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Eileen Flanagan, author of The Wisdom to Know the Difference, wrote a blog post about a year ago telling friends of book authors how they could help the author sell more books. You can read her blog post here: http://bit.ly/9v5TgA.
I thought I'd include some of the highlights of her help list, add my own comments, and provide many more ways that friends can help book authors to sell more books.
If you have a friend who is a book author, please use these suggestions to help them out. If you are a book author, please share this page with your friends (so they can help you out).
1. Buy your friend's book. Encourage other friends to buy the book. Go to your local library or bookstore and encourage them to buy the book. Buy books as gifts.
2. Don't put off buying the book. Don't wait for the holidays to buy the book as a gift. First, the sooner you buy, the more confidence you'll inspire in your friend. Second, media and other decision makers pick up on a book based on the momentum the book inspires. The more sales at the beginning of the book's life, the more attention it will get from key decision makers, the media, and consumers.
3. Where should you buy the book? First choice: the indie bookstore nearest you (that will help your friend get her book into that store on a regular basis). Second choice: a chain bookstore like Barnes & Noble (if they start selling the book locally, they might buy books for more stores in the chain). Third choice: the author's website (the author makes the most money when selling direct). Fourth choice: buy direct from the author. Fifth choice: Buy from Amazon.com (preferably from the link on the author's website).
4. Recommend your friend's book. If you like the book, recommend it to friends. Blog about it. Tweet a review or mention. Share a note on Facebook. Recommend the book to your book group. Review her book on Amazon.com, BN.com, Good Reads, Library Thing, and other reader social networks.
5. Tell your friend what you like about the book. Provide your friend with support by telling him something you like about his book. Was it a good read? Did it move you to tears or laughter? Did you learn something new?
6. Help your friend get speaking engagements. If your friend is comfortable speaking, recommend your friend to your Rotary Club, Jaycees, church, Friends of the Library, bookseller, garden club, school, etc.
7. Recommend your friend's website. Link to it from your website, blog, Facebook page, etc. Tweet about it. When your friend writes a blog post, link to it. If your friend tweets something great, retweet it. Feature a quote from your friend's book on your website. Or tweet the quote.
8. Create a Wikipedia page for your friend. While authors can't create their own Wikipedia page, other people can. Every book author deserves a Wikipedia page, since a published book grants the author at least a modicum of fame. On the Wikipedia page, feature a short bio, a bibliography, a link to the author's website.
9. Help your friend with the media. If you know of any newspaper editors or reporters, magazine editors, radio producers or hosts, TV show hosts or producers, columnists, bloggers, etc., send them a copy of the book or a note about the author. Or tell your friend about your connection, and introduce her to your contacts.
For the other 27 ways to help a book author you love, see the new page at http://bookmarketingbestsellers.com/36-ways-to-help-a-book-author-you-love
If you like the above article, you'll also like the following 2 blog posts as well.
31 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page. You can read it here: http://askjohnkremer.com/31-ways-to-promote-your-facebook-page.
Book Marketing 105: Choosing a Book Distribution System - This vital 96-page mini-guide includes criteria for deciding how you will distribute your books. Also includes complete information on 30 distributors, 4 library distributors, 89 book publishers who also distribute books for other publishers, 3 sales representatives to the chains, 27 bookstore wholesalers, 34 library wholesalers, and 23 Spanish-language wholesalers. Plus a sample book distribution contract. Ebook download, $30.00.
Top 700 Independent Bookstores - This database features 740 stores with address, book buyer, owner, event coordinator, phone, fax, email, website, and more! Cost: $40.00. This data file features an updated list of the largest indie bookstores that work with authors and buy books from indie publishers. The report comes as a data file download (your choice of Microsoft Access, Excel, or rich text format). The data files do require that you know how to use a database or word-processing program.