This blog is about writing. An important aspect of writing is marketing what we write, first to get it published and then to get it to read. I don’t talk much about promotion because, like many authors, I don’t like to do it; I don’t even want to think about it.
When Robin Mellom told me she was thinking about self-publishing her next YA book, Perfect Timing, I encouraged her to do it and promised I’d help get the word out. Thankfully it’s much easier to “market” someone else’s book than your own.
Here are some easy steps we can do to promote another author’s work (which we can later apply to ourselves when the time comes). Consider these seven options:
Blog: We can blog about the author and the book. This can be direct or indirect. Even a brief mention with a link can help. We can also post a review of the book on our blog.
Amazon: We can review the book on Amazon. While every author wants five-star reviews, a book with only five-star reviews is suspect, so give an honest rating. Perhaps more important than the rating is the actual review itself and especially the headline we give it. If you spot another review that is favorable, mark it as “helpful” so more people can see and read it. More Amazon reviews mean more exposure to prospects by Amazon and more people likely to buy the book.
Goodreads: On Goodreads, we can first flag the book as one we “want to read.” Then, as we read it, we can post our progress. When we’re finished, we mark it as “done.” Each of these steps shows interest in the book and helps other Goodreads readers to discover it. Of course, we can also write a review on Goodreads. Some book-marketing gurus think Goodreads is more important than Amazon.
Facebook: We can make status updates about the book and the author. For example, “I can’t wait to read Robin Mellom’s new book Perfect Timing” or “Perfect Timing was a real page-turner.” Of course, include links and even the cover. We can also follow the author; then “like” or comment on his or her updates. With Facebook, the more likes and comments an update receives the more people who will see it.
Twitter: We can tweet about the author and the book. Use their Twitter handle and book hashtag. We can also follow the author and retweet their tweets. All these efforts increase their reach on Twitter.
Pinterest: Technically with Pinterest, we’re only supposed to post our own images or ones we have the right to post, but what author would object to us pinning their cover? The more places it appears, the better.
In-Person: Although we think about using social media for marketing, we can also go old-school and talk about books in person with our friends and family.
Try some of these options to help your friends promote their books. Then when it comes time to market your own, it will be a bit easier.
(And please check out Robin Mellom’s new book Perfect Timing.)
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.