10 Ways to Help an Author

Best part of the book launch - a cake with the book cover on it!

Best part of the book launch – a cake with the book cover on it!

Did a friend of yours write a book?  Do you simply adore a book you just read?  Ready to show your support for the author but not sure how?  Read on!

Readers and authors are partners in spreading good books to wider audiences.  Sure, publishers are involved, but the true partnership is between authors and readers, and readers and new readers.

My book It’s OK NOT To Share…And Other Renegade Rules came out last summer. I’ve met some beloved fans along the way, readers who’ve told me “this book was life changing!” or “I’ve underlined a third of it — it’s that good.”  You, the reader, have tremendous power if you love a book. Here’re 10 ideas guaranteed to make any author smile:

1.  Write a Review  Write an Amazon review. Better yet, write both an Amazon and Goodreads review. Even readers who buy from local indie bookstores often research and discover new books from reader reviews online. This is an all-powerful way to share with like-minded readers around the world.

Why not invite the author to your next Book Club gathering?  Author visits are rewarding and don't have to be limited to local authors - use Skype.

Why not invite the author to your next Book Club gathering? Author visits are rewarding and don’t have to be limited to local authors – use Skype.

2.  Choose it for your Book Club    If you enjoyed it, or found it controversial, chances are your book club will, too. Books are happiest in the company of a stimulating book club discussion (and chocolate). Send a photo to the author. See if the author will Skype in and talk to your Club!

3.  Share your enthusiasm online Mention the book on Facebook. Share the book cover. Tell your friends you’re reading a great book. As a reader, I’m always curious about what  good books are out there. My life is too short to read them all, so I’m grateful to get tips from friends I respect.

4.  Share “what I’m reading” at your local bookstore  Bookstores often collect readers’ favorites lists or have a special shelf where Staff Picks and customer recommendations go. Bookstore owners love books and love to showcase books worth sharing. Bookstores are also frequent meeting places for book clubs who are on the look-out for their next book choice.

5.  Ask your library to order it  Librarians are powerhouses in the book opinion-making world. Librarians talk to others at conferences, host author programs, make recommendations to patrons, and order new books throughout the year. Often someone will try out a new book at a library and then buy a copy of their own because they love it so much. That’s what’s happened to my book again and again.

6.  Blog about it   If you have your own blog, host the author as a guest or feature the book in a review. Bloggers are passionate people who love to share and they have devoted followers. Blog reviews are powerful and truly boost the book’s success. Email the author and you might get a free book to offer as a giveaway! Interested in featuring It’s OK NOT to Share on your blog? Email me to set a date.

7.  Suggest an author speaking event or conference  If you truly rave about the book and want to share it with others in your field, invite the author as a guest speaker. Events can be simple hour-long programs at the local library, school, church or bookstore or all-day events. Find out who state and local conference organizers are and suggest the author as the next speaker.

8.  Like it, and all that  Many authors have professional book pages (separate from personal pages) on Facebook or other social media. If you’re a social media person, share it on whatever medium floats your boat.

9.  Go to the Book Launch   When a book is first released, it’s time to celebrate! I loved each and every person who packed the room in my two book launches. Following book promotion advice, I held a local launch event in my hometown (80 people) and my mother’s hometown (250 people!). Show up, cheer and smile.

10.  Buy the book  This may sound obvious, but this simple act is always deeply appreciated.

If you’re a new author, let friends and supporters know how they can help.  If you’re a reader, thank you!  Direct recommendations are truly the best compliments you can give.

What’s your favorite way to support books and authors?  Have you ever written to an author or been successful in inviting them to your local area?

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6 Responses to 10 Ways to Help an Author

  1. Truer than true!

    Now I’m going to go Tweet, Digg, Scoop, Reddit, and Google+ this post!

  2. Fleda brown says:

    Thanks, Heather, for this very helpful list. We should all pay attention to it.

  3. Yogi's Mama says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your book! It has been a tremendous gift in my life and for my family and I’m talking about it every chance I get. I selected the book for my parenting book club and it sparked some wonderful conversation. I’ve also written about it on my blog (http://loveinventsusfamily.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/thank-you-heather-shumaker/) and bought copies for a handful of friends. I hadn’t even considered the idea of writing reviews before reading your post, so I’ll be off to do that as well. Most importantly though, a huge, heartfelt “thank you” from one Mama to another.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Oh my gosh, I definitely feel hugged!! Thank you, indeed. So pleased to know the book has made such a difference in your life. Love the fact that the dictated notes and non-meltdowns are going so well for your family.

      Thank you for spreading the book love around. Your blog review made my heart shine, and yes, posting a review on Amazon would be extra lovely. Is your book club reading the book now? I’m always happy to Skype in and say hello. All the best, Heather