So you’ve read the book and thought it actually wasn’t too bad. You’d even consider reading others from the author. But in the meantime, what can you do to support self-published authors? There are a few things that will really help. Self-promotion can be tough for some authors, and time-consuming for many. Certainly for me, writing the book was the easy part. Marketing doesn’t come naturally to me. The main thing I know about marketing is that “BUY MY BOOK NOW” links aren’t the way to go! But what can others do to help me? Take a look through these five simple steps.
The first point is pretty obvious really. Buy the books. Seems obvious. And it is quite simply the easiest way anyone can help any author. Buy yourself a copy if it seems like something you’d like to read. Buy a copy to gift to someone else. And consider buying direct from the author. Yes, it does often mean the author makes more money that way, but we can also personalise the book with a note of our appreciation to you.
If you already have the book in your hands and you’ve read it cover to cover, the next thing you can do is leave a review. It doesn’t need to be War and Peace. Quite the opposite. Even a star rating on Amazon (other retailers are available) or GoodReads is worth a lot! If you feel inclined to leave a review, just a few sentences on what you like about the book will mean the world to an author. Keep it honest, but constructive. No need to gush effusively, but equally being mean is not nice either. A review serves several benefits. If it’s a good review, it massages the fragile ego of the writer. Believe me, nothing feels better than a good review from someone who genuinely enjoys your story. A review will also help others consider the book. More ratings and reviews give potential customers more of an idea about what people think of a book. And of course, they serve as feedback. A constructive, considered review tells me what works and what needs improvement, which will help me improve my writing.
The next thing that can really help a self-published author is to follow them. Not to their home, or round the supermarket, that’s just plain creepy. I am talking in social media terms. Follow their profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or GoodReads. Sign up/follow their websites. Engage with them. Like our posts, comment on them and maybe even consider sharing them. All of these things can help our posts find new readers.
Something else that can help us immensely is a recommendation. It’s not too dissimilar to a review really. If you like a book, talk to your friends about it, recommend it to a family member that may enjoy it, add a little post to Facebook, GoodReads or any other social media. If you are a member of a book club, pitch our books. We’d be over the moon to hear book clubs are reading and discussing the books we put so much of ourselves into!
And the final thing that you can do is to offer help. The book is already written, formatted, edited, so what more is there? There are loads of ways. If you have connections to local libraries, independent book shops or even local press and media, let us know. An introduction could be huge. If you know your way around the world of marketing, any tips will certainly be welcome. Even casting an eye over a press release, or helping to create graphics or helping to take the perfect author photo can be a massive support. If you know of any blogs, YouTubers or podcasts that talk all things books, let your writer friends know.
By no means do we expect or demand help from you, our wonderful friends, families, supporters and readers, but we will never turn it down! Writing a book is one thing, but there is so much more to making a success of it. There are so many things I am not so hot on, so if you ever think you might have something to offer, no matter how big or small you think it may seem, I can guarantee you it will be received with so much gratitude!