The One Where You Help An Author
My book is coming out this year. That is still a little surreal to say, but I’m excited.
That’s not really what this post is about, though. No, this post is about America’s greatest past time.
The world has changed. Bookstores are disappearing and, now more than ever, people are turning to the Internet to figure out what to read next. Why did you pick up that book you’re reading now? Did Amazon recommend it to you? Was it next to another book at the library? Was it on a cardboard standee at Barnes & Noble?
We all have authors we like who don’t get the love we think they deserve. Here are some ways to help out authors in the Age of the Algorithm. I’ll try to go in order of ease.
- Read the book
You don’t even have to buy it. Get it at the library. Borrow it from a friend. Find some way to read it.
2. Leave a review
The most important places to leave a review are Goodreads and Amazon. Goodreads is a great resource. If you aren’t on it already, you should be. The best feature is that it allows you to keep track of all the books you’ve read and want to read. It can also be used to find series, follow authors, and find your next read through user-curated lists. Now, even though Amazon owns Goodreads, the review systems are not linked. Leaving a review on Goodreads does not automatically port over to Amazon.
The important thing about leaving a review on Amazon is that Amazon has a magic number of reviews required to change it’s recommendation algorithms. It’s understood to be 50 at this point. Fifty reviews qualifies you for BookBub deals.
3. Buy the book
You don’t have to buy a book to read it, but it’s always helpful. Timing matters, too. If your favorite author has a book coming out, sign up for preorders or make sure that you buy the book the first week it comes out. Those numbers make a difference.
4. Follow them on platforms
Did you know you can get updates from Amazon about your favorite author? You can get updates on deals, newsletters, and more involving their books.
Also, follow authors on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs…etc.
Sometimes, we give stuff away for free. Other times, we do previews of upcoming books. It’s pretty great.
5. Feature them on your platforms
That stereotype about authors being a bunch of of anti-social cave dwellers is…not entirely inaccurate. But, that’s okay. Most authors have contact forms or email addresses that readers can use to reach out. Even if they’re troglodytes, most authors are excited to talk about their work. You can usually set up a phone or email interview to put up on your blog.
If there’s a book you really love, take a picture and throw it up on your Instagram. If you tag the author, they might respond.
If you like a book or an author, there’s lots go things you can do to help get their book out there. Ultimately, isn’t that what we want? To be able to talk to everyone about your favorite book?
Disclaimer: authors are people, too. You are not entitled to their time. But, if you are respectful and discerning, you might be able to have access to insight into your favorite books and creators.