make a big difference.
7.Write reviews and rate the book for Goodreads, Amazon or Chapters. Again, that’s letting others know about a book they might not otherwise hear about. It’s costs nothing but your author friend will be so appreciative.
8.If your author friend posts about her upcoming book on Facebook or other social media sites, share. Share, share share. When I posted a photo of my contributor’s copies that arrived I had numerous shares from my friends. So much so that Facebook told me it showed up in the newsfeed of over 1200 people. I was flabbergasted.
9. If you’re a blogger, blog about the book. The blogging community is very supportive of authors. My blogging friends have blogged about my books, interviewed me on their blog, and even reviewed my books on their blogs. I love the support from this wonderful community.
10.Look for opportunities to support your author friend. Here are two inventive way friends of mine have helped put my book “out there.” One, a retiring teacher emailed to tell me this. “I was asked to pick out a book for the PRMS Home and School to donate to the Library in my name. After I had picked out a music one,(she was a music teacher) I had allotted money left over – guess what I chose??? “Flying with a Broken Wing” of course!!!!!!”
and…
When asked to donate an item to a basket for a friend who was out on sick leave, a family member included a signed copy of one of my books. Now are these not two of the awesomest (is awesomest a words?)ideas for people to come up with.
11. And one last thing. Support doesn’t have to come from the pocketbook. My friends are constantly asking me how the writing is coming along, if I’m working on anything new and generally encouraging me along the way. And, you know what? I love them all for it. I’m not sure my friends truly understand how important it is for any author to know that others are interested in our work.

So, you see what I mean about how awesome my family and friends are? Hopefully, you’ll find these tips helpful and they will inspire you to come up with some ways of your own to support the authors in your life. You do have authors in your life, right?

Have you any tips of your own that you’d like to share when it comes to supporting an author, perhaps something my friends haven’t thought of yet?

Word of Mouth

We hear time and again that what sells books is word of mouth. We only have to look at some of the recent runaway success stories to see that it’s a pretty accurate statement. When someone we know recommends a book, raves on about it even, it makes us curious. We want to read it too. See what makes it so rave-worthy.

I sometimes joke that I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t read the Fifty Shades trilogy because, for a time, it seemed that was all everyone was talking about. People I know, who barely read, were hunkering down for the long haul. I was shocked by their admission. Not only were they reading the books but they were buying their own copies.

But I’m not here to lecture. Far from it. My point is, many of the people I know who bought the books did so because they heard about it from someone else. Many claimed to just want to know what all the hub-bub was about. Right. Oh yeah I’m not here to lecture. I forgot. Many of the people who admitted to reading it even acknowledged that the writing wasn’t all that good. (Being the only person on the planet who hasn’t read them, I can’t pass judgment on that.) Yet still they read on.

Now, you all know I’ve got a book ready to hit the bookstores in a few weeks. Here in the little community where I live my friends are all buzzing. Plans are being made for the book launch that will take place at the end of September. I’m already blown away by the response from my friends on Facebook, and their generousity when it comes to sharing things like the cover of my book, and other book- related posts I make on my Facebook page. I didn’t even have to chase them down or twist their arms behind their backs and make they cry “Uncle.” They just did it to help out a friend who happens to be an author with a book about to be released, and I think that’s pretty darn cool. While walking down this writing path I’m on, it’s indescribable to think of how many people are here to keep me company. 🙂  It makes me beyond happy.

Word of mouth can sell many books. Mind you, my book isn’t likely to sell a fraction of what the Fifty Shades trilogy did, but in my little corner of the world it’ll buzz for a time. Not only that, we’ll all share in that buzzing.  It’s not just about me and my book. It’s about our book. Ah— small communities. They sure know how to make an author feel loved.

Has word of mouth ever sent you running t the bookstore? Have you ever bought a book simply because someone raved on about it?

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