It’s getting close to release time! You know how I know? Because I had a nightmare last night that my launch party was a disaster, and I have to physically restrain myself from visiting review sites. Just one week until The Trouble With Destiny hits shelves, and the thing that comes up most often in conversation with family and friends is “what can I do to help?” So in that spirit, I put together this handy list of the top six ways to help an author launch a book.
1. Pre-Order The Book
Preorders help authors enormously by convincing their publisher’s that there’s an interest in the work. Bonus? Preorders often come with fun surprises (if you preorder The Trouble With Destiny from Little Shop of Stories, your copy will be signed and include fun swag!), and at some online retailers, you can get special pricing.
2. Purchase In-Store During Release Week
The first week of sales are a big deal for authors. Again, they show the publisher that there’s reader enthusiasm and author support out there, which can mean extended print runs, bigger publicity pushes, and even author events and tours. Does it matter where you order from? Not for the author. All sales are equal. Most of us hope you’ll order from a local shop, but we understand that a) there might not be one in your area or b) online retailers work better with your budget.
3. Ask Your Local Library to Order It
Ok, so you can only order so many copies of a book (unless you’re my grandmother, who ordered 10 … thanks Grandma!). But if you want to really help an author, stop into your local library (and branch libraries!) and ask them to order the book. A lot of times readers wonder if checking a book out of the library hurts the author. No way! Each book in a library represents a sale for the author, and enthusiasm for one book means the library might stock multiple copies, or order it for all its branch libraries, or order copies of the author’s backlist (ie, previously published titles). One request to your local library can result in lots of sales for an author!
4. Ask Your Local Bookstore to Stock It
Not every book arrives in every store, and that can especially be true for smaller indie shops without a lot of shelf space. They want to order books that they know there’s local enthusiasm for, so if you ask or order from your local indie, it’s more likely that multiple copies of that author’s books will appear on the shelves. And maybe that author might end up stopping into the shop to visit/sign/read!
5. Recommend It
This one is easy and free, and if you’ve ever recommended someone’s new favorite book to them, you know how awesome it can be. So it’s practically a selfish enterprise to recommend a book! A personal recommendation means the world to a reader, because they know they’re in for a treat. But know your audience when you go for a personal rec. For example, The Trouble With Destiny is a great read for younger teen readers, particularly ones involved in band, orchestra, theater, choir, etc. Readers who love slapstick comedy and romance. Readers who are looking for a happy ending. Readers who love books by Elizabeth Eulberg, Susane Colasanti, or Jessica Brody’s contemps.
6. Talk it up
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat (no, I don’t know how Snapchat works, but I believe if you’re younger than me, you probably do!). Instagram a shelfie! Tweet your current read! Share a quote on Facebook! Tell your favorite forum, or talk it up at your knitting circle or your church group or out with friends. You never know who might remember that mention and pick up a copy.
Well there you have it, six easy ways to support an author you love (and only a few of them involve actually purchasing the book!). Don’t forget that The Trouble With Destiny hits shelves on December 8th, and if you’re in Georgia, you can celebrate with me at the Macon Barnes & Noble on December 10th (Thursday at 7pm) and at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur on December 12th (Saturday at 6:30pm).