How Can Book Bloggers Help Indie Authors?
There can be very little doubt that writing a novel and having it published are very difficult things to accomplish. This takes skill, determination, hard work, and some good old-fashioned luck! Also, traditional publishers are very particular about the work they accept and it is notoriously difficult to land a deal with an established book publisher. In response to these factors, many writers have turned to the world of independent publishing. If others are not willing to take a chance on their novel…then they will publish it themselves! Enter the realm of the Indie Author. However, what many Indie Authors quickly discover is the fact that the world of independent publishing means writing, designing, marketing and promoting their work in order to actually get some eyes on the pages. In a saturated market, this is a very difficult thing to do. That being said, the quality of writing put forth by many Indie authors is far too good to overlook. The problem is that they have just not been discovered yet. That is where Indie author supporters come into play! Follow along to see 10 easy ways that book bloggers and other supporters can help Indie authors. I do all of these personally, and they are all the result of trial and error. The following 10 strategies are those I have found to be the most beneficial for my favorite Indie authors.
10 Ways Book Bloggers help Indie Authors:
Strategically Buy Their Book:
There are a number of ways to help authors by actually buying their book. For instance, if an Indie author provides the option to buy the book directly from him or her, that could be the best route. By purchasing straight from the author you will ensure that virtually all the proceeds will go directly to the writer. This will eliminate the third factor in the equation (the retailer) who otherwise takes a share of the profit from book sales. That being said, by purchasing the book at retailers such as Amazon, the book will gain publicity and may even begin to appear on bestseller pages. This is the type of advertising that can have a dramatic impact on struggling book sales. Also, if the book blogger opts to buy their favorite Indie books in combination with other books (particularly those within the same genre), this will help to place them on “also bought” lists, thus increasing book visibility on the retailer’s website. Support your favorite Indie author by purchasing their book…yes…but do it strategically!
Take Photographs of Their Books:
With the increasing dominance of technology and multitudes of smartphones coming onto the market, taking photos is a very easy thing to do. In the “old days” we actually used to take photos and have the film sent away to be developed. Nowadays however, everything is instantaneous. Indie authors are constantly looking for wonderful photos of their books so that they can share them with people. This is why taking a quick image of the book or a “shelfie” can be quite beneficial to the writer. All you have to do is make sure the author’s name and cover are visible and the lighting sufficient. You just never know when the “shelfie” might go viral and someone could tag the author giving them some much needed recognition.
Write an Honest Book Review:
The importance of book reviews to Indie authors cannot be overstated! They are that vital! I actually wrote an entire article about this very point not too long ago. In the limited space here however, suffice it to say that book reviews are an amazing way for authors to get their work in front of an audience. They are deemed as publicity for writers, as they connect them directly to an audience of eager book readers who are determined to tell others about a good read and are intrinsically enthusiastic about literature. To have someone write a review for an Indie author is not so easy however. To do it properly is a lot of work which turns many people off. As such, the need for good book reviewers greatly outweighs the supply. There are also reviewers out there who go out of their way to trash books or artificially elevate them. To find a reviewer who will take the time to personally connect with the work and provide an honest review is the diamond in the rough Indie authors are looking for.
Strategically Leave Reviews on Relevant Sites:
As mentioned before, reviews are imperative in helping readers find new books to indulge in. They are especially important to readers when posted on the sites where they will be making these very same book purchases. Amazon is the most prominent site but some online book retailers such as Barnes and Noble will have space to leave reviews as well. Of course, Book Bloggers all have their own website or blog and obviously post their reviews on these sites as well. The better known the site becomes, the more exposure the Indie authors who they are supporting will receive. Considering reviews may be cross-posted to several websites, you can actually write a book review and post it in various places. Smashwords and Goodreads are some great examples. After writing the review, it is important to send the author the links so they know you have offered them your support. You can also share the review with potential readers.
Send Authors Review Quotations:
As a Book Blogger or Indie author supporter, If you have written reviews of the author’s books, select a couple of the best lines to send to them. This way the author can use these review quotes in media kits, on their social media pages, landing pages, and on their websites to demonstrate social proof. Review quotes are considered complementary to a larger review of a book. The author can use these review quotes to generate attractive social media graphics not to mention they can give the author a great feeling by getting these positive review quotes.
Take to Social Media With Their Books:
The power of social media in a world which is more connected than ever cannot be overlooked! While we know that reviews are crucial to authors in that they help them gain readers, social media also plays a critical role as a platform for Book Bloggers to support Indie authors by talking about their books on various platforms. Personally, I have found Twitter to be the best platform, although I do utilize Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads and Google + as well. The power of Book Bloggers to start discussions about particular books and work can be significant! Book reviews can be pinned, shared, and connections can be made with other book lovers and potential customers for a favorite Indie author. Supporters may also find themselves discovering new authors and books to support and love in the process.
Interact with the Author Personally on Social Media:
As previously mentioned, authors do not just write books, as they are also responsible for many other tasks as well, including their accessibility on social media. Content creation and social media take up a lot of time, which is why it is essential that a Book Blogger or supporter follow them on their social media pages. Aside from following them, one should also try to drive engagement for their posts by sharing, liking, and commenting on them. Doing this frequently will help their posts reach more people. Authors already have a hard time trying to reach followers without having to pay through the nose to create ads and boost posts on social media. This is why simply commenting, sharing, or liking can do a lot for them and have a significant impact. Interacting with them personally can also help to boost your favorite author’s morale. By showing authentic interest and asking questions about their work, or what they have lined up next, can be a much needed boost for the Indie author…particularly if they have just experienced a disappointing day.
Order Their Books from Local Indie Bookstores:
Indie bookstores are very beneficial if you are looking to keep things local. In the event that a bookstore does not have a book by a requested favorite Indie author, they will make every effort to get the book on your behalf. If a request is made for an Indie author’s book, it will demonstrate an interest in their work and increase the demand for it. Also, Kobo Books collaborates with a majority of bookstores in case an e-Book versions is preferred instead. This is beneficial in that it offers readers a more extensive selection.
Ask the Local Library to Stock the Book:
Requesting books by Indie authors at any library may help to expose the work to a new audience just as it would when ordering them from local Indie bookstores. Also, libraries frequently get their books from the same wholesalers used by Indie bookstores . This simple act can work wonders when it comes to generating exposure for an Indie author. Also, taking a photo of the book on the library shelf, and then sharing it to social media is another excellent way to market the work.
Read the Book in Public:
Reading the book in a place where people can clearly see it is an underestimated tactic. It seems like an aggressive approach but it works! If your curiosity has ever been piqued by a book you have seen someone reading in a public place like a park bench, a bus, or a train then you can be sure this can work for your favorite author’s book. People may make a mental note of any notable book cover so that they can recognize it again and consider purchasing it when they come across it.
There are many ways that book bloggers can help Indie authors. These are simply some of the ways I do it and have found to be quite helpful. It is important to develop a strategy and plan every significant move. There are only so many hours in the day so it is key to make each activity worthwhile. It is also crucial to be as honest as possible. If your favorite author has just put out a new work and it is lacking…tell them! They will be able to take this back and look at it again to see if it truly is missing something. To give false praise is almost as bad as tearing apart work for invalid reasons. Whatever you decide to do…help an Indie author! You will not regret it.