We’re fast approaching the time (January 12th! Five more days!) when my debut LGBTQ romantic thriller novel, Love or Money will be released. I’m of course happy, but I’m also scared to death.
Most debut novels don’t sell very well. I’m well aware of this fact, and I’m prepared for it. However, I think Love or Money is a pretty darn good book, and I hold on to my dreamy vision of it actually taking off. After all, if it can find the right audience, those people will seriously enjoy it.
But finding the right audience is a tough proposition. An author can only do so much to market their book. Likewise, the publisher has limited resources to expend on each of their releases, and debut novels by unproven authors aren’t likely to get a huge share of those resources, no matter if they’re published by a small, independent press or by Harper Collins.
Ultimately, the ones responsible for making any book a success are the readers. That’s YOU, people! You should be proud of yourselves.
Here are some things you can do to help out an author, whether it’s someone you know and love, or just someone who wrote a book you stumbled across in the shelves of B&N, and ended up loving:
1. Buy the book.
(Duh). As an added bonus, you can buy the book for other people. This is a lovely practice that I strongly support 🙂 Books make excellent gifts!
2. Review the book on Amazon/Goodreads.
This is incredibly important. The more reviews you have, the more books you’ll sell. It’s not even important that the review be favorable, as long as it is thoughtful and specific about why the book didn’t work for you. After all, the reason you DIDN’T like the book could be the exact reason why someone else WILL like it.
3. Tell other people about the book.
This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to help an emerging author. The most powerful tool in an author’s marketing toolbox is WORD OF MOUTH. So tweet about the book, post about it on Facebook, review it on your blog, tell your friends about it over coffee, and suggest it to your book club. Then, if the author ends up making it big, you have some serious hipster cred for knowing about them before they were cool.
4. Order the book through your local bookstore.
If you order the book through a bookstore, they’ll often order extra copies to stock on the shelves. Even authors with big name publishers are unlikely to be stocked on bookstore shelves unless the author themselves or someone else requests that the bookstore do so.
5. Request that your local library order a copy.
Especially if the author is likely to have other books coming out soon *ahem*, libraries are a good way to get the author’s name out there. Readers who discover an author in a library might actually buy their subsequent books.
Five very simple things that you can do for authors, to support them and the art community in general. I personally would be extremely happy if you do one or more of the things above for me, and so will any other author.
What other things can you think of that would be helpful to authors? Tell me about it in the comments. Blog comments make me *squeeeee*.