Five (or ten) ways to help an author succeed

24 Nov
Karia's Path

Book 2: Only five reviews, and none marked “helpful” … You can help …


If you’ve found an author whose books you like, you probably want to read more books by them. And if you want to read more books by them, you may need to help them succeed. But how? It’s actually quite easy to help, and not that hard to do a little extra …

1. Show your friends. It’s great to tell your friends about an author you’ve found or a book you’ve read. Please keep doing that! But if you really want an author to succeed, you might want to take it a step farther, and show your friends why you like the books or author. You can do that by sharing your books with them. You know how to do that with a paperback. But did you know you can also share most independently published ebooks? That’s because authors like me want you to be able to share our work. We’re hoping to build a bigger audience. So go ahead. Of course, you can also buy the books for your friends. That’s great, and greatly appreciated. Just don’t feel like you have to.

2. Like the author’s Facebook page and/or follow their Twitter feed, and share/like/comment/retweet. Many authors – including me – have a blog and a presence on Facebook, and perhaps a Twitter feed or other social media. You can help us by liking posts, sharing them, commenting, retweeting, etc. Those actions all make the posts more visible. Want to really help by taking it a step farther? Go to their Facebook page or blog, and seek out posts you would want to share. Do it regularly. Probably not every hour. Perhaps not even daily. But once a week or so would help. Here’s the Facebook page for my series, The Day Magic Died.

The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway

Just one review so far, and I know three whole people have read it!

3. Review their books. I encourage you to write a helpful review – one that potential readers will find useful. Reviews on Amazon are great, but some people don’t trust them. Goodreads is another great place to post reviews. You probably should not post the same thing in both places, but you can follow the same helpful guidelines. If you really want to help, go the extra mile by reviewing more of their books. Like many authors, I am getting several reviews on the first book of my series, but few on the rest. Have you read them? Then please review them. Here are links so you can review Karia’s Path, The Hall of the Prophetess, The Dwarf’s Legacy, and my first Nascent Payne mystery, The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway.

4. “Vote up” helpful reviews. Amazon displays “the most helpful” reviews first. How does Amazon know which are the most helpful? By the number of people who have voted to designate a review helpful or unhelpful. Please take note that Amazon is not asking you if you like a review or if you agree with it. They’re asking if it’s helpful. So I’m not asking you to mark favorable reviews as helpful or unfavorable reviews as unhelpful. Simply look at the reviews for an author’s books, and if one or more of them provide enough information to help you make a good decision on whether to purchase, mark it or them as helpful. Want to do more? Mark reviews you don’t think are helpful as unhelpful. (I should add … please do not abuse this system to “vote up” good reviews and “vote down” bad ones. Or vice-versa, as another author did to me. Too bad this power is not given just to grown-ups.) You can use the links above to see reviews for my books, and find the buttons to mark them helpful or unhelpful.

5. Contact the author. So maybe you just want to say you liked the book. Or you have questions. Perhaps you spotted a typo that needs to be fixed. Authors love to hear from readers. Most authors hear from readers far less than you might think. And most authors are far more open to constructive criticism than you might think, too. That, by the way, is how you can really help. If you spot what you think is a problem in a book or a series, and you really want to help, speak up. Here’s a way to contact me.

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