…. I don’t necessarily mean me, mind you, unless I actually happen to be your favorite author, in which case bless your little ink-black heart. But I can guarantee you that no matter who your favorite author is, whether they’re a traditionally-published best-seller or a struggling indie, they’ll greatly appreciate it if you do any of the following things, today or any other day:
- Write a review of their book on Amazon. Can’t ignore the 500-pound gorilla in the room — Amazon almost certainly drives the majority of your favorite author’s sales, and the more reviews and ratings a book receives, the more likely Amazon is to promote and recommend that book. This is probably the number one thing you can do to help get the books you love in front of people’s eyes and into their hands. If the thought of writing a “book review” is putting you glumly in mind of your school days, don’t stress over it — you don’t have to write an essay or anything, just a few sentences about why you liked the book.
- “Tag” their book on Amazon. If you add the appropriate labels for a book (for example, “thriller,” “ghosts,” “serial killers”, etc.), then that also helps improve the book’s visibility, and makes it that much more likely someone will see the book when they do a search for that kind of fiction.
- “Like” their book on Amazon. Book listings on Amazon now have a little “thumbs-up” button on them, which should be a familiar concept to any of the 250 million or so of you who are on Facebook. If you’ve got literally five seconds to spare to help an author out today, while this probably doesn’t do nearly as much good as reviewing or tagging — it sure can’t hurt, either.
- Add their books to a “Listmania” list on Amazon. I’ll be honest — I personally don’t pay a whole lot of attention to Listmania lists, but there are definitely people who do, and this is another way you can help an author’s visibility. Maybe put together a collection of “Best Horror Books for $2.99 or Less,” for example.
- Boost their Social Media signal. Are you following your favorite writers on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Digg, Tweedle, Bloost, or Splinder? Of course you are, even though I may have made those last three up. Anyway, if so, when they have something they’re promoting there — a new book, a reading in your hometown, a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new project — help spread the word. Retweet their tweets, share their posts, let people know. If you follow their blog and you think a post is particularly interesting, pass the link around.
- Review their books on “social reading” sites. If you love to read, and you’re not already a member of Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing, you should check them out. They’re a great way to find new books to read via recommendations from people with similar tastes.
- Let them know you like their stuff. Odds are, your favorite writer has a website, blog, Facebook page, or some other on-line means of contacting them. So why not, you know, contact them? Drop them a short note to tell them how much you like their writing. Unlike the other suggestions on this list, this won’t increase their sales, but feedback is always nice, too. Send them e-mail, leave a comment on their blog, send them an “@” message on Twitter, show up on their doorstep with a bouquet of flowers and a handgun.
Uhhh — let me look at my notes again, here. Yeah, no, scratch the “doorstep” one. But the rest of it’s good.
(If you’d like to show my book, Slices, a little love, here’s a link to it’s Amazon page. Give it a thumbs-up, a couple tags, or even a review, and I will love you forever, I honestly will. Happy Valentine’s Day, you lovely people, you.)
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