Has this thought ever walked across your brain: My friend wrote a book. What now? It ain’t selling and I want to help.
Well, bless your soul, dear heart. You are a darn good friend. Here are a few suggestions on how to bump up your friend’s confidence and sales.
1. Give the author your money. Buy the book.
2. Give them more money. Buy the book as a gift, too.
3. Be organized! Get a group of friends to all buy it on the same day. Get enough people buying a book in a day on Amazon and you can dramatically increase the author’s ranking.
4. Do a purchase request for the book at your library.
5. Suggest the book as a book club selection at the library and at other community book groups you attend. (Online or in-person!)
6. Request it at your local bookstore.
7. Suggest that the bookstore has the author in for a book signing or reading.
8. Go to the book launch party. Bring others. Make sure the author has someone to sell merch for them, so they can schmooze.
9. Know of an open mic or reading series? Tell the author about it – maybe they’re planning a book tour. Also, suggest to those that run it that the author would be a great guest reader. If there are no open mics or readings around you – think about having one at your house, a coffee house, or at the local VFW.
10. Have a literary salon! There may be an open mic…but think of this as a party. Maybe it is all book people. Maybe it is random artists and interesting folks. The point isn’t letting one person shine so much as introducing awesome people to awesome people.
11. Review the book! On Amazon! On GoodReads! On Barnes and Noble! Smashwords! On other bookish sites that ask for reviews!
12. Add their book to your GoodReads. To-read. Read. Currently reading. This exposure matters.
13. Add their book to themed lists! GoodReads! Amazon Listmania! Pinterest! Your Amazon wishlist.
14. Like the author on Amazon and on Facebook. If their book has a page, like that, too.
15. Share awesome posts by the author (bloggy stuff, news, whatever) on social media. That way more folks see it.
16. When the book first comes out, share it on ALL your social medium platforms. Re: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, your blog, etc. The cover and a link where to buy. A succinct summary or eye-catching blurb doesn’t hurt, either.
17. Take a photo of yourself with the book and put it on Instagram or Facebook or EVERYWHERE! It helps if it is a good picture. Tag the photo with the book title and author’s name and put a link where to buy it in the first comment.
18. Hey, did you know there is such thing as a “Book and Beer” tumblr? Take a photo with your friend’s book and a booze and submit it!
19. Do you follow NPR Books or Goodreads on Twitter or Facebook? You should. Look up other awesome book-centric media to follow. When they ask questions like, “What are you reading?” (Which they do, fairly often) mention your friend’s book!
20. Wait. Do you have a blog or a Tumblr? Offer up a guest post or to interview the author, if it is appropriate content on your site.
21. Visit their website. Make comments on their blog.
22. Are you connected to the publishing community? If the author wants this – suggest them as a potential panelist at writing conventions they attend. Do this EARLY in the year. Or maybe you know folks who do book reviews for other sites? Mention your friend’s book to them!
23. What? You can post book reviews on Youtube? Do it! Short, long, weird, whatever. Don’t want to do a review? Interview the author instead.
24. Be their street team! Ask the author if they have bookmarks, stickers, or postcards. If they do, request some to spread around coffee houses and bookcentric locales. Also, does the author have merch? Buy it. Wear it. Shirts are awesome advertising. They don’t have a shirt? MAKE A SHIRT! (Plain t-shirt + permanent marker. This will cost you all of $5.)
25. Make fan art and share it on social media. Examples: Make a moonshine flavor their character would drink, create a cosplay off of a character, make a crazy quilt based on their poetry, create a cake with their book cover on it. You get the idea. Incorporate their book into your hobby for a hot minute.
It is very kind of you to want to help you friend. Now go do it. Don’t swear by the moon. High fives to you for all your booklove.
Patty Templeton is an indie author who loves rock and roll, making fangirl shirts for authors she loves, and eating chips. Her first novel, There Is No Lovely End, came out in July of 2014.