There is a growing symbiotic relationship between authors and readers. Like horse and carriage, you can’t have one without the other. Of course, a relationship has always existed, but until recently it was always somewhat removed, stand-offish, like the maiden aunt who visits you once a year.
Over the centuries, readers have had to read the books available to them. Seldom have individual readers directly influenced the publishing industry. Sure, a publisher always tried to be aware of the general trends and proclivities of the reading public. But ultimately the choice of what to publish, and what not to publish, belonged to them, and they were tight-fisted with it.
Today readers wield direct and immediate leverage in regard to books and authors. In sites such as Goodreads, Amazon, and a multitude of others, it is the reader who decides what books and which authors will succeed. It is a much more democratic system than in the past.
I have great respect for Penny Sansevieri. An expert book marketer, she was among the first to understand this phenomena and revel in it. Hers was one of the first marketing companies to cater specifically to eBooks, and one of the first to see the potential of Amazon for readers and authors alike.
Penny has shared 5 quick ways a reader can help a favorite author. I share them with you now. The italics are my additional thoughts.
1. Buy their books. Whether it’s an eBook, or print, or as a gift––get a copy. eBooks are CHEAP. Buy a bunch.
2. Review their books. Reviews really do matter, so take a few moments on Amazon, Good reads, or wherever you can, to give it five stars. Reviews are the game––no kidding. The buyer’s first glance is at ratings to decide quality, second glance to reviews to decide if it is suitable to them. Amazon (and other retailers) absolutely use numbers of reviews in determining which books will be most visible.
3. Follow them and share. Follow the author on social media. Then, don’t forget to share. Let your peeps on social media know, put together a blog with a list of your favorite reads, or post pictures of you holding their book. Social media helps, of course, if it expands visibility. Visibility is what it is all about.
4. Recommend them. Are you part of a book group? See if they’ll consider the author’s book for the group. Recommend the book on Goodreads. Share with a friend. Word of mouth remains the very best sales tool.
5. Offer to help. Have you ever asked an author if there’s something else they need? Perhaps you can take their book into your local library, or bookstore, and see if they’ll carry it. Grab some of their bookmarks and share locally. As an author, I would love to see a friend, fan, or family initiate contact with bookstores and encourage them to carry a physical sample of my books on their shelves. There needs to be an army for this, it is just too difficult for one author to get it done, and maintain it.
For more from Penny, you can find her at AMarketingExpert.com.