by Jaden Terrell
I've been reading Chester Campbell's new thriller, POKSU, and wondering why this guy is not selling hundreds of thousands of his books. I have the same thought when I read something by Timothy Hallinan or some other lesser-known author whose work blows me away. (That includes you, my fellow Murderous Musings contributors.)
We all know there's a handful of authors who need no help in the promotion department because everyone already knows who they are. James Patterson. J.K. Rowling. For most, though, the key to growing a readership is word-of-mouth. No one buys a book they don’t know exists. But with more than two hundred thousand new books launched this year, getting the word out is a challenge.
So how can you help create buzz for an author whose work you love? Let's call her Sally Wimpleton, and let's say she's written a novel called The Garden Gnome Murders. (Sheesh, now I want to write that!)
1. Ask your local librarian to order The Garden Gnome Murders by Sally Wimpleton.
2. Post a review on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Shelfari, or other sites that allow reader reviews.
3. Click the “Like” button the B&N and Amazon pages for The Garden Gnome Murders and for Sally's author page, if she has one. On Amazon, the hardback, Kindle, and audio versions must all be “liked” separately.
4. Make one or more appropriate Amazon lists and add The Garden Gnome Murders to the list(s). Goodreads also has a list function now.
5. “Like” Sally Wimpleton's Facebook page and help keep the discussion there rolling. Invite others to “like” the page and participate as well.
6. Spread the word on your social networking sites, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Retweet Sally's tweets, share her relevant Facebook posts, etc.
7. Recommend the books to all your friends and family members who enjoy the kind of books Sally writes.
8. If you’re in a book club that reads mysteries and is open to author visits, ask if they would like Sally to come and speak to the group (or Skype with them).
9. If Sally has a website with links, articles, or other content readers might like, visit it often and encourage others to do the same. (If she has a newsletter, sign up for that and encourage your friends to sign up too.)
10. If you know people who acquire books for airports, Walmart, Sam’s, Costco, Target, K-Mart, etc., tell them about The Garden Gnome Murders.
11. If you know people in other countries where Sally's book has been translated, let them know about the translation.
12. If you know a major motion picture director or producer, or any big-name actor who might like to play one of the roles, steer him or her toward the book. Who wouldn't want to see a movie about Garden Gnomes? And Murder?
13. When you order your copy of The Garden Gnome Murders, order another mystery by a well-known author in a similar genre. That gets Sally on the “people who bought x also bought y” list.
Can you think of other ways to help draw attention to a favorite author?
*Note: Sally Wimpleton and The Garden Gnome Murders are fictional creations. Any resemblance to real people or novels, living or dead,is purely coincidental.