Caravan Sonnet: 10 Ways to Support a Friend Who Has Independently Published a Book

7/5/18

10 Ways to Support a Friend Who Has Independently Published a Book

As a lady who has gone with both independent and traditional publishing routes I have definitely learned the pros and cons (or "opportunities" as I like to think of them *smiles*) of each side. One of the  opportunities of independent publishing is that you, as the author, have to do all of the marketing yourself. Many times my sweet and supportive friends have asked me how they can help me in this area and I know many others want to help their friends in this stage. So today I wanted to share with y'all "10 Ways to Support a Friend Who has Independently Published a Book"! I hope this sparks some great ideas for support!!

1. Buy Their Book
This might be silly to even suggest but the reality is that many of the independent author's closest contacts won't think to purchase the book. This might be because they have heard almost every word 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! (Interested in buying one or all of my books? Click HERE!)

2. Think Outside the Box and Share Your 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 and send them a copy! Maybe you could gift a copy of a book to your local library, hospital library, church library, community resource center, domestic violence shelter, homeless shelter, etc? Maybe you could gift a copy of a book to your doctor's office (if the book relates to medical information like my Lyme Disease books) or your counselors office. Perhaps you have a connection at a coffeehouse and you could bring in your friends' book and see if it could be displayed for sale or if your friend could try and sell some copies at your favorite store? Think outside the box and think of the people in your life that you know that you could connect your author friend with.

3. 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 (especially if it is available on Amazon)! Because your friend has independently published their book they do not have a huge marketing campaign for their books. Due to this they are doing all of the marketing themselvesYour words about their book will speak volumes to many people who aren't familiar with your friends' work! Every author is so grateful for generous and gracious reviews. I have received hundreds of emails from people saying that the whole reason they purchased a book of mine was because of a review they read! 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!

4. Share Their Business Card
Most authors have a business card that will help pass their name on a bit more. 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!! 

5. 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!! Tag your friends social media to all of your correspondence (example: if you post a picture on instagram tag them in it so they connect directly with people!). Volunteer to "social media love" your friends work! They will be so grateful! This is free for you, but so helpful for your friend who is trying to share about their book!

6. Word of Mouth Recommendation. 
Talk about your friends book to people you know. Many people purchase books solely based on a friends recommendation.

7. Invite Your Friend To Share About Their Book (or their story)
Does your work bring in special speakers? Ask your friend to come in and share about their book. Maybe the book doesn't fit into the exact business that you you work at, 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. Suggest your friend! Are you a member of a church or community group? Invite your friend to your Bible study to have them share their story or to your church for a ladies luncheon or for a community chat. Againthe 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 writing or their heart! 

8. 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? Talk with your friends and share your connections. 

9. 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 guest. This will encourage people to purchase your friends book, interact with them, and get to know more people!

10. Give the Gift of a New ISBN Number
Want to gather a few friends and take up a collection to bless the socks off of your friend? Gather the money to cover the ISBN number of their book that they have published (or for their upcoming book)! ISBN numbers are an investment and cost $125 which is a lot of money for independent publishers. This gift would be such a blessing to them!

Happy Wednesday friends! I hope that these tips are helpful for those of you who are looking to support your friend who has independently published their book! Looking for additional ways to support your friend who is an author? Check out these other posts from the blog:
12 Ways to Support Your Friend Who is an Author
12 Ways to Support Your Friend's Book Release

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