Since I’m a compulsive researcher, I’ve done a lot of reading and digging into what it takes to make it as an independent author. Aside from writing something of quality that others want to read, it really all boils down to getting people talking about your books. And that, my friends, is where you come in!
Have you discovered an author that you absolutely love? Sure, you go the bookstore or log on to Amazon and buy the latest bestseller, but is there an independent author you’ve stumbled upon who has grabbed your attention? If so, let people know. But you have, you say. Well, sure, maybe you’ve mentioned the book to a friend or two, but what else can you do to help ensure your newly-discovered gem of a writer continues to write? Let me count the ways…
- Mention the book/author to your friends, family, kids’ teachers, hair stylist, the person next to you in line at the grocery store, co-workers, neighbors, dog groomer…well, you get the idea. The more people, the better. And when I say mention, I mean write down the author’s name and book title on your receipt and give it to your new friend at the grocery store; give your kids’ teachers a copy of the book for Christmas (you didn’t know what to get her anyway, did you?); keep steering your stylist to the topic of books…who wants to discuss split ends for an hour?
- Spread the word at your book club. If it’s your turn to choose the book, choose one by this author and introduce him/her to some other avid readers.
- Request the book/author at your local library. Libraries have budgets for new books and oftentimes are looking for someone new, especially if it happens to be a local author. Don’t give up if it doesn’t appear on the shelves right away. Librarians sometimes need a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder.
- Add the book to your shelves on Goodreads and follow the author if he/she has a Goodreads author profile. If you’re not familiar with Goodreads, it’s an online delight for book lovers. Once you join, you are able to list books you’ve read, see what your friends are reading, read reviews for books you’re considering reading, and receive recommendations based on the types of books you enjoy. There are also lots of free book promotions that cost you nothing but a moment of your time to enter and just may result in you winning a new release. Check it out; I think you’ll be glad you did.
- Post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other place the author has a presence. Reviews help drive sales.
- Visit the author’s website, comment, and sign up for the mailing list. Not only will you help the author, there are perks for you, too. You will be among the first to receive sneak-peeks at upcoming works, to learn about giveaways or other promotions, to offer input into plot lines or character naming, and on and on. It’s a fun way to interact with your favorite author and it will thrill the author to hear from you. Trust me.
I have come across some amazing authors by browsing Amazon’s Kindle library. If you have a Kindle or the Kindle reading app, (remember, you don’t need a Kindle, you just need to download the free reading app and you can read Kindle books on any device) I encourage you to check out the free promotions and those books that are free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. You’re not out anything but a little bit of your time if you discover you don’t care for the author, but you may just discover someone wonderful.
Since joining the ranks and getting a taste for what it’s like to publish a book, I have made an effort to rate and review books, connect with authors, and do what I can to support those that I like. Honestly, it’s something I didn’t think too much about before becoming one of them. Maybe you’re in the same boat. If so, I encourage you to consider supporting someone who, I promise you, will appreciate your efforts.