Caravan Sonnet: 12 Ways to Support Your Friend's Book Release

8/19/16

12 Ways to Support Your Friend's Book Release

With my upcoming book release of December Caravan, I have had a ton of sweet friends ask how they can help support me in this exciting season. I have shared in the past with y'all 10 Ways to Support Your Friends Who have Independently Published Books and today I wanted to share 10 Ways to Support Your Friend's Book Release! I am so appreciative of all of your sweet encouragement and support and I hope this post sparks some great ideas on how to support your friend who has a book coming out!!

1. Pre-Order their Book or Purchase their Book on the Day it Comes Out. 
This might be silly to even suggest but the reality is that many author's closest contacts won't think to purchase the book. This might be because they have heard almost every word and version of the book before it has even gone to print (*smiles*) but the reality is that for whatever reason many close family members and friends won't actually purchase a copy. Take the time to complete this simple step and this will be a huge support to your friend! 

Consider pre-ordering the book or at least mark your calendar to purchase the book the day it comes out. Both of these types of things help to generate traffic to the book and help the ranking of a book which in turn helps generate more traffic. Of course - it NEVER hurts to purchase a book at anytime! *smiles* Want to go an extra mile? Purchase a copy for someone outside your family and send it to them!

2. Reserve a copy at the library.
I learned this tip just a little bit ago but it is a great one! If all copies are reserved from a library before the book is released, the system notes the popularity of the title and marks the book as "order more". 

3. Request the Book in Local Bookstores 
Taking the time to say to a local (or national bookstore branch): "I am looking for __________ and can't find it. Do you have a copy of ______________?" is priceless. If enough people request a title, bookstores note this and there is a good chance they may order a few to have on the shelves! (At home? You can even call your local bookstores to request this and help your friend!)

Is the book already carried by your local bookstore? Still take the time to speak with a bookstore customer service clerk about the book. The hope and goal here is that if several people do this the employee starts to take notice of the title and is more apt to pick it up, read it, recommend it, or even place it creatively in the bookstore. 

4. Think Outside the Box and Share Connections 
Chances are, you know someone who could use the book that your friend has published even if it doesn't directly relate to you. Purchase the book and send your friend a copy! Think outside the box and think of the people in your life that you know that you could connect your author friend or their book with.

5. Write a Review
Just purchasing the book and reading it is a wonderful gift to your friend but what would help them even more is if you would take the time to write a review of the book (Amazon, BN.com, and Goodreads)! Most new authors (even those who are using a traditional publishing house) do not have a huge marketing campaign budget for their books. Due to this they are doing all of the marketing themselves with a little help from their publishing company

Your words and testimony about their book will speak volumes to many people who aren't familiar with your friends' work! One of the largest pieces of help for me in selling my book, "Praying through Lyme Disease" has been the generous and gracious reviews that I have gotten. I have received several emails from people saying that the whole reason they purchased the book was because of the reviews! So take the time to write a review! I can guarantee that your friend has a goal of at least 20 reviews per book so pass the word to your friends and ask them to write reviews for your friend also! It will only take you a few minutes but will be of lasting help to your friend! A review also helps with ranking so write reviews!!

6. Share Their Business Card
Most authors, including myself, have a business card that we hope will help us spread the word about our books. If you don't feel comfortable passing on the book to a variety of places perhaps you would feel comfortable with passing out your friends business card? Contact them and ask them for a bunch of business cards that you can have on hand to help spread the word about their projects! Live in a different city, state, or country then your friend? EVEN BETTER!! You will be helping them with marketing even more!! 

7. Talk About Their Book on Social Media
Share, share, and share some more about your friends projects on various social media forums. It will be such a blessing to them!! Ask your friend if they have a hashtag for their specific books and use that in your social media comments. Volunteer to "social media love" your friends work! They will be so grateful!

Want to go the extra mile? Take a picture with your friends book! People love seeing friends they know with their own copy of the book.

8. Word of Mouth Recommendation and Book Club Recommendation
Talk about your friends book to people you know. Many people purchase books solely based on a friends recommendation and many book clubs decide on books based on what people are talking about. Never doubt the power of your words to help spread the word about a new book. (Using December Caravan in your book club this year? I would be happy to send you some extra goodies for your group. Email me and I will be happy to chat with you in further detail!) 

9. Invite Your Friend To Share About Their Book (or their story)
Work at a school? Maybe the book doesn't fit into the topic that you teach or the school age kiddos but your friend could share about the writing process or about publishing a book or maybe their personal story or a variety of other things. Work at a Christian School? Is your school looking for a chapel speaker? Consider your friend! Work at an office? Maybe your office is looking for a once a month lunch speaker. Suggest your friend! Work at a Church? Invite your friend to your Bible study to have them share their story or to your church for a ladies luncheon. Work at a bookstore? Have them in for a book signing! Stay at home mom who attends a mom meeting? Ask your friend to come in and share about their book. 

Again, the topic might not exactly fit but your friend would love the opportunity to get their name out there and to share a little bit about their book, writing, or their heart.Most authors, including myself, are trying to start a speaking ministry and are trying to book different types of speaking engagements. I know most authors, myself included, would be so grateful for any thoughts or invitations. (And DO NOT let distance deter you. You may be on the other side of the world but I know so many authors, including myself that would love to travel to come and speak. Authors and speakers will travel anywhere to talk.)

10. Share Your Connections for Where They Are Traveling. 
Perhaps your friend is traveling for business, pleasure, or personal reasons. Do you have connections in the area that they are traveling? Share their information and the resources with them! I know that I am always looking to connect with people in upstate NY/Vermont and the south (both places where I spend 1/2 of the year) and in San Francisco (where my medical team is at). This fall I am also traveling to Florida, the Caribbean, and Vancouver. I am always looking for contacts in any of these areas to connect with. Talk with your friends and share your connections. 

11. Host a Book Party. 
Similar to the various parties that exist (i.e. makeup, jewelry, etc.) consider hosting a "book signing party" and have your friend as the key star. This will encourage people to purchase your friends book, interact with them, and get to know more people! (Don't let distance deter you- you can always host a book party online!)

12. Give the Gift of Donating Books to Those Who May Not Have a Chance to Afford it Otherwise. 
Want to bless someone with your friends book who may not ever have another chance to read it? Maybe you could gift a copy of a book to your church library? Maybe you could gift a copy of a book to your doctor's office (if the book relates to medical information like my Lyme books) or to the local hospital library. Purchase an inspirational book for the homeless shelter. Purchase an encouraging book for your domestic violence center. Think outside the box and it will not only benefit your author friend but have ripple effects in your community.

Along with this topic I want to say how grateful I am for y'alls help. I am desperately trying to get the word out, market my books, confirm speaking engagements and make connections. As I am dealing with health issues it is not always the easiest for me to make these connections and I so appreciate any and all help. If you ever want to chat about any of the above things I have mentioned you can check out my personal website for writing and speaking HERE or please feel free to email me

Thank you so much for your help with this journey! I appreciate your help!!

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