7 Ways to Help an Aspiring Author

Happy (or perhaps not so happy) Wednesday everybody!

I was looking forward to checking Amazon this morning and finding my paperback available. Still no such luck, unfortunately. The days are dwindling now, however, and it should be available within the next day or two.

In anticipation of this, I’ve adapted a recent blog post by Chuck Sambuchino to illustrate all of the lovely ways you can help out a burgeoning self-published author!

Some of them are even free (and might be even more valuable than the ones that cost money)! So without further ado…

7 Ways to Help an Aspiring Author

1. Buy The Book

I know it sounds crazy, but this really helps. Grab your credit card, march your fingers across the keyboard to Amazon, or Kobo, or the iBookstore and buy the author’s book! This actually helps in two ways:

    • First, you’re putting a bit of money in the author’s pocket, which is a confidence booster, and helps pay for that next can of Spam.
    • Second, by purchasing the book, you are increasing its sale rank, thereby making it more VISIBLE to other customers. This increases the chances of new customers purchasing the book, which really helps spread the book to a wider audience! This is particularly helpful if you have purchased similar books in the past, as you may introduce your author friend’s book into the “Customers who purchased this, also purchased…” and bam, free advertising!

It’s as easy as shelling out a few bucks, and getting a good read to boot!

2. Buy the Book as a Gift

Essentially all the same reasons as above, but with the added benefit of getting your author friend’s book into the hands of someone he or she doesn’t know. This further helps to spread the book to a wider audience.

Plus, when the person you bought it for finishes reading it, you’ll be a GIFT HERO for offering them the opportunity to have such a wonderful read! Double win Charlie Sheen, double win.

3. Leave a Review Wherever You Bought It

Try to remember the last time you picked up a book you’d never heard of. Most people buy books these days based on word of mouth, but there are the adventurous among us.

Of course, readers can only be so adventurous (come on! We choose to adventure in our minds!). A good review (or a lot of good reviews) could make the difference between a new customer buying the book, or passing.

When you get a chance, leave an honest review on the sales channel through which you purchased the book, be it Amazon, Kobo, iBookstore, or wherever else. If you really want to make a bang, mark the other reviews as helpful when asked “Was this Review Helpful?”

In fact, leave the same review on all of them if you can! Just copy and paste! It is hugely helpful!

And while you’re there…

4. Like the Book

Some internet merchants have the option to allow you to “Like” the product (I’m looking at you Amazon). This also helps with visibility on the site.

Like the author’s Facebook page too! An author page with lots of likes is more likely to recruit new fans than a Facebook page with fewer likes.

5. Read the Book Where People Can SEE You Reading It

So this suggestion only really works if you bought a physical copy of the book. If you did (first of all, your author thanks you), read the book in public! And make sure you look like you’re enjoying it, for chrissakes!

    • On the bus or on your next flight
    • On a bench
    • On lunch break
    • Anywhere people will see you reading!

Even if you’re a person who prefers to read in private, just flaunt that beautiful book wherever you go! You look smart carrying that book around. Maybe a little nerdy even. Nerdy is in. Hawt.

6. Spread News of the Book Through Social Media

It can be as easy as sharing a Facebook Fan page, or re-tweeting a particularly important tweet. By sending the author’s information out through your social network, you are helping your author friend to expand his or her social network and his or her reach through that network.

We may all want to be friends with everyone else, but that is rarely the reality. Help your author friend get there!

7. Use Your Connections (if you have them)

This rule won’t apply to everyone, but it will to some. Maybe one of your friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, or grandparents has something they could offer your author friend.

    • Your journalist uncle working for a literary magazine
    • Your editor cousin working for the local newspaper
    • Your friend of a friend who works for a radio station
    • Your grandmother who still owns a controlling stake in a publishing house

Just try to think about all of the people you know, and how they might be able to extend the reach of your author friend… how they might be able to get the word out about this great new book and talented young author.

So there are 7 Ways to Help an Aspiring Author. Maybe you’ll only do one, maybe you’ll do all of them. Either way, your help in furthering the career of an aspiring author is greatly appreciated, and frankly, invaluable.

Thanks for reading, and until next time,

Cheers!

J. R.

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