DOs, and the second the DON'Ts, and they were aimed at readers and fans who wanted to support their favourite authors so they could continue enjoying their books. Today's post is aimed at authors. In the current independent-spirited publishing climate, authors need each other like never before. Without authors spreading the word about other authors' books, there is little chance of the books being noticed, sold and read.
1. Befriend each other on Facebook.
2. Like each other's Facebook pages.
3. Follow each other on Twitter.
4. Like each other's author pages on Amazon. (Garner enough 'likes' and the Amazon algorithm kicks in to improve visibility of the books.)
5. Like each other's books on Amazon. (Ditto the algorithm stuff.)
6. Download members' free books during promotions. (You don't need to own an e-reader; Kindle apps, for instance, are free for most devices. Download an app here.)
7. Tag each other's books on Amazon. If the books already have tags just clicking the boxes will do.
8. Host each other on author blogs.
9. Comment on each other's posts, not forgetting posts in blog tours.
10. Write reviews. The bottom line is that reviews are more effective than anything else when it comes to selling books. Take the time to write reviews, keeping the following in mind:
- Never review a book you haven't read.
- Always give an honest review.
- Avoid spoilers! Giving away the plot spoils the reading experience for others.
- Don't insult the intelligence of shoppers. Most experienced shoppers can tell when reviews are less than authentic. I can. We have learned to read the signs, like the reams of 5 star reviews from people named 'A Customer' and reviewers who have reviewed nothing else on the site.
These are the basics; there is much more that authors can do collectively: readings, book signings, advertising, printing of promotional items. There is strength in numbers; the reach of a group is often far greater than the sum of the reach of individuals operating on their own. Cross promotion works. We have seen it happen time after time where authors get together and do all of the above and their books break out of the ranks to become bestsellers. Buzz creates buzz, and buzz sells books. Much of the buzz behind the breakout books these days is created by... other authors.