…how you can help out authors? It’s not just buying the book, which is certainly a big deal in of itself. There are a couple (well okay, five here) more steps that can take the simple, yet powerful act of buying a book go that extra bit towards helping an author gain traction.
Here’s a list of what I’ve heard/learned.
- A while back, our lovely Shark (a.k.a. Janet Reid, literary agent extraordinaire) posted about this. Wherever you go to purchase books…if you don’t see the one you want? Ask for it. Find someone and ask if they can check their database to see if it’s been ordered, or if they’ve put it on their list of books to order. (or to be re-ordered if their inventory is depleted.) One point she made – which, as a newbie I thought was very interesting – don’t go to the author and tell them their book isn’t in a store because the author can’t do anything about it. The reason? Authors aren’t part of the process to distribute their book. Hence, the “ask a person in the store” advice. Now, if the author is self-published? That’s a whole other topic outside of my wheelhouse.
- If possible, rate the books you read, or even provide a short review. An astute observation made by a commenter here on this blog (Heidi Kneale) stated even bad reviews are a good thing, in that if all an author has are good reviews, that can start to look fishy. 500 five star reviews = things that make you go hmmm. Of course, a book’s success is based on being well received, but all reviews are helpful and show people cared enough about the story to leave one.
- If you are on Goodreads,”shelf a book” you want to read. (pssst! even if it’s not out yet) The more people who shelf a book, the better the chances for the good folks at Goodreads to showcase it.
- If you are a member of a book club, pick a book as your book club’s “pick of the month,” and then…
- …talk about it! This is typically The Way I find out about books I want to read next. Interesting, it’s still a fact today, despite the social media interactions of authors online, this is the very best thing to help a book – good old word of mouth.