The Best Thing You Can do For An Author

The main reason I write so many reviews and host authors on my blog is to help my fellow scribes perhaps sell a book or two. Trying to get a new book noticed in the Tsunami that is digital self-publishing is like trying to put the beach back into the ocean one small pail at a time.

Barking Sand Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

We need all the help we can get and that, dear readers, involves you. Remember when you used to call your mother, or your best friend, or the neighbor to tell them about a new book you just devoured in an afternoon it was so good?

Now you can tell all your friends on social media.

It really comes across tacky for us to be all over Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram saying “Read this great book written by, well, me.” But readers appreciate hearing about a new book that you just loved. Trust me. I’m a reader, too, and I have found many terrific stories recommended by a friend or family member.

To help create some buzz for a book you particularly liked, how about Tweeting about it, sharing a picture of the book with a buy link. Share about the book on Facebook with a comment about what you liked most about the story. People pay attention to those postings more than they do ads on social media, and the folks who trust your judgement about a book are more apt to check out a recommendation you make.

Kristen Lamb, one of the bloggers I follow regularly, recently did a post The Ugly Truth of Publishing, in which she explained how the publishing world has changed and what happened to what was once known as Mid-List Authors. Those were writers who made a comfortable living writing full-time, and factors within the industry that changed virtually did away with that classification.

In addition to explaining how things have evolved, she also made a direct appeal:

Instead of sending me an e-mail about how much my book changed your life? Put it on Amazon and change MINE! 

Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, love getting a personal note from a reader who has enjoyed one of my books, and I’ve been known to do the whole “fan thing” for some of my favorite authors. But if we only tell him or her how we loved the story, that doesn’t help buy that author some groceries so she is strong enough to write the next book.

Here’s something else, Kristen had to say:

Readers are essential to our success beyond just the sale. If you love our books, your promotion means a thousand times more than any ad I could pay for. Ads and marketing don’t sell books. Never did and never will. The only thing that sells books is word of mouth.

Beloved reader? You would be shocked how much regular people will pay attention to you. That review is worth your weight in gold to me for a number of reasons. Humans don’t like being first. So unless a couple of you are brave and review? My book can sit with NO reviews and it is then unlikely to sell.

Think about a shelf with ONE item. It freaks us out. There is only ONE. Is it poison?

Secondly, when you review us, Amazon favors our books in the algorithms meaning more people SEE our book. More people SEE it, odds are I will sell more copies. In the on-line world YOU have the power to get US that awesome front of the store book placement. The more reviews the better the algorithm. Better algorithm, more views. More views, more sales, more sales—>we make a best-seller LIST!

For a long time I was clueless as to how important the reviews on Amazon can be. I don’t know an algorithm from a possum, so for too long, I just happily skipped along hoping that sales would rise if I did a bit of advertising. And for my fellow authors, I wasn’t so quick to hop over to Amazon as soon as I finished reading a book to leave a review.

Now I do.

So dear reader, if you have read one or more of my books, and liked them, please do tell others and leave a review at Amazon. What is neat about the reviews there, is that they don’t have to be long. Not like the ones I have done for newspapers through the years and now here on the blog. A review can be just a few short sentences, and, of course, a rating.

I’ll be doing that for a few books I read this month just as soon as I finish here.

Have a great week, And don’t forget to enter the terrific contest being held at The Kindle Book Review. A number of authors have contributed to sponsor this event, and my mystery, Open Season, is one of the featured books. Several people have a chance to win one of the following prizes:

1 – Kindle Fire 6″ HD
1 – Kindle Fire Kid’s Edition
1 – $100 Amazon gift card
1 – 7″ Fire (7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers–$50 Value)
1 – $50 Amazon gift card

And I’d love for one of my readers to win. To enter just click on the link and enter at the #1 site for reader giveaways–The Kindle Book Review. It’s easy & fun. If you love reading, enter now; giveaway runs through January 11.

The contest also supports The Salvation Army, so you can help that fine charity, as well.

2 thoughts on “The Best Thing You Can do For An Author”

  1. I’m reading more these days and plan to post more reviews, but only for the books I like a lot. If I don’t enjoy a book and can’t give it three stars or better, or if I don’t finish it, I skip the review process. I figure just because I don’t care for a book or am not in the right frame of mind to read it this time, doesn’t mean some other reader won’t love it.

    1. I have the same philosophy about the reviews, Patricia. Reading tastes vary so much that a book I love someone else can’t finish, and the book they raved about leaves me cold.

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