By C. Kuusisto
Now that books can actually be published online with a few key strokes (compared to bygone days) chances are you know someone who has written a book. Or an eBook. Think about it for a minute. Browse the shelves of a library or your local bookstore or on Amazon.com and you’re looking at exceptional efforts made by some extraordinary individuals, each with a passion to share his or her message with the world. Granted, some books are better than others but that’s another story. Story – get it?!
Not everyone has the inclination or ambition to make such a mark on the world. For those of us who don’t, unless you know an author personally, it is very easy to take their efforts for granted. A book, just one book, represents hours, months, sometimes years of toil and trouble. While some consider it a labor of love, others may consider their book the worst “assignment” ever.
I know; I’m married to an author.
So if YOU know an author, or if you have a favorite author you’d like to support (hint, hint) what can YOU do to make a difference? If you’re reading this post, I’m assuming you have an interest in doing so. Well then, here are some ideas for meaningful things you can do to help spread your enthusiasm for any author dear to you.
• Check out the author’s web site and buy a book! Buy another one and gift it to a loved one. Or a friend. Or both.
• Buy another copy and donate it to your local library.
• TALK about the book. Word-of-mouth advertising is priceless!
• Follow his/her Virtual Book Tour. But don’t just read the introductory blog posts. Click the links! Visit the hosts’ blogs; write comments. Show some love! Bloggers LOVE comments! Internet search engines love links. Follow an author on a virtual book tour, participate, and you’ll help make “noise” online.
• If he or she is offering a reading at a local bookstore or other venue, GO! And buy a book! Ask him/her to sign your book.
• Bring a friend with you! Treat him/her to a copy.
• Help arrange for a reading at a local venue.
• Write a book review.
• Visit Goodreads. “Like” the book. Add it to your bookshelf. Recommend the book. Leave a comment/review.
• Visit Amazon.com. “Like” the author. Like the book. Recommend the book. Leave a review. Same goes for any other online book seller site…
• Are you a Twitter user? Connect! Then borrow the link from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble and share with your followers. Or share your favorite quote.
• Are you on Facebook? “Like” the author and/or the book and tell your friends why you like it. Important: Leave Comments! SHARE!
• Are you a blogger? Ask your favorite author if he/she will provide a guest post.
• If you are a blogger, offer to interview your favorite author and publish it to your blog.
• Make a video of your interview and post it to YouTube and to Facebook.
• What other social media platforms do you use? Google+? Pinterest? Instagram? Use them to help spread the word.
• Share the book with your book club. Ask the author if he/she will do a virtual online meeting with club members to discuss the book.
• Start a book club!
• Contact your favorite author and ask “what can I do to help spread the word?”
You may have some other ideas. Please feel free to share them in the comments.
Oh, and just for the record, Stephen Kuusisto’s new book “Have Dog, Will Travel” is now available for pre-order on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It will take a village to sell his book, too. No doubt he would appreciate YOUR help. Share the news, will you? Steve’s book “Planet of the Blind“, a NY TIMES Notable Book of the Year (1998), touched a lot of lives; this we know. The hope – the expectation – is that this one will, too.
First Image: The word HELP spelled out in red by a hand holding a pen. Underneath HELP it says “It Takes a Village to Sell a Book” in black letters.
Second Image: Cover of author Stephen Kuusisto’s new book. Light blue background with white lettering: Have Dog, Will Travel A Poet’s Journey. Included is an graphic image of a gold-colored dog wearing a harness and at the top of the cover is a testimonial by poet Billy Collins.