Sunday, December 17, 2006

50 ways to help your author

50 ways to help an author (without buying her book)

Originally I had a longer and more accurate title, but I can’t get the song “Fifty ways to leave your lover out of my head”. I’d love feedback, or additional suggestions. The idea is to share all the things that authors can do to help each other, and that authors’ friends and family could do, might like to do, but may never think of doing. For the sake of argument, all authors for the purpose of this blog will be considered female. (No sexism intended).

Help the search engines find her:

1. Google your friend.
2. Ask Jeeves about her.
3. Dogpile her.
4. A9 search her. (That’s the Amazon search engine)
5. Does Yahoo have a search feature?

Even if you know where to find your friend, her blog, and her books, “hits” help. The more visitors the search engine spiders find, the more priority the author's website gets.

6. Visit her website… not just the home page.
7. Visit her blogs.
8. Find her Amazon Connect page
http://www.amazon.com/gp/arms/directory/A/2/105-8737680-2353243#directory

This link is to the alphabetical directory by author’s last name. Click on the name (which is blue, underlined and therefore a live link) and you will go to the author’s Amazon page. From there you can:

9. Invite her as an Amazon Friend
10. Add to your list of Interesting People
11. E-mail the page (about her… to your other friends)
12. Add her posts to your plog

As you explore her Amazon Connect page, you will find:

On the left, under her picture, links to any reviews she has written.
13. Click on them. Read her reviews. If you like them, click on Helpful.
14. If you see an opportunity to comment on her review, do so if you have something nice to say.

If authors write reviews, their books are advertised free in the attribution line, and their links to their page and their books are seen by people who are interested in the products that your friend reviewed.
There’s a link to her own web site.
15. Click on that… just to bump up the site and give it traffic. Then go back to Amazon.

If the author has blogged (written a note about what she is doing/thinking/ or given an insight into her books), there is a blue link to Comment.

16. Comment! Vote that you liked her post (it’s encouraging feedback)

If the author clicked “product” as she wrote her blog, there will be a live link on her blog to one of her books.

17. Click on the cover. Give her book page traffic. Or scroll on down and see her bibliography, who your author friend’s friends are, what reviews she has written, what search suggestions she has made, what “tags” she has created for each of her books, and what tags her readers have added. See her Reminders.

18. If you live near to the author, and she has a reminder on the calendar for a booksigning near you, click on Remind Me Too. Support at a booksigning is always wonderful.

19. While checking out her friends, maybe click on the image of other authors whose books you like. Amazon often pairs up two books by different authors and suggests “Buy Both”.

When you are on a book page, without buying that book, click on links to:

20. Put it on your wish list. It’s extra, free advertising.
21. Tell a friend

Scroll down the book page to Tag this product. (or make a search suggestion)
22. Add a tag. (Loved it! Can’t wait to read it! Soooo romantic! Etc)

23. Join in the Customer discussions. Ask a question. Start a discussion. The search engines pick up on the discussions, and quote interesting responses.

If you have read her book:
24. Write a customer review. It doesn’t have to be long or scholarly. Be as generous with the star rating as you can. Try to be specific about what you liked best about the story or one of the characters. Don’t give away the ending.

25. Ditto all of the above for Barnes and Noble, E-Bay, Borders, Chapters Indigo, Waterstone’s, Amazon uk, Amazon ca, or any other bookstore chain that allows customer reviews, comments, discussions etc. Or, simply search for her name, titles, reviews.

26. If you have a MySpace page (and if you don’t, but really want to help, get one… it’s free) invite your author friends to be your friends there.
27. Write a bulletin about your friend or her book.
28. Add a comment on their profile page’s comments section. Your comment is their opportunity to say something about their book without the appearance of soliciting.
29. Review their book on your MySpace blog.

30. If her publisher has a forum, join it and ask her questions. For instance, Dorchester publishing (home of Leisure and LoveSpell authors) has
http://forums.dorchesterpub.com/

Again, your comment will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, and it will give your friend a reason to post something interesting and quotable about her book without seeming to be self-promoting.

31. If you see a good review—on any bookselling site that allows customers and visitors to comment on reviews-- click Helpful if it is a helpful review.

Votes help both the reviewer and the author (especially the reviewer’s rankings ).

32. If you see a bad review, click Not Helpful.
33. If you see a personal attack disguised as a “review” click Report This, and tell the author. If enough people click to report ugly remarks, bad reviews come down in 50-60% of the time

If you see your favorite author’s books in a supermarket or bookstore:

34. Facing her books (if there is room, turn one so the cover shows)
35. Tell store personnel how much you like that book, or that the author is local.

