Many people ask me what they can do to help promote Return to Order. The first thing to do is rid yourself of the notion that the only effective thing is to take measures that will instantly catapult the book onto the bestseller list. The fact is there are many simple things you can do to help that add up and get the word out about the book and its ideas.
Book promotion expert John Kremer has compiled many to-do lists for friends of authors that he encourages authors to share. Below is an edited version of twelve things you can do.
1. Buy your friend’s book for yourself. Encourage other friends to buy the book.
2. Gift your friend’s book. Give the book to friends and family. The more, the merrier. Encourage the gift receivers to take action on the rest of this list as well.
3. Don’t put off buying the book. Don’t wait for the holidays to buy the book as a gift. First, the sooner you buy, the more confidence you’ll inspire in your author friend. Second, media and other decision makers choose a book based on the momentum the book inspires. The more sales, the more attention it will get from key decision makers, the media, and consumers.
4. Where should you buy the book? First choice: the independent bookstore nearest you (that will help your friend get his book into that store on a regular basis). Second choice: a chain bookstore like Barnes & Noble (if they start selling the book locally, they might buy books for more stores in the chain). Third choice: the author’s website (the author makes the most money when selling direct). Fourth choice: buy direct from the author. Fifth choice: buy from Amazon.com (preferably from the link on the author’s website).
5. Recommend your friend’s book. If you like the book, recommend it to your friends and family. Blog about it. Tweet a mini-review or mention. Share a note on Facebook. Pin the book via its page on Amazon.com or the author’s website.
6. Recommend the book to your book group. If you belong to a reading group, recommend your friend’s book as your choice of the book to read next. If you know of other local book groups, encourage them to select it for reading. If you know book groups in other cities, encourage them as well. Be sure to let them know how to get in touch with the author to buy the book or to interview the author as part of their discussion.
7. Review your friend’s book. Review the book on Amazon.com, BN.com, Good Reads, Library Thing, and other reader social networks and book sales sites. Write an honest review giving your authentic opinion, but be sure to add a note of praise somewhere in your review. If you don’t like your friend’s book, obviously don’t share that opinion. Help another author.
8. Tell your friend what you like about the book. Provide your friend with support by telling him something you like about his book. Was it a good read? Did it move you to tears or laughter? Did you learn something new? Were you moved to take action?
9. Help your friend get speaking engagements. If your friend is comfortable speaking, recommend your friend to your clubs, church groups, Friends of the Library, bookseller, garden club, school, etc.
10. Recommend your friend’s website. Link to it from your website, blog, Facebook page, etc. Tweet about it. Pin pages from the website. When your friend writes a blog post, link to it. If your friend tweets something great, retweet it. Feature a quote from your friend’s book on your website. Or tweet the quote.
11. Help your friend with the media. If you know of any newspaper editors or reporters, magazine editors, radio producers or hosts, TV show hosts or producers, columnists, bloggers, etc., send them a copy of the book or a note about the author. Or tell your friend about your connection, and introduce him to your contacts.
How do you help promote Return to Order? Here are twelve helpful suggestions to get you started. More suggestions will be forthcoming. Please feel free to contact me if you need help with these suggestions or to report on your success. I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Above all, give special heed to the twelfth suggestion—it is the most important.