Spread the love

Recently at a book signing I was asked, “How can we best support you as a writer?” At the time, I responded with a three-item list. It should have been five. Here they are.

  1. Buy (my) books.

Well, this one’s obvious. Writers make their living (or part of it, anyway) from selling their work. Nothing says love – and “keep writing” – like “I bought your book!”

  1. Write reviews.

Did you know that Amazon will help promote a writer’s books once their book has 50 reviews? That’s the magic behind getting a book included in their monthly promotional emails. That’s gold, baby.

And you know how when you’re viewing a book on Amazon, you see books listed below the one you’re checking out, with lead-in text that says, “People who bought this book also bought…” or “People who viewed this book also viewed…” Guess how those books get included there? Yup. 50+ reviews.

Help get your favorite writers to 50. It keeps them writing.

  1. Go to their events.

What’s your impression of book signings and release parties? Massive crowds, long lines, a brief “hello” to the writer after being shuffled away by uniformed guards practicing crowd control?

I wish.

Book signings and release parties can be lonely affairs. Often no more than a handful of people show up, and mostly by accident. Sometimes, nobody shows. It’s crushing to the soul, a giant generator of doubt.

There’s nothing like a friendly face to make a room full of empty chairs seem warm and welcoming.

  1. Spread the word.

Love the book? Like it, even a little bit? Let the writer know. Let the world know. Tell all of your friends, family, work mates, book group members, your carpool, neighbors – hell, tell the mail carrier and grocery checker. You never know who might respond.

Also, post ratings on Goodreads, or similar readers’ sites. Post something on Facebook, Twitter, and on your own blog if you have one. You’d be amazed how far that goes.

  1. Buy my competitors’ books.

Say, what?

I’m dead serious. One of the best things you can do is to buy a similar book, by a writer that’s ranked just above or below me on the Amazon or Kindle sales ranking lists.


Remember that “People who bought this book also bought…” thing I mentioned? It works. Assuming you’ve bought my book:  If I’m ranked #80 and Josie Smith is ranked #75 in the Mystery genre, buying Josie Smith’s book will generate a lot of “People who bought…” mentions. A LOT. Like, every time someone views or buys Josie’s book.

Why not buy the #1 book in the genre, instead? Because there are too many other “also bought” books tied to that one. (Numbers 2 through 79, probably.) My 80th-ranked book won’t crack that list. But by definition, #75 has a lot fewer “also boughts” (because, of course, fewer people bought #75).

It’s explained in more detail here.

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