36. If you don’t see her books, especially when they ought to be there, ask about them.

37. If you have a blog, publicize your friend’s upcoming signings/author talks/workshops on your blog. Mention her website URL.
38 Link to your author friend’s website or blog on yours
39. Offer a quote if asked--or volunteer if you’re not asked.
40. Do a review for her, asked or not. It doesn’t matter if some people think that you are friends. More often than not, you became friends because you like and respect each other’s talent, or sense of humor, or something you bring to your writing. People do respect recommendations

41. If you belong to readers’ group sites, or book chat sites, or special interest sites, post what you are reading. Plugs never hurt. These are also picked up on RSS feeds and the search engines.
42. Link to other writers. It drives everyone up in the search engine.

43. Ask your library to order your friend's book.

44. Join your favorite author’s yahoo group, let her know where you’ve seen her book in stores, or where you’ve seen discussions of her book, or reviews of her book.

45. Drop in on her online chat to say how you enjoyed her book. Supportive friends at chats are cool because chats can be chaotic, and typing answers takes time.

46. Put her book as a 'must read' on your own Web site, or in your own newsletter.

47. Send e-mails to your entire address list recommending the book.

48. Be her 'friend' on You Tube.

49. Offer to take a bunch of her bookmarks to conventions, or conferences, and make sure they are put in goodie bags, or on promo tables. Or simply visit her table at a convention, and sign up for her newsletter, or pick up her bookmark and tell someone else how good the book is.

50 Offer to slip her bookmarks into your own correspondence when you pay bills, taxes, etc.

51. Instead of quoting Goethe in your sig file, try quoting a line from your friend’s blurb in the week of her launch.

With thanks to the following for their help and suggestions

Kathleen Bacus, www.kathybacus.com

Diana Groe, www.dianagroe.com

Joyce Henderson,
www.joycehendersonauthor.com

Diane Wylie, author of "Secrets and Sacrifices" www.dianewylie.com

Jacquie Rogers, http://www.jacquierogers.com, http://www.myspace.com/jacquierogers.

Deborah Anne MacGillivray, author of The Legend of Falgannon Isle, www.deborahmacgillivray.co.uk Dorchester Love Spell, Kensington's Zebra Historicals

Charlotte Maclay, author of Make No Promises,
www.CharlotteMaclay.com

Rowena Cherry www.rowenacherry.com, author of Insufficient Mating Material, available 1/30/2007.

Rowena Cherry.

13 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:46 AM EST

    Wow! That's a lot of stuff to remember! I'll have to copy it. I already do mention and review books on my blog.

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  2. Anonymous10:49 AM EST

    Excellent suggestions! Even though I am not an author, there's lots that I as a reader can do to help bring recognition to my favorite authors.

    ~ Vicky Woodard

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  3. These are great suggestions. One thing I do for my pub friends. I try to help out as much as possible at book signings. I go to as many as humanly physically possible. I also review the book on Amazon. There is lots we can do, because what goes around comes around. When its my turn they'll be there for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow
    Thats an awesome list
    And alot of it I already do

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  5. Dear Kimber an,

    Feel free to copy it, and thank you on behalf of all your author friends for the reviews and blog mentions.

    Thanks, too, for showing up on this blog so often--for so many of us!!!-- with your encouraging, positive, and generous comments.

    We all appreciate it more than you can possibly imagine.

    Best wishes,

    Rowena

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  6. Dear Vicky,

    Thank you for the positive comment, and for spreading "the word". One of the best things to do, even if you don't see getting published any time soon on your personal horizon, is to lock in your real name (register it) so that if you ever want a website, your name will be there for you.

    Best wishes,

    Rowena Cherry

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  7. Dear Lee,

    Thank you for your kind words. I am glad my little list is well received. Many authors are secretly very shy, and find booksignings intimidating.

    We all appreciate a kind word and a friendly smile, even if you don't buy our book.

    It's great that you review.

    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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  8. Dear Liz,

    Thank you for all you do, and for your comment on my list. I was astonished that I actually got as many as fifty!

    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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  9. Anonymous4:10 PM EST

    Well, I've put this blog's link on my blog and I send people here whenever I can. I've really learned a lot from you all. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Terrific job, Rowena, of compiling all those suggestions. While we might not ever do all 50 things, we can certainly always do a few. It's so important to promote great stories, especially from authors we enjoy the most.

    Jacquie

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  11. Jacquie,

    Thank you for your help in compiling the list, and for your encouragement and support.

    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous10:52 AM EST

    Great list! This is very helpful! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. A wonderful list of simple ways to make computer numbers work for your favorite writers! Thank you all for compiling it. And as long as they have a remaindered book or brochure site out there, it can only help them.

    I am giving you a link over from my Live Journal (that's how I found you, via Vicky's posting.)

    http://alfreda89.livejournal.com/

    Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

    ReplyDelete