We all need a little help marketing, don’t we? I thought Book Lover’s Day would be a perfect time to give you some sharable tips to give to your readers. Indie authors, in particular, need a lot of help, because there is no publisher backing them. You can literally just take this list and share it on your social media or tweet it out to your fans, to encourage them to help you.
I find that a lot of folks want to help authors, but they aren’t sure what they should do. Specific guidance is often the key to engaging their help and kickstarting your book!
1. Walk into your local bookstore and ask for the book
Even if the book isn’t carried in the store, go in and ask for it. See if they can order it, which most probably can. If you’re going to buy the book anyway, this is a great way to maybe encourage the bookstore to stock a few copies! Especially for indie authors, who may not otherwise be able to get into bookstores, this can mean a lot!
2. Reserve a copy at your library
Libraries are such a great resource for authors and especially indie authors, so why not walk into your local library and ask if they’re carrying the book. If they’re not, would they consider it? If they do decide to carry it, based on your recommendation, be sure to let the author know!
3. Turn the book face out in your local bookstore
If the book is being carried locally, turn the book face out, so it’s easier to spot. It’s such a fun way to drive more eyes to a book! If you do this, snap a quick picture and send it to the author so they can share it on their social media! As I mentioned in point #1, this is a big win for indie authors especially, so it should be celebrated!
4. Donate a book to your local library for stocking consideration
Believe it or not many libraries will carry books if they are donated. So if you’re buying the indie author’s book, grab a second copy and gift it to your local library. Tell them it’s not for their book sale, but rather you’d like to see if they can shelve it. Believe it or not, library stocking can greatly help to increase book sales on other platforms such as in bookstores and via Amazon.com.
5. Show up for author events
How many times do you see author events in your local newspaper and consider going, but then don’t? Attendance at author events is so helpful to the author. Because if they pull in a good showing, it may impress upon the bookstore or venue to do more events with this author. And this is especially true for indie authors, who often struggle to get one or more author events. So show up and show your support!
6. Connect the author to a local book club
If you are part of a book club or know someone who is. Or even if you’re just aware of a local club, share the author’s book with them and invite them to consider it for an upcoming book club read. Book clubs love recommendations and often base their book selections on folks who share their own favorite books. And again, it’s even harder for indie authors to get into book clubs so if you have an indie author you love, give them a little love at your local book club.
7. Offer to hand out bookmarks, or other collateral pieces
Some years ago, I met an indie author who was selling thousands of copies of her book a month. How she did it, was quite amazing. She wasn’t pitching to bloggers, or media — but what she did was enlist her reader helpers to put her bookmarks into local stores. So, for example, dry cleaners, restaurant, coffee shops, curious shops, etc. So get some printed up and share them with your reader tribe, you might be surprised who pitches in to help out!
8. Review the book
Reviewing a book is one of the single best ways to support any author, whether they are traditionally published, or an indie author. Most authors spend a lot of their time trying to get reviews, and it’s not always easy. If you read a book, review it. And if you aren’t sure how to review a book, here are a few questions or things to consider that might help the process:
- What did you like most about the book?
- What about the book surprised you?
- Did the book cover the content as described?
- Do you think you got your money’s worth?
- What could the author have done better?
- How does it compare to other books in this category? And please mention any books you’d compare this one to.
9. Suggest the book to a local specialty retailer or indie bookstore
We love our indie bookstores, and many of them are always open and eager to get book recommendations. So recommend a book you love, and tell them why they should carry it. Maybe it’s great for the market they serve, or it ties into the local area because the author lives there. Personal recommendations can go a long way, so share yours with a local indie retailer! If the book is from an indie author, be sure to include that as these specialty bookstores often favor these authors, too!
10. Create a fun gift guide and share it with your social media
If you keep a running list of books you’ve read, or maybe some you still want to read, why not create a fun gift guide. With the holidays fast approaching, you’re going to start seeing gift guides everywhere. So start yours, and include books and indie authors you love then share it with your social media followers!
11. Share an author’s promotion with your social media
Authors always need help sharing their stuff so if you see an author who is running a book promotion be sure to give them a helping hand and share their book discount, or giveaway or whatever it is they’re promoting. If you’re supporting an indie author, they likely do more of this, since they aren’t confined to pricing and discount restrictions, the way traditionally published authors are.
12. Follow the author on all their social media
This is a big one, if you haven’t done so already, give your favorite authors some social media love and follow them! Especially if it’s the author’s first book, or if they’re an indie author, going it alone, giving them some social media love can go a long way.
13. Buy their book or eBook
It goes without saying that this is huge, but even if you’ve already bought the book, be sure to review it, share it with your social media followers, and maybe even buy a copy for a friend as a gift. When you’re supporting an indie author, who may only have their book on Amazon, or maybe just has an eBook, you can easily have a book sent to a friend, or gift the electronic copy.
14. Gift their book as gifts
If you’re not sure what to get someone, why not get them a copy of a book or eBook you loved? Help out an indie author by gifting their book, and maybe creating a new fan!
15. Ask the author how you can help
Sometimes it’s good to just ask how you can be helpful. Authors have a lot going on, many have day jobs and they may forget to ask for help, or some authors may be too shy to reach out. So, offer up your assistance, ask how you can help. Offer to pass out bookmarks, or help them promote their next book discount, author event, or giveaway!
They say that it takes a village, and I think as authors we all know this is a very true statement. Whether you’re traditionally published or an indie author it’s not easy to go it alone. So if you’re a book lover (and aren’t we all) I think Book Lover’s Day is a great day to remind readers how much you need their help, and value anything they can do to pitch in. While there are 15 tips in this list, if every reader you have helped you out with just one, imagine the strides you’d make in your book marketing?
Happy Book Lover’s Day everyone!
P.S. If you have any that you’d like to add to this list, please let me know in the comments